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NCAP Takes Stars – Hyundai HB20 hasn’t proven to be so safe

Security test audit. This is not another boring report from an OHS employee. This time it is the control of a branch of the international organization NCAP, i.e. Latin NCAP. This is the South American equivalent of Euro NCAP. A car that is very popular in Brazil – the Hyundai HB20 was taken under the microscope.

Even last year, the car was classified very high. It received an impressive four stars in the safety test (adult protection) and three stars for child protection. It would seem that it is really a lot for a relatively small, popular car (the model is similar in dimensions to the Hyundai i20 offered in Europe). Meanwhile, the car fared so badly in the new test that the rating was reduced to just one star for adult protection.

Latin NCAP experts were disappointed. There was even mention of treating Brazilians as second-class citizens. All because of the poor side impact test results. It is significant that no differences were found in the construction of both cars. Although the deformation of the body structure itself looks similar, “different delay impulse” and “different behavior of the inner door panel” were noted. This was considered a deviation that should not have happened, as it also affects a rather sensitive place – the driver’s chest.

After the test, the organization asked the Korean manufacturer (the car is built on site in Brazil) for comments. It didn’t take long for a reply. In one of the largest Brazilian dailies, Hyundai limited itself to a rather laconic message stating that no changes were made to the car’s production process and specifications, which could justify such extreme differences between the two tests carried out in less than a year.

It remains an open question how customers will react. Hyundai has a fairly strong local rival, the Chevrolet Onix, which received five stars in crash tests (Chevrolet uses, among other things, much more airbags than Hyundai). I wonder if the test audit will not also cover Chevrolet.

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