The RACQ has raised concerns about the safety of a number of imported cars after Australia’s testing authority found some of them scored very poorly in crash tests.

The organisation says some Australians may not realise they are compromising on safety, when they buy cheap imported cars.

Myles Penfold-Smith reports.


In this crash test, the Indian-Made Mahindra Pickup scores just two stars for occupant safety.

ANCAP, the authority on new car testing, says that means there is a high risk of life-threatening head and neck injury in a head on collision.

Nevertheless, cars like this, and the Chinese Geely MK are popular imports because of their budget prices.

Steve Spalding, Executive Manager Vehicle Technologies: “Price is really attractive on these cheaper imported cars. Our concern though is that if the safety is not to the sort of levels that buyers have come to expect in a modern day vehicle, they are putting themselves at risk in a serious crash.”

The RACQ says a vehicle with good occupant protection is essential to improving the chances of survival in a crash.

The organisation also says buyers are willing to overlook safety issues if they get a cheap car.

But the ANCAP testing also showed there needn’t be a compromise of safety for price, as long as the vehicle is well designed, has a good number of features and is well constructed, there’s no reason it can’t achieve a good safety rating.

The Holden Barina is evidence of this.

It scored especially well, with a top rating of five stars in occupant safety.

Steve Spalding, Executive Manager Vehicle Technologies: “If a vehicle performs well then quite rightly it should be acknowledged as a good performer and the manufacturer should be proud of that result.”

Other new cars that performed well in the ANCAP tests were the Nissan Micra, the Citreon Berlingo and the Renault Kango.

Myles Penfold-Smith, QUT News.