The latest round of EuroNCAP crash-test scores make alarming reading for both Nissan and Isuzu - and anyone who has bought one of their pickup trucks.
EuroNCAP has tested pickup trucks for the first time, in response to their increasing popularity as family vehicles, and the performance of both the Nissan Navara and Isuzu Rodeo has raised serious concerns about their safety.The Isuzu Rodeo scored just two stars for the protection of adult occupants - with the second star "struck through" to indicate an "unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury."
The Nissan Navara did even worse, scoring just a single struck-through star for adult occupant protection - the worst performance since the Rover 100 was tested in 1997. During the standard frontal impact test, an offset strike against a deformable barrier at 40mph, the Navara's chassis rail collapsed and the accelerator pedal moved backwards nearly 200mm.
In addition, the airbags and seatbelt pretensioners were fired late, increasing the risk of occupant injury. Nissan has been quick to reassure Navara owners that the airbag problems highlighted have been rectified on more recent vehicles, and revised software will be installed on any Navara produced since 2005 by a Nissan dealer, although this won't answer the structural problems. Nissan says a truck with revised airbags has been submitted for testing and the results will be published soon.
Mitsubishi proved that it is possible to build safe pickup trucks, with the L200 scoring four stars for adult occupant protection. Results were also issued for other cars. The Citroen C5 was the only car to score the full five stars for adult occupant protection, with the Suzuki Splash, Renault Kangoo, BMW X3 and Daihatsu Terios all scoring four stars.