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The ASEAN NCAP has issued a response statement following the admission by national carmaker Proton that it “mistakenly omitted” the top tethers from the current Saga models, and regrets the miscommunication with ASEAN NCAP on the matter.

In the statement, ASEAN NCAP acknowledges the upfront approach by Proton to openly admitting to the omission of the top tether. It also added that the automobile safety-rating program would follow through on Proton’s recovery plan of offering free installation of the top tether to current Saga owners.

Lastly, ASEAN NCAP will increase their engagement level with Proton to ensure that any miscommunication instances like this do not occur in the future. A final, updated decision relating to this matter will be provided during the ASEAN NCAP Child Safety Day on November 11, 2015 at Autoliv Hirotako Sdn. Bhd. in Balakong.

Top tether

Perodua was the first company to respond, assuring its customers that all their vehicles adhered to the safety requirements and conform to the safety ratings awarded by ASEAN NCAP.

As a recap, on October 15, ASEAN NCAP issued a show cause letter to a Malaysian carmaker for removing the top tether fitment in a previously tested vehicle. This was revealed when consumers’ complaints were relayed to ASEAN NCAP.

Proton’s response came shortly after, where it stated that its cars met the regulatory safety standards but on the statement issued by ASEAN NCAP on October 13, it stated it could neither confirm nor deny the matter. Several days later, Proton issued a statement where it admitted to being the carmaker mentioned in the tether-gate issue.

top tether attachment

It explained that, “the top tether was not a regulatory requirement for OEMs to fit in their cars at the point when the car was tested. Although we had complied with safety regulations and other required conditions in the country, we had overlooked in updating ASEAN NCAP on the omission of the top tether from the current Saga models.”

The Saga was initially given a one-star rating in 2012, and was later crash tested again in 2013, this time fitted with an enhanced safety package. The improved Proton Saga received a three-star rating, which has stayed in place until now.

The carmaker also pointed out that the lack of the top tether does not affect the safety of Adult Occupancy Protection (AOP), as it is meant for the installation of child seats that can still be fitted in the car through normal rear seat belt installation.