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It’s really sad to see that the safety standards in the automotive industry are vastly different depending on the market and region. North America, Europe, and Asia have strict laws defining what level of protection a new vehicle must provide but the situation is different in markets around Latin America and Africa, for example. The latest results from the Latin NCAP test program show a model that is currently sold in the region barely providing minimal protection in an event of a crash.

The New Car Assessment Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean recently evaluated the Honda WR-V, a subcompact crossover produced in Brazil. The small five-seat vehicle comes as standard with two frontal airbags and an electronic stability system, though this is by far not enough for it to gain more than just one star in the crash test. And this awful rating doesn’t come only as a result of its standard equipment, but also due to its terrible protection in an event of a crash.

Gallery: Latin NCAP crash-test (September 2022)

The Latin NCAP tested the WR-V in a frontal impact, side impact, whiplash, and pedestrian protection. The best result it got was just 58.82 percent in pedestrian protection, while adult occupant protection and vulnerable road users protection were in the 40-percent range. Not only that but the Latin NCAP points out that the seatbelts of the crossover don’t meet the organization’s requirements, while the lack of side curtain airbags means the protection in a side impact crash is minimal.

The Latin NCAP also tested the Volkswagen Nivus and the German crossover got the highest five-star rating from the safety organization. The standard safety equipment of the Brazil-made Nivus includes six airbags and ESC, while at least 50 percent of the customers also opt for the autonomous emergency braking system. The Latin NCAP says all tested safety systems performed well during the test.

“Consumers should be pleased to find more popular models reaching 5 stars,” Latin NCAP’s secretary general, Alejandor Furas, comments. “It surprises Latin NCAP to find such differences between the Nivus and WR-V, which are competitors in the same segment, as the Honda just scored one star mainly due to lack of safety equipment. Latin NCAP strongly encourages Honda to improve the WR-V and soon bring again five-star models to the region as the last time it happened was back in 2015”.

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