You know those stickers that say ‘no airbags, we die like real men’? Well, it’s going to be a horrible death should you be in a car that lacks this safety feature, which is mandatory in Western markets.
Latin America is one of the few places where legislation doesn’t force automakers to equip the base models with airbags. Thus, Latin NCAP set out to crash-test yet another vehicle that’s poorly equipped: the Mitsubishi L200, and unsurprisingly, it achieved zero stars for Adult Occupant and only two for Child Occupant protection.
“The L200 result is appalling, especially for a Japanese car manufacturer brand leader like Mitsubishi”, said Latin NCAP Secretary General, Alejandro Furas. “It is a great disappointment for Latin NCAP and Latin American consumers and calls into question the car makers ethics when it comes to Latin American consumers. The L200 in markets like Europe offers 7 airbags and ESC as standard among other safety features.”
The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) for Latin America and the Caribbean also condemned the misleading statement obtained from a salesman, who told a mystery shopper that “airbags are not needed [in the L200] as the structure is robust”.
In response to the disastrous result, Mitsubishi committed to increase the standard equipment of the popular pickup truck in Latin America, from February 2020, adding two front airbags and seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters. However, Latin NCAP expects it to obtain only 2 stars with the extra gear, as it will still lack side head protection, pedestrian protection and ESC.
During the same session, Latin NCAP also tested the Chevrolet Onix, which obtained a maximum five star safety rating for Adult and Child Occupant protection.