ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

Nissan 'Hardbody' and other SA carmakers accused of cutting corners on safety

There is a strong need to bring transparency to vehicle safety in South Africa, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

It's been revealed that most vehicle manufacturers apparently take shortcuts in SA when it comes to car safety features, especially budget cars.

Nissan South Africa is one such manufacturer.

This is according to results of a crash test conducted in Germany two months ago by renowned car safety organisation Global NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme).

Read: Buying a car for a first-time driver? Expert advice from motoring gurus

The Nissan NP300 “Hardbody” bakkie collapsed in a crash test and scored a zero safety rating for adults and two stars for children.

The Hyundai i20, Kia Picanto and Toyota Yaris were also tested. Only the Kia Picanto was found to have a stable body shell.

Nissan South Africa responded claiming that cars meet or exceed regulations in all countries in which they are sold.

Also read: Buying on a budget? Safety features aren't up to scratch on cheap cars, says AA

Knowler says the minimum legal requirements around safety equipment in SA are low, and so is consumer awareness.

As a result, most manufacturers choose not to equip their “cheaper” vehicles with an anti-skid safety feature known as electronic stability control (ESC).

The ESC is said to be as important as a seatbelt.

Read more: 5 key lessons after a dealership paid a CT woman for her dud car - five years on

Meanwhile, South Africa has one of the highest car-accident fatality rates in the world, with more than 14 000 people were killed on our roads last year.

At the same time, the Automobile Association (AA) says vehicle safety is as important as driver behaviour.

AA spokesperson Layton Beard says consumers should boycott unsafe vehicles and lobby government for stricter safety standards and greater transparency.

Beard adds that consumers should equip themselves with more knowledge and safety awareness.

Most of the budget cars sold in South Africa could not be sold in Europe the US, Australia or Japan because they have too few airbags and lack electronic stability control (ESC), an anti-skid safety feature which is said to have saved as many lives as the seatbelt.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

We don't ask if the car has ESC, because most of us don't know what that is.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

We have low regulation in this country and we have low awareness from the motoring public, so they get away with it.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

The reality is that we [South Africans] are paying more for less safety.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

Being a good driver is important, obeying the rules of the road is important, wearing your seatbelt is important, but being in a safe car is as important as all of those other factors.

Layton Beard, Automobile Association spokesperson

Listen to the entire ConsumerTalk discussion during The Pippa Hudson Show:

Every Wednesday, on The Pippa Hudson Show, Wendy Knowler provides useful insights and tips on how to make the most of your buying power.

For more stories visit the ConsumerTalk feature page.

Got a consumer case you need help resolving?

Email: consumer@knowler.co.za, put Cape Talk in the subject line, followed by the issue e.g. cellphone contract dispute.

Image: Nissan website.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
5 key lessons after a dealership paid a CT woman for her dud car - five years on

5 key lessons after a dealership paid a CT woman for her dud car - five years on

Brodie bought a brand new double cab bakkie in 2013 to use for her business, but soon discovered that the vehicle was faulty.

Why it's not easy getting a refund or replacement after buying a dud car

Why it's not easy getting a refund or replacement after buying a dud car

Motor Industry Ombud Johan Van Vreden says the component of the car must first be replaced if it's defective, not the whole car.

Buying a car for a first-time driver? Expert advice from motoring gurus

Buying a car for a first-time driver? Expert advice from motoring gurus

Gumtree Auto ZA's Jeff Osborne and Cars.co.za's Ciro De Siena offer their expert tips when buying a budget car for a newbie.

Buying on a budget? Safety features aren't up to scratch on cheap cars, says AA

Buying on a budget? Safety features aren't up to scratch on cheap cars, says AA

The Automobile Association's report has revealed the worrying relationship between price and safety on entry-level vehicles in SA.

Check safety features when buying a car warns AA

Check safety features when buying a car warns AA

A study by the AA reveals that 6 out of 23 entry level cars, under R150 000 price range, have few or no safety features.

Popular articles
The movie 'Widows' beautifully links the politics of crime - Gayle Edmunds

The movie 'Widows' beautifully links the politics of crime - Gayle Edmunds

In the movie review, film critic Gayle Edmunds shares her views of Steven McQueen's 2018 heist film 'Widows'.

[LISTEN] Beware of the 'money bomb' scam this festive season!

[LISTEN] Beware of the 'money bomb' scam this festive season!

CEO of SA Banking Risk Information Center, Kalyani Pillay chats about the new festive season scam that's robbing people blind.

Motorist who killed two goslings has been identified

Motorist who killed two goslings has been identified

According to the SPCA, he will be charged with contravention of the Animal Protection Act.

Gift of the Givers' Dr Imtiaz Sooliman – angel amongst men – talks about money

Gift of the Givers' Dr Imtiaz Sooliman – angel amongst men – talks about money

"I have no desire for clothes. I have no desire for holidays. I have no desire for outings. All I see is the suffering of people…"

[LISTEN] Bee farmer describes tens of thousands of bees dead in Constantia

[LISTEN] Bee farmer describes tens of thousands of bees dead in Constantia

Bee farmer Brendan appeals to other beekeepers to check their bees and collect samples if they have witnessed any deaths.

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Residents are urged to take note of the schedules as Stage 1 load s​hedding remains a possibility.

[LISTEN] 'I won a car but I'm too young to drive!' - Paxton on life after Idols

[LISTEN] 'I won a car but I'm too young to drive!' - Paxton on life after Idols

Idols winner Paxton Fielies chats to Sara-Jayne King about her debut album, This Is Me.