Ah, it seems that there are plenty of places where safety levels of cars leave much to be desired, and crash testing is showing them up. Over in Latin America, the latest results released by the Latin NCAP reveal that some popular cars sold in the region have safety levels twenty years below global standards.

The recently concluded Phase III testing revealed two out of the eight cars tested falling well short – the Renault Sandero and the JAC J3 both gained a single star, the Sandero achieving the rating due to the model’s unstable body shell performance and lack of airbags.

Latin NCAP reports that this is a disappointing result from Renault, stating that the company is clearly capable of doing much better, as shown by the other Renault model tested, the four-star Fluence.

Meanwhile, the test saw the JAC 3 also ending up with one star, despite having two airbags. Latin NCAP said that this shows clearly that airbags cannot compensate for poor structural crashworthiness, and that body shell strength in protecting occupants in a crash is of vital importance.

Nonetheless, the results in phase three shows a significant increase in the number of four-star cars, with five models achieving the rating (Ford New Fiesta KD, Honda City, Renault Fluence, Toyota Etios hatchback and the VW Polo hatchback).

The remaining model tested, the Volkswagen Clasico/Bora, scored just three stars, held back by its poor structural integrity. With phase three completed, Latin NCAP has now tested 26 models (full results here), including most of the region’s best selling cars.

Closer to home, the first steps in the ASEAN New Car Assessment Programme (ASEAN NCAP) are underway – a series of frontal offset crash tests at 64 km/h (consistent with the ANCAP test protocol) are due to be carried out under Phase I testing.

Honda Malaysia recently provided a new Honda City for the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) to run a crash test at the purpose-built NCAP crash lab in Malacca. The first crash test recorded a speed of 63.6 km/h, and another City is set to undergo an official ASEAN NCAP crash test in December. The Ford Fiesta, Hyundai i10, Nissan March, Perodua MyVi, Proton Saga and Toyota Vios are also set to be tested in Phase I.