The China New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP) will be made more stringent, according to a report by Asia Pulse website. The new standards for C-NCAP, which awards new vehicles one to five stars, will take effect on July 2012.

The new standards by China’s Automotive Technology and Research Center are offset frontal crash tests at speeds of 64 km/h (40 mph), an upgrade from the current 56 km/h (35 mph). By the way, 40 mph is the same frontal impact speed used by Euro NCAP, so the didn’t make their own rules. The center is also adding an optional test for whiplash.

This is a good move on the part of the Chinese authorities, more so when only half a dozen of homegrown products have scored five stars under the current standards. The new standards will be like throwing them into the deep end of the pool, an effective way to teach and learn. Models developed by international automakers generally have less trouble scoring full stars.