Latin America’s top-selling cars found unsafe image

Some of Latin America’s best-selling cars pose high risks of life-threatening injuries and are two decades behind the best safety standards in Europe and North America, according to data released by a safety assessment agency.

Uruguay-based Latin New Car Assessment Program (LNCAP) crash tested cars produced by four automakers in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico and revealed they are unsafe to drive. “The frontal impact tests carried out at 40 mph (64kph) reveal that poor structural integrity and the absence of airbags are putting the lives of Latin American motorists at risk,” read the LNCAP statement.

The models tested were Chevrolet’s Celta, Corsa Classic and Cruz; Fiat’s Novo Uno; Ford’s Focus hatchback and Ka; and Nissan’s March and Tiida hatchback. According to the assessment program, vehicles tested “show that today’s best selling cars in Latin America are providing levels of safety twenty years behind the ‘five star’ standards now common in Europe and North America.” The organizaton concluded that „unfortunately in Latin America ‘one star’ cars still dominate the market.”

Deaths caused by car accidents are more and more common in countries where auto use has increased substantially, says Max Mosley, head of the Global New Car Assessment Program. “We are witnessing an unprecedented growth in automobile use in emerging markets like Brazil, China and India. Yet it is precisely in these countries where we face a growing death toll on the roads,” Mosley said in a statement.