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UPDATE: A live demonstration of a side impact crash test was carried out by MIROS on a Honda Civic at the event. You can catch the video here.

The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) released the results of the first phase of the ASEAN New Car Assessment Programme (ASEAN NCAP) at an open day held at its PC3 lab in Ayer Molek, Melaka yesterday. Eight car models were subjected to an offset frontal collision test at a closing speed of 64 km/h, yielding the following safety ratings:

  • Ford Fiesta LX Ti-VCT Auto sedan built 2012, MY 2011 – Adult: 5 stars, Child: 66%, Airbags: 7
  • Honda City Grade S built 2012, MY 2012 – Adult: 5 stars, Child: 81%, Airbags: 2
  • Toyota Vios 1.5J MT built 2012, MY 2012 – Adult: 4 stars, Child: 48%, Airbags: 2
  • Nissan March E MT built 2012, MY 2012 – Adult: 4 stars, Child: 48%, Airbags: 1
  • Proton Saga FLX+ Standard built 2013, MY 2013 – Adult: 3 stars, Child: 58%, Airbags: 2
  • Perodua Myvi SX built 2012, MY 2011 – Adult: 3 stars, Child: 54%, Airbags: 2
  • Hyundai i10 1.1 Epsilon built 2012, MY 2008 – Adult: 2 stars, Child: 48%, Airbags: 2
  • Proton Saga Standard built 2012, MY 2008 – Adult: 1 star, Child: 49%, Airbags: 1

The cars were tested over a period beginning November 15, 2012 and ending January 29, 2013. All of them are built in Malaysia, save for the Ford Fiesta and Nissan March, which are produced in Thailand. To be eligible for a five-star rating, a vehicle must have at least two airbags, electronic stability control and a seatbelt reminder, or it will only qualify for a maximum of four stars. Note that ‘MY’ above denotes the safety package introduction year.

results

No doubt you’re wondering why there are two Proton Sagas in the results list. The one-star car (base-spec, single airbag) was tested in December 2012; the three-star car, which was tested earlier this month, is fitted with the latest safety package that includes twin airbags, which will be standard across the range by February or March, according to Proton. It will be called the FLX+.

A bit about the test conditions – it’s based on the 40% overlap front impact crash test regulation of the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (ECE: Reg. 94). Two Hybrid III 50th percentile adult male dummies are placed in the front seats, while two P3 and P1.5 (numbers indicate ages in years) child dummies are secured with a Child Restraint System (CRS) in the back seats. The test car then hits a crushable aluminium barrier at 64 km/h and the outcome is analysed.

Click to enlarge

The frontal occupant protection (adult) rating is derived like so: injury levels on body regions are recorded through sensors and accumulated, then a ‘modifier’ is introduced – this takes real-world situations into account and points are deducted accordingly to result in the final score, which then falls within its rating category.

The percentage-based child assessment result is based on the CRS used in the test as well as the injury levels recorded; being defined as “the level of protection for the child occupant by using the stated CRS model in that car with specified (available) CRS attachment method (for instance, ISOFIX, top tether or seatbelt only). It is therefore important that the respective CRS attachment methods and brands used are made known:

  • Honda City (81%) – P3 (ISOFIX and top tether, Britax Duo Plus), P1.5 (ISOFIX, Britax Baby Safe Plus SHR II and Baby Safe ISOFIX base)
  • Ford Fiesta (66%) – P3 (ISOFIX and seatbelt, Britax Duo Plus), P1.5 (ISOFIX, Britax Baby Safe Plus SHR II and Baby Safe ISOFIX base)
  • Proton Saga FLX+ (58%) – P3 (seatbelt and top tether, Britax Duo Plus), P1.5 (seatbelt and top tether, Britax Duo Plus)
  • Perodua Myvi (54%) – P3 (seatbelt, Britax Duo Plus), P1.5 (seatbelt, Britax Baby Safe Plus SHR II)
  • Proton Saga (49%) – P3 (seatbelt, Britax Duo Plus), P1.5 (seatbelt, Britax Duo Plus)
  • Hyundai i10 (48%) – P3 (seatbelt, Britax Duo Plus), P1.5 (seatbelt, Britax Baby Safe Plus SHR II)
  • Nissan March (48%) – P3 (seatbelt, Britax Duo Plus), P1.5 (seatbelt, Britax Baby Safe Plus SHR II)
  • Toyota Vios (48%) – P3 (seatbelt, Britax Duo Plus), P1.5 (seatbelt, Britax Baby Safe Plus SHR II)

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MIROS is keen to point out that where the collision tests are concerned, the damage to the dummies (and the correlating injuries sustained by occupants) is more important than the damage to the car. So, a car which looks on the surface to be heavily deformed after the crash may not necessarily receive a low safety rating – in fact the opposite can be true, especially when one considers crumple zones and other impact-absorbing structures.

The second phase of ASEAN NCAP will involve side impact testing as per ECE: Reg. 95, and is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2013, with sponsored tests allowed.

A step in the right direction towards safer cars for the ASEAN region then, it seems. Accordingly, the event also saw the MIROS PC3 lab being awarded the title of “First Full-Scale Crash Test Laboratory” by the Malaysia Book of Records.

At the time of writing, video clips and high-res images of the crash tests have not yet been released by MIROS, but we’re told video clips at the point of impact should be made available in time. At this juncture, I’d like to apologise for the lack of a picture of the Fiesta’s interior – out of all the cars there I just had to miss this one; it is much regretted.

 

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