A number of vehicles were listed with the lowest safety ratings in the world. And they are legally not allowed to drive in most countries.Due to South Africa's lax laws, however, there are no regulations in place to prevent these cars from being driven in our country.This has allowed manufacturers to dump their stock of below standard stock here in South Africa to be sold off to unknowing customers.One of the most dangerous cars on the road at the moment is, in fact, the Datsun Go, which you can pick up at your local dealer today for around R125 900 or around R1 499 per month. Perfect student car right? Well not exactly.This car has a 0 safety rating according to the Euro NCAP Tests. But what exactly does this mean?
We took a look at the various videos of the simulated crash test and it is petrifying.The Go has been the target of watchdogs all over the world, who have been trying to get them removed from production lines. But the manufacturers stubbornly keep churning them out. And the South African government is simply not phased that this is a literal death trap on wheels! The fact that most Go's were sold without an airbag speaks volumes for the concern for driver safety by the government. Interesting that, since they keep increasing fines and eTolls claiming to want the roads to be safer.Apart from South Africa, the Go is also sold in India, Russia and Indonesia. It is banned in all other countries! A quick look at their website also simply reinforces the sheer lack of responsibility taken by the manufacturer.
"In today’s day and age, questioning a car’s safety rating ranks high during the purchase cycle, however, studies have shown that almost all road accidents are a direct result of poor car maintenance, driving skills, as well as unfavourable road and weather conditions. Therefore, your car having a high NCAP rating is favourable, but this only takes into account how a vehicle will fare in a crash test situation."
We couldn't believe it either!In fact, the patronising website continues to brag that the cars safety features include seats that keep you awake, simply because they are so uncomfortable; non-ABS brakes that allow you to stop from 100km/hr in 33 m; lights (nothing more to say here really); and suspension for potholes. Thank you Datsun, we can't wait to hop behind the wheel of your deathtrap!
We had a look at various other cars that were listed, and checked them on the Euro NCAP site. Interestingly, Datsun isn't featured at all. Neither is Chery and Tata. The Tata Indica is another example that is being sold in South Africa that has scored a whopping 0 points out of 135. Initially sold without airbags and ABS, EBD and basically all technology to protect human life, the car is simply unroadworthy in other countries. The brands have, over the last few years, been taking steps toward safety, however, it is still not enough to pass the tests throughout Europe, Australia and the US.The AA has been attempting to create a standard in South Africa for the last few years, however, the industry is still hugely unregulated.Do you need to check where your car ranks?