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Pick-ups do poorly in latest Euro NCAP tests

Tue, 26 Feb 2008

By Mark Nichol

Motor Industry

26 February 2008 11:54

Euro NCAP released its latest crash test results today, and it’s bad news for pick-up drivers. Only three picks-ups were tested, but they achieved some appalling results, with the Nissan Navara registering just one star for adult crash protection.

Pick-up registrations increased by 7.2 percent in Europe last year and are increasingly being used as family transport. The scores are listed in full below, but most worrying is the ‘strikethrough’ rating acquired by the Nissan and the Isuzu for adult occupant protection, meaning they pose an unacceptably high risk of fatal injury in a collision. 

And although the Mitsubishi L200 fared better for adult protection, along with the Isuzu it scored only one star for pedestrian protection of a maximum five.

Secretary General of Euro NCAP Dr Michiel van Ratingen said: ‘Testing these vehicles becomes imperative when we realise they are no longer simply being used for the carriage of goods. Manufacturers must realise we will test all cars that could have an impact on the safety of European cutomers’.

The proliferation of pick-up trucks as daily transport has prompted manufacturers to trade on the practicality, comfort and car-like driving qualities of vehicles that were once the exclusive tool of the trade industry. However, it seems corners are being cut where safety is concerned.

In response, Nissan has announced it has already adjusted the airbag software on all Navaras built since mid-December, and all owners can have the fix carried out at a dealer. But until the next (and hopefully much improved) generation of pick-ups comes around, it seems bigger isn’t always better. 

By Mark Nichol