At the run-up to the first High Level Meeting on Road Safety, the Global New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) presented the results of “car-to-car” tests, demonstrating that standards to measure vehicle safety vary widely depending on which country they are measured. After comparison, the Hyundai Grand i10 sold in Mexico was found to be much inferior to its US version.
NCAP's tests help consumers know which of the vehicles in the market are safe. However, the organization identified a clear double standard applied on two sides of the Mexico-US border. “This test is a wake-up call for consumers, regulators and vehicle manufacturers. All consumers, no matter where they live, have the right to receive the same level of security in their vehicles. The cross-border security gap should no longer exist. We call on manufacturers to stop double-standard strategies around the world” said Alejandro Furas, General Minister for Latin America, NCAP.
Mexico and the US have clearly different security measures, reports NCAP. “It is very disappointing to see so much difference in vehicle safety between Mexico and the US. One of the main reasons has been the incessant "lobbying" by the Mexican Automotive Industry Association to delay the application of the UN minimum safety standards in vehicles. This happened first for frontal crash, side crash and Electronic Stability Control tests and now again for pedestrian protection, said David Ward, President of Towards Zero Foundation, NCAP.
Hyundai’s least expensive sedan, the Grand i10, which is the best-selling sedan in the automotive industry in Mexico was measured against its US counterpart. The Grand i10 produced for Mexico and other Latin American countries its equipped with two front airbags and no Electric Stability Control (ESC). When it was tested in a 50 kilometer per hour front crash and with an overlap of 50 percent of the front of the vehicle, the Latin NCAP gave the car a 0 rating, reported El Economista.
On the other hand, its US counterpart, the Hyundai Accent has 6 airbags, ESC and a stable model structure. The Hyundai Accent is assembled in Mexico and sold in the US, and is Hyundai’s least expensive option for the US market. “It hurts to witness once again the terrible double standard with which part of the automotive industry operates in the countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region, which inevitably forces us to think about the suffering that vehicles built under this scheme end up causing in our families, societies and economies. In addition, it reveals the great pending issue for the Latin American car market to mature: the absence of vehicle safety labeling that would alert users and consumers about the risks of low-safety cars, and that would allow us to move towards a commercial logic that would insert the automotive industry established in our countries in a competition for the safety performance offered that goes beyond the regulatory framework of a country,” said Stephan Brodziak, President of the Directive Commission, Latin NCAP.