By on October 19, 2011

Chinese automakers are delaying exports to Europe and the US until after 2015, largely because they admit their products aren’t “ready for primetime.” And few issues demonstrate that fact as well as the scandalous crash test videos that have defined internet perceptions of Chinese cars for years now. But with even more recent Chinese export-intenders continuing to put up lousy safety results, Autobild reports that, starting in 2012, China will improve its crash test standards to near-European levels.

Called C-NCAP, the new standard is modeled on EUropean NCAP rules, and raises the bar significantly. For example, Chinese cars will now be crashed at 64 km/h instead of 56 km/h. Anti-whiplash and other active safety measures will also be tested, as will results for rear-seat passengers in addition to front-seat passengers. And in order to include these additional test results, the maximum points available are going up from 51 to 62.

But if China wants to rid itself of its horrible auto safety reputation, regulators can only do so much. The industry also has to develop a culture that outs a high variety on safety. After all, even under the outgoing, lax standards, only 43 Chinese-market models have achieved five star ratings. With standards going up, that number should stagnate or decline until the Chinese automakers get serious about safety. After all, perceptions are huge in the car game, and Chinese brands need to work extra hard to wipe clean a reputation slate that has been marred with shocking crash test results.

And in the end, confronting this challenge is just part of the emergence of the Chinese industry: as Bertel reported, R&D spending at the Chinese OEMs is a fraction of what Western firms spend. With low-cost Chinese labor going the way of the dodo, the Chinese auto industry has to start competing with the Western brands on every possible level. Spending more on safety research and development seems like the logical place to start…

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

18 Comments on “China To Improve Crash Test Standards… And Not A Moment Too Soon...”


  • avatar
    carve

    Given their overpopulation problem, the Chinese government probably looked at the poor safety as a feature until they wanted to start exporting.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Do we really plan on conceding every last vestige of production to the Chinese? Makes me really want to go out and buy a Panther…

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      I, for one, would never,ever buy a Chinese made car no matter how low they would sell them for.

    • 0 avatar
      eldard

      Here goes the Amerikans again. I don’t hear the Germans, Japs and Koreans whining about the loss of their pots and pans manufacturing to China. They simply keep churning out goods that the world desires.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        Rule is if I can buy from any other country, I won’t buy anything Chinese, we’re giving them the fiber to build the rope they’re gonna hang us with

      • 0 avatar
        eldard

        Funny. You only give them a fifth of the fiber needed. The rest of the world gives it to them.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        My Dollar…My choice. I had a chaplain during my Army Career that spent a couple years in Prison over there prior to coming to the States because he was a Tiananmen Square Organizer. I am not too young to remember all that. It is not simply a “I ain’t driving’ one of them foreign cars” thing. I own an FJ80 Toyota Land Cruiser and a Hyundai. I try to not buy Chinese goods whenever possible (not always) due to the fact that I don’t care for there country’s policies. Many people do the same to goods from my country. I don’t begrudge them…There dollar (or whatever currency), there choice.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        You hear quite a few of them crying about the Chinese stealing there intellectual property though. I can’t see buying pots and pans for cooking from a country that was letting lead paint find it’s way into children’s toys. And we make many things the world desires…Military technology and computer software come to mind. And yes, this country is down but don’t pretend Europe is any better off. Good luck with that Greece thing.

      • 0 avatar
        eldard

        1) I’m not from Europe.
        2) how many kinds of dangerous drugs can be found in US’ drinking water supply again?
        3) Overpriced and buggy software (I’m using bootleg XP right now lolz)
        4) the world’s biggest weapons contractor is British

      • 0 avatar
        Herm

        The truth is that low cost chinese cars would sell very well in the US, if they are truly low cost.. but the Detroit 2 will never allow those imports. Dont forget the chicken tax is still in force after all these years.

        When is the last time you heard of anyone making a buying decision based on car safety?.. its been about 20 years for me.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Even the computer software thing is in danger. Ever heard of something called Linux? I use Mint Linux 10 KDE. Comes with a desktop that looks like Windows, is written by developers from around the globe. The app list on my computer is about 33,000 long right now and a few hundred are full blown software suites like MS Office. And it’s growing. Yeah small percentage of the market but then it’s hard to count free software since nobody is collecting profits and it’s legal to give it away, share it, sell it, modify it, etc.

        Yeah, not sure that Microsoft’s future selling an OS and Office suite is entirely safe. Gov’ts and schools around the globe are adopting Linux to replace MS Office too.

  • avatar
    racebeer

    What about the JV cars, like the “Buicks” from GM made in China?? Is there any data available to see how they perform compared to the pure Chinese models??

    Inquiring minds ………

  • avatar
    Steven02

    How are the old VW’s going to fair when this comes into play? I know that they still sell really old Jettas there. Will they pass these tests?

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Love that standard airbag system that goes right over your shoulder as your face impales itself on the door hinge.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    So what would it take to create a world crash and pollution standard so that vehicles could easily be sold around the globe? Political and corporate objections primarily?

    How close are European and U.S. standards now?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India