THE FIRST COMMERCIAL vehicle to offer six airbags as standard across the range, the 2010 Holden VE Commodore Ute has been awarded a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating.
Already fitted with front and front-side airbags, the addition of curtain airbags means that Holden's entire locally manufactured vehicle range now carries the top ANCAP score.
Holden Vehicle Structure and Safety Integration Manager Steve Curtis said that ensuring the Ute met the same safety standards as the rest of the VE range has been a top priority.
?Our efforts have produced the only light commercial vehicle in Australia to offer 5-Star safety as standard across the range," Mr Curtis said.
?This endorsement from ANCAP is a very clear indication that we are on the right path of continual improvement.?
The 2009 Holden Commodore Ute was awarded a 4-Star safety rating in its previous round of ANCAP crash testing, thanks to its Electronic Stability Control system which includes traction control, anti-lock braking, electronic brake-force distribution and electronic brake assist.
The 2010 Ute has also been fitted with a passenger seatbelt warning and a steering column shroud energy absorber designed to reduce knee injuries in the event of a front collision.
The 2010 Holden Commodore sedan, Statesman and Caprice range was awarded a 5-Star ANCAP rating in August. With the Ute joining the list, the entire Commodore range has become one of the safest big car buys in Australia.
?The 5-Star result reflects our rigorous approach to all aspects of vehicle safety,? Holden Chairman and Managing Director Alan Batey said.
Certainly, the addition of curtain airbags to the VE Ute range throws down the gauntlet to other manufacturers and importers for improved occupant safety in the light commercial vehicle market.
Work vehicles have traditionally lagged behind passenger car sectors for occupant safety. That may now be changing with ANCAP's increased high-profile attention to the sector, making life uncomfortable for poor performers.
According to Holden, "safety features are not something that should be limited to vehicle types or models"; most buyers, you would think, would agree.