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Mike Stevens | Oct, 12 2012 | 0 Comments

A missing piece of safety technology has seen the Isuzu D-Max and variants in Holden's Colorado range miss out on a top five-star rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

The 4-Star rating handed down this week - affecting D-Max crew-cab, along with single- and space-cab bodystyles in the Colorado range - is the result of the carmakers fitting only single pretensioners.

And while the D-Max offers seatbelt reminders for driver and front passenger, the Colorado single- and space-cab styles offer only a driver's side seatbelt reminder.

Colorado Crew-cab variants are fitted with dual pretensioners and a seatbelt reminder for both seats - a difference that results in a 5-Star rating.

ANCAP Chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said that the lower specification increases the risk of serious chest injury in a frontal offset crash.

In models fitted with dual pretensioners, the risk of chest injury is rated as 'acceptable'.

While the safety specifications and 4-Star ratings mark an improvement over outgoing models in both ranges, the score could put a dent in fleet sales for both brands.

Many major fleet buyers, including mining company BHP Billiton, have established policies of only purchasing 5-Star vehicles.

Holden and Isuzu are not alone however, with Toyota's Hilux, Mitsubishi's Triton and Nissan's Navara - all 4-Star cars - in a similar position.

Toyota has confirmed it will upgrade its Hilux range over the next year to achieve a 5-Star rating.

Isuzu Ute Australia has also confirmed this week that it is reviewing the results of the ANCAP tests and it is working to achieve a 5-Star rating.

"[Isuzu Ute Australia] will release further information regarding the timing of their endeavour to achieve a five-star ANCAP rating for the D-MAX shortly," the company said in a statement today.

"The D-MAX received 83 per cent in the adult occupant category, scoring maximum points for the protection it provides in the side-barrier test, thanks to its new chassis. Euro NCAP also praised the front and rear head restraints for providing good protection against whiplash injuries in a rear-end collision."

For now, however, fleets needing a wider range of bodystyles to choose from may look to the Ford Ranger (except for the 4x2 single-cab, which goes without side curtain airbags), Mazda BT-50 and Volkswagen Amarok.

 
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