It is concerning to see such high selling models perform so poorly in crash tests.
The Latin New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) for South American countries has just tested the Nissan Micra (known in America as March) and the results are worse than the previous years. While the NCAP is getting stricter with every passing year but there are many cars which haven’t really got any major updates in terms of safety.
This year, the Nissan Micra was made to undergo frontal and lateral-impact tests. In the frontal-impact test, the Micra allowed more than the permitted level of collision force to seep to the passengers even after getting dual-front airbags. This is largely because of its weak body-shell. In the lateral-impact test, the passenger chest did receive marginal protection but considerable damage was still done. The Nissan Micra does not offer ISOFIX for child anchorage during a crash. This means the child had to be kept in place using the adult seat-belts which didn’t help too much.
The driver’s knees get some protection but Latin NCAP observed dangerous structures in the area of the board against which they could impact. The passenger’s knees too are offered marginal and weak protection for the same reasons. The lack of seatbelt reminders too is a negative in the NCAP safety test.
All the above has resulted in the Nissan Micra scoring one star in adult protection and two stars in child protection. The Micra, as it is a budget hatchback, doesn’t get systems like the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and autonomous driving. While one can argue that with more number of vehicles plying on the roads, these systems become important, one should also keep in mind that they don’t come cheap. Putting these systems in such cars will go against their affordability factor.
This is where the Government comes in. If the National Governments decide to provide the companies with cost and tax incentives for fitting their cars with safety systems, it will be a win-win for the company as well as the customers. NCAP scores the cars for the simplest to the most complex of safety systems and changing times should bring better technology to the cars.
Nissan Micra Latin NCAP
– The car scored one star in adult protection and two stars in child protection
– It lacks structural stability and seat belt reminders
– The Micra is manufactured in Mexico and Brazil and is a high seller in South America