ANCAP’s zero star report for the Mitsubishi Express

Mitsubishi Express zero star car crash

At the start of the month, it was announced that the Mitsubishi Express scored a zero-star safety rating from ANCAP. ANCAP is the Australasian New Car Assessment Program that specialises in the crash testing of vehicles sold in Australia. The Mitsubishi Express is the first vehicle to receive a zero-star rating in 28 years.

The ANCAP assessment revealed that the van lacked up-to-date crash avoidance technology while also posing a risk of injury to drivers and passengers. Below we dive into what ANCAPs safety assessments are, how the Mitsubishi Express scored zero stars and what happens now.

What are the ANCAP crash tests?

ANCAP was established in 1993 to create a star-rating safety guide to measure new vehicles entering the Australia automotive market. Since being founded, ANCAP has conducted thousands of tests and published safety data on over 700 vehicles.

The safety rating is based on a series of internationally recognised, independent crash test and safety assessments. These tests are updated every two years to encourage the incorporation of the newest safety features and technologies.

How do ANCAP calculate a safety rating?

Since 2018, ANCAP evaluates vehicles against four criteria:

  1. Adult Occupant Protection
  2. Child Occupant Protection
  3. Vulnerable Road User Protection
  4. Safety Assist

The physical crash test simulates the most common crashes, such as frontal impact, side-impact, run-off-road, rear-end, and pedestrian strikes. There are seven physical crash tests:

  • Frontal offset test (simulating a head-on crash with another vehicle travelling at the same speed),
  • Full-width frontal test (a head-on crash with a car travelling at the same speed),
  • Side impact test (simulating a T-Bone collision),
  • Far-side impact tests (replicating a collision with the vehicle, opposite the driver),
  • Pedestrian protection (pedestrian collision with a vehicle),
  • Oblique pole test (replicates a vehicle colliding with a tree or pole), and
  • Whiplash test (head and neck injuries from a rear impact).

The performance test of current active safety systems assesses the effectiveness of safety assist technologies. The tests include:

  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) tests (use camera, radar or lidar technology to automatically brake),
  • Automatic emergency steer (AES) tests (steering into an adjacent lane to avoid a crash),
  • Lane support system (LSS) tests (lane departure warning and lane-keep assist),
  • Speed assistance system (SAS) test (manual speed limiters and speed sign recognition), and
  • Driver monitoring systems (monitoring driver impairment, fatigue and driver distraction).

After conducting the ANCAP tests, the vehicles are given a rating out of five. A vehicle’s overall star rating is determined by its weakest score from the series of tests.

How did the Mitsubishi Express receive a zero-star rating?

The Mitsubishi Express was tested by ANCAP between October 2020 and January 2021. The report released by ANCAP provided that the Express recorded a 55% rating on adult occupant protection. For context, the current Toyota Hiace (tested in 2019) earned a 94% rating for this criteria. Under the protection of vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists), the Express is ‘below-par,’ scoring 40%. The lowest scoring criteria was the modern safety systems; here, the Express scored 7% as many new features were absent from the model.

As the Mitsubishi Express scored a 7% in the safety features category, the vehicle could only receive a zero-star rating. ANCAP has said the poor rating will “send a clear signal to manufacturers and their global parent companies, that safety must be prioritised in all segments offered to the Australasian market.”

What will happen to Mitsubishi Express?

The ANCAP report does not prevent the vehicle from being driven on Australian roads; however, the decision will likely impact its sale in Australia. Often businesses will only purchase five-star rated vehicles for their workforce to limit the likelihood of a crash. Workers spend more time on the road than the average motorist, so vehicle safety is often a priority. As the Express is designed and marketed as a work van, a zero-star rating will likely negatively impact its sales.

Despite the poor safety rating, a representative from Mitsubishi has confirmed that they will continue to sell the van in Australia.

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Posted on April 22, 2021 in Car Buying Tips