South African Crash Test for Dummies

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

The Steed 5 pickup, Haval H1 five-door SUV, and the Renault Kwid five-door compact, all achieved poor levels of adult and child protection in crash tests conducted by Global NCAP and AA South Africa yesterday.

The Global New Car Assessment Program, or Global NCAP, inspires cooperation among new car evaluation programs, promotes the UN’s motor vehicle safety standards, and aims for a world without traffic fatalities or serious injuries. They hope to have all new cars exceeding UN crash test standards, and they also encourage the sale of more environmentally-friendly vehicles.

Most notably, the zero star-rated Steed 5 from China’s Great Wall demonstrated a high probability of life threatening injury. Alejandro Furas, Global NCAP Secretary General said, “A zero star rating causes serious concern in our crash test results. There is the potential for a life threatening injury.”

Willem Groenewald, AA South Africa CEO said, “Since the Safer Cars For Africa program originated, we’ve pleaded for safety standards improvements. We cannot have unsafe cars on our roads. We are eager to see action taken now to protect South African citizens.”

Great Wall Steed 5

Pickups are a popular African vehicle category, and Global NCAP selected the Great Wall Steed 5, which competes with the Nissan Hardbody in this segment. The Steed 5 base version without airbags was tested, and driver dummy readings indicated poor head and weak neck and chest protection, all critical body parts. As the structure and footwell area became unstable, passenger compartment deformation and steering column movement question whether an airbag would prevent serious injuries. Great Wall declined to use a Child Restraint System (CRS), and zero points were awarded for child occupant safety. The Steed 5 was without ISOFIX rear child seat anchors, or any three-point belts.

Renault Kwid

In Africa, the Kwid that was tested was manufactured in China, with two standard airbags. Protection to the driver’s head was adequate and good for the passengers. Their necks showed good protection, but the driver’s chest indicated weak protection. The unstable body and footwell structures and pedal movement are the reasons for a two-star adult occupant protection rating. With the head contacting the car’s interior and bouncing around, a lack of ISOFIX anchors, or three-point belts, the Kwid’s child occupant protection received only two stars.

Haval H1

Part of a new vehicle segment of small SUVs, the Haval H1 offers two airbags. Injuries recorded in the driver and passenger head and neck areas showed good protection, while the driver’s chest showed weak protection and the passenger’s chest was good. Feet had poor protection, and together with the driver readings, the unstable structure and footwell area explain the two-star adult occupant protection rating.

Child occupant protection was negatively affected because the manufacturer refused to use a CRS in the test, dropping dynamic points to zero. Both child dummies’ heads contacted the car during the test, threatening their safety. Lack of proper ISOFIX markings and a passenger airbag disabling switch resulted in the H1’s two-star child occupant protection rating.

Over the last 15 years, road safety has emerged as a significant global public policy issue. The and the World Bank warned that traffic injuries constitute a major public health and development crisis. The United Nations General Assembly asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to take charge of the UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC). By 2030, UNRSC’s objective is to provide safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transportation systems, and improve road safety through the expansion of public transportation.

[Images: Global NCAP]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Dec 07, 2020

    The article notes no three-point belts in the Steed 5, or the Renault Kwid. So no three-point belts at all, or just three-point belts in the front? Guess I'll have to find their Web sites.

    • Scott Scott on Dec 14, 2020

      Pretty obvious from the pictures that all three have three[oint belts up front, so it is safe to assume the no three point belts is for the rear seats.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Dec 07, 2020

    The Steed 5 specs table is confusing. It says the cheapest gas model (double cab) has no airbags, and neither does the turbo diesel - only the uplevel gas model. All have a "2-Point Seatbelt for Rear Centre Seat". But, they all have air conditioning, central locking, and an immobilizer key as standard. Oh, and a .5kg fire extinguisher, and warning triangles: https://gwm.co.za/steed5dc.html

  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):
  • Groza George Stellantis live off the back of cheap V8 cars with old technology and suffers from lack of new product development. Now that regulations killed this market, they have to ditch the outdated overhead.They are not ready to face the tsunami of cheap Chinese EVs or ready to even go hybrid and will be left in the dust. I expect most of their US offerings to be made in Mexico in the future for good tariff protection and lower costs of labor instead of overpriced and inflexible union labor.
  • MaintenanceCosts This is delaying an oil change for my Highlander by a couple of weeks, as it prevented me from getting an appointment before a business trip out of town. Oh well, much worse things have happened.I also just got a dealership oil change for my BMW (thanks, loss-leader prepaid plans!) and this didn't seem to affect them at all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Gonna need more EV fuel.
  • Lou_BC There's a company in BC that has kits for logging trucks and pickups. They have "turn key" logging trucks too. What they market is similar to what Ram wants to sell. The rig runs on batteries and a generator kicks in when depleted. On the West Coast logging in the mountains they found that the trucks run mostly on regen braking. The generator doesn't kick in much. Going up mountain, the truck is empty.
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