Speaking to the media at the local launch of the 2014 Megane range, Renault Australia MD Justin Hocevar defended the safety credentials of the Megane, saying that it was an unusual situation for a model near the end of its lifespan to be re-tested under different - and far more stringent rules.
“That’s a safety rating that’s come from Euro-NCAP for a vehicle that was released in 2008 and first tested as a five-star vehicle," he said.
“When tested again from an occupant protection point of view and a pedestrian protection point of view, it’d be a five-star car. But we know the testing regime now is significantly different from what it was back in 2008 and therefore the score was harsh in Europe.
"But it’s fair to say that at least one of the technicalities is being corrected very quickly," he continued, referring to the text-only rear seatbelt warning that is currently only available in English, and which saw the Megane downgraded from four stars to just three.
As for whether the facelifted Megane would be retested locally by ANCAP, Hocevar said that it was unlikely.
"No, not to our knowledge. I don’t think it’s ever been tested in Australia, it’s just been an interpretation of data (from the European tests)," he said.
"The vehicle has excellent safety credentials. When it was scored a five-star vehicle, it was a 37-out-of-37 test result.
"We haven’t had any advice from ANCAP on whether that safety rating [will change], and as it stands today they still classify the Megane as a five-star vehicle."
The updated Renault Megane hatch and wagon range officially goes on sale this Thursday, with full specifications (and TMR's first drive) to be released then.
MORE: Renault News and Reviews