The Australian importer for BYD has sent an “urgent notification” to customers advising them not to fit child restraints to the middle-rear seat of the Atto 3 EV.
The note was emailed to owners over the weekend, a few days after the Atto 3 failed to receive a five-star ANCAP crash rating for Australia – despite doing so in New Zealand and Europe under broadly the same NCAP protocols.
Instead, the BYD Atto 3 sold in Australia remains unrated, with ANCAP saying it’s now “working with BYD to finalise the applicability of a rating for Australian-specified models”.
“BYD Australia is in the process of resolving this issue and will shortly provide you with a further update.”
There appears to be a compliance issue of some sort, pending an outcome.
The five-seat (as per spec sheet) BYD Atto 3 does not have an accessible centre-rear top-tether attachment – though it has top tethers and ISOFIX points on each outboard seat.
Uniquely tough Australian Design Rules stipulate any rear seat with a seatbelt must also feature a top-tether point for a child seat. This rule is what led to Honda making local HR-V models four-seaters rather than five earlier this year.
It has been noted on forums the Atto 3 has a provision for a centre anchorage below the carpet, but ADR 34 requires it to be more accessible based on the wording.
It’s also important to note the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts previously gave vehicle type (MA) approval to the Atto 3
BYD Australia’s importer EVDirect told us last week it would have a full statement to explain the issue – and rectification – by Thursday of last week but is yet to do so. We have reached out on multiple occasions to its representatives.
But the company told us before this issue came to light that it had met all ADR requirements when prepping the new vehicle for market.
So far ANCAP has also declined to comment.
In the meantime, EVDirect says customers should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.