There would be few new car purchasers who don?t consider occupant safety when buying their next vehicle. The positive marketing effect of a high crash rating score has seen manufacturers strive to improve their products over recent years, to the point where manufacturers such as Peugeot, Citroen and others now market small cars with 5 star Euro NCAP safety ratings ? which is as good as it gets.
It comes as somewhat of a surprise then that a vehicle the size of Nissan?s D40 Navara has managed to comprehensively flunk its recent Euro NCAP test, managing to achieve just one star for adult occupant strike through, three for children and two out of four for pedestrians.
The main reason for the failure according to testers was that the Navara?s airbag system deployed too late and resulted in ?an unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury? to adults in the vehicle.
Nissan say that they have already acted and resolved the problem by modifying the Navara?s software and indeed, it appears that only Navara?s manufactured between May and December 2007 are affected.
It is believed that Nissan will be contacting owners of the faulty Navaras to arrange for the problem to be rectified. Nissan have retested the Navara and will provide details of the results in the near future.
Other dual-cab utes to undergo the Euro-NCAP testing were the Isuzu D-MAX/Rodeo (Holden Rodeo) and the Mitsubishi L200 (Triton). The Rodeo also achieved a poor score of just two stars in the adult occupant strike through rating, while the Triton managed a very respectable four stars.
All of the vehicles tested achieved poor child protection and pedestrian safety scores, indicating that there is still plenty of work to be done by manufacturers to improve occupant safety in this type of vehicle.