It is described by its manufacturers as “African built, African tough” and touted as the “unmistakable king of African pickups” with an enviable reputation for reliability and ruggedness.
But safety test results have given the Nissan NP300 Hardbody a zero-star rating, “which result in a high probability of life-threatening injury in a crash” for adult occupants.
Global NCAP and the AA yesterday launched the second round of their #SaferCarsForAfrica crash test together with the FIA Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The four models tested - Nissan NP300 Hardbody, Hyundai i20, Kia Picanto and Toyota Yaris - showed a wide range of safety performance, from zero to three stars for adult protection.
Global NCAP said the results highlighted significant differences in the structural integrity of the vehicles tested.
“Of concern with these results is that the most expensive vehicle tested in this round - the Nissan NP300 Hardbody - produced the lowest score of all tests completed to date, achieving a 00.00 score and zero stars,” said Collins Khumalo, chief executive at the AA. “There should be no zero-rated vehicles on our roads.
“They also emphasise that cars may not be what they seem based purely on looks and descriptions and until many more vehicles are tested, this issue may be a much bigger problem throughout Africa than we originally believed.”
The Hardbody scored a two-star safety rating for children aged 18 months and 3 years old.
The Yaris, i20 and Picanto achieved a three-star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64km/* . The Yaris received a three-star child safety rating, while the i20 and Picanto each attained two stars for child safety.
David Ward, secretary-general of Global NCAP said the trio of three-star results were acceptable but the zero-star Nissan NP300 was “shockingly bad”.
“Nissan also claims the car benefits from a so-called ‘safety shield’ but this is grossly misleading. Our test shows that the occupant compartment completely fails to absorb the energy of the crash resulting in a high risk of fatality or serious injury.”
The Saturday Star