By on December 7, 2020

Great Wall Steed 5 African Crash TestThe 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

Great Wall Steed 5 African Crash Test

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

Renault Kwid African Crash Test

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

Haval H1 SUV African Crash Test

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]


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11 Comments on “South African Crash Test for Dummies...”

  • avatar

    Is the Steed 5 based on some other truck? The taillight reminds me of the first-gen Colorado.

    Edit: based loosely on the Isuzu Rodeo, so…

    The Wikipedia article notes that the steering wheel is lifted from mid-2000s Toyotas – it looks just like the one in our 2008 Sienna, except for the logo.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “We cannot have unsafe cars on our roads.”

    Point: Welcome to the 21st century.

    Counterpoint: Sure you can, if affordability for entry-level buyers is a priority. Safety devices cost money. Beware – “safety” is a moving target.

    • 0 avatar

      This century sucks, can we order a new one?

    • 0 avatar

      “Counterpoint: Sure you can, if affordability for entry-level buyers is a priority. Safety devices cost money.”

      Fair enough, but the counter-counterpoint is that people used exactly this argument in the early ’80s in the US and Europe, and now we have cars that, inflation-adjusted, are roughly the same price but many orders of magnitude safer (in impact terms, in avoidance terms, and in secondary terms (comfort, lights, wipers, defrosters, etc). Consumer preferences have driven that change recently, but pressure groups and government regulations definitely primed the pump.

      Now everybody has safer cars for the same amount of money, and that’s not counting money saved on insurance (cheaper as accidents are less likely to cause serious injury), overall workplace efficiencies (easier to keep your factory running if fewer people get seriously injured in car accidents), and so on. Hospitals have more time and resources to devote to other cases if they’re not filled with car accident victims, etc etc.

      So there are a ton of secondary positive effects to spending a couple grand per vehicle avoiding squishing the occupants unnecessarily. But because those secondary effects are distributed across industries and across time, the ‘local market’ for cars isn’t super efficient at ‘finding’ those gains. And that’s where good policy comes in.

      • 0 avatar

        Money saved on insurance? Do your premiums ever go down?

        • 0 avatar

          That’s because insurance companies have increasingly larger overhead, massive advertising budgets and bonus payouts instead of taking care of and looking out for their policy holders.

          • 0 avatar

            Those expenses are a drop in the bucket for a big insurance company. Insurance companies are basically investment companies, investing premiums for a return.

            Companies have a large cash-on-hand position to pay claims, but when a tornado, hurricane, flood, or other disaster strikes, they have to sell securities, or borrow to pay the claims. That’s when premiums go up for everybody.

        • 0 avatar

          “Money saved on insurance? Do your premiums ever go down?”

          I pay less now than I used to, but that’s neither here nor there.

          At any rate, one can surmise that whatever rates we pay now would be higher if more people were expensively-injured in car crashes; surely the prices wouldn’t be the same or lower.

          And that’s only a small part of the secondary benefits of safer vehicles, regardless.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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:

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