The ANCAP axe is about to fall on two more carmakers.

    Just weeks after the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) whacked MG and Mahindra with zero-star safety ratings, it’s now finalising a hit on Hyundai and Honda.

    Both brands are set for a four-star result, which effectively translates into a fail under the binary system adopted by ANCAP.

    The cars under the axe are the Hyundai Kona and Honda ZR-V, which both achieved a four-star rating in testing by Euro NCAP last year.

    Since ANCAP now sets its safety bar at five stars, and comes down heavily on any cars which fail to meet that top-level expectation, the predicted four-star ANCAP results will be seen as a failure for the two companies.

    The Kona received scores of 80 per cent for adult occupant protection, 83 per cent for child occupant protection and 64 per cent for vulnerable road user protection from Euro NCAP, but was let down by a rating of 60 per cent for its safety assist systems.

    Likewise, the ZR-V received a lower rating for the performance of its safety assist systems than any other category.

    It received 68 per cent for safety assist, but 79 per cent for adult occupant protection, 86 per cent for child occupant protection and 81 per cent for vulnerable road user protection.

    To get a five-star rating overall, a car needs to receive scores of above 80 per cent in adult and child occupant protection and above 70 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and safety assist.

    The new development comes after ANCAP produced a run of ratings in the final weeks of 2023, including the zero-star scores for the MG 5 sedan and Mahindra Scorpio four-wheel drive.

    MG has since promised upgrades to its car’s suite of safety equipment, while Mahindra has also promised safety upgrades.

    Results for the Kona and ZR-V were delayed to give the two companies extra time to provide additional safety information from their engineering headquarters in South Korea and Japan.

    “ANCAP will look to publish locally applicable ratings for the Hyundai Kona and Honda ZR-V once the relevant technical evidence has been received and assessed,” an ANCAP spokesperson told CarExpert.

    However, neither company is likely to have anything to add to the testing in Europe to change the score for Australia.

    ANCAP has again clarified the system which provides the vast majority of its star ratings based on physical testing by Euro NCAP.

    “As with all vehicles tested in Europe which become available in the Australian and/or New Zealand markets, ANCAP receives the test results from Euro NCAP and evaluation of these results relevant to the specification of vehicles supplied to our local market is undertaken by ANCAP engineers,” it said.

    “Test results are compared with additional detailed technical evidence sought from vehicle manufacturers for Australian and New Zealand-specified vehicles, along with supplementary vehicle-based assessments (child restraint installation and speed limit information function) which are conducted by ANCAP engineers on locally-specified vehicles in Australia.”

    It said it is still waiting for clarification of the exact specifications of the Kona and ZR-V sold in Australia.

    “Despite ANCAP working very closely with Hyundai and Honda . . . in the lead-up to publication of the Kona and ZR-V ratings for the European market, unfortunately both Hyundai and Honda were not able to confirm . . . that the safety specification and performance of AUS/NZ vehicles was equivalent to the respective vehicles tested by Euro NCAP.

    “This is a significant and critical part of the detailed work undertaken by ANCAP for each rating derived from European testing – where we must ensure, through an evaluation of additional test results, crash simulations, technical drawings, data etc. – that the safety performance of the vehicles tested by Euro NCAP are applicable to locally-supplied vehicles sold to Australian and New Zealand consumers.”

    “ANCAP will look to publish locally applicable ratings for the Hyundai Kona and Honda ZR-V once the relevant technical evidence has been received and assessed.”

    Paul Gover

    Paul Gover is one of the most experienced and respected motoring journalists in Australia. After more than 40 years on the automotive beat there is nothing he has not done, yet he still brings the enthusiasm of a rookie. He has worked in print, digital, radio, television and for every major publisher in the country. He is also a national motor racing champion and once co-drove with Peter Brock at Bathurst.

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