F.A.Q

1How ASEAN NCAP can help in making the decision to buy a car?

Since safety standards may vary in different parts of the world, there is a need to evaluate cars’ occupant protection based on NCAP requirement in the region. Though a car model had been evaluated in other NCAP program in the world and scored a good rating, it will not necessarily mean that the car will perform as good in ASEAN NCAP due to the manufacturing origin and quality. Some car models are developed with minimum safety specifications for certain market due to less demand on best safety performance.

2Will a large car and a small car perform the same in a collision if both scored the same stars in ASEAN NCAP?

Large and small car results cannot be taken as an apple-to-apple comparison. This is because the frontal offset test simulates a collision with another car of similar mass and in the same category, in which the mass is in the range of ±150kg (recommended range for comparison) and the height is about the same. In fact, the occupants of the heavier car or the car with higher structure tend to fare better than the occupants in lighter and lower car. On another note, it is not possible to simulate the influence of mass in a test against a fixed barrier.

3What is the purpose of NCAP in ASEAN since each country has set standards for cars before they are allowed to enter the market?

Standards set by each country can be considered as “minimum” requirement in order for cars to be sold in the market. It is true that this “minimum” is not cast in stone but the progress to uplift the legislation standard is rather slow as compared to NCAP requirement which is the best possible current practice. Those cars that are granted to enter the market might be “roadworthy” but not necessarily be “crashworthy” enough. Roadworthy means a car is fit to be used on the open road while crashworthy means how a car perform in the event of road crash to protect the occupant(s). In fact, crashworthiness criteria set in certain countries’ legislation is inferior as compared to NCAP requirement. For information, Malaysia has adopted and enforced car manufacturers to comply with UNECE regulation for frontal collision system (Regulation No. 94; R94).

4What is the difference between ASEAN NCAP frontal test and UNECE regulation frontal test (R94)?

Both tests are conducted in almost identical configuration i.e. the car will be crashed onto a crushable aluminum barrier in an offset position to simulate a crash with another car of about the same weight. However, NCAP test is more severe since the closing speed upon impact is 64 km/h as compared to UNECE R94 at 56 km/h. This will also mean the level of injuries assessed in NCAP is of a higher level than in UNECE R94. There are also some other differences such as the test requirements and the equipment used in these two tests. For example, both tests have different interpretation with regard to rescuing the car occupants in real-world situations.

5I read somewhere that 5-star requirement in ASEAN NCAP includes fitment of ESC and SBR technology? How do I differentiate 5-star cars that do not have those installed from solid 4-star cars?

ASEAN NCAP sets a pre-requisite for cars to be awarded the best possible rating in Adult Occupant Protection (AOP). Only cars fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) (or similar system that comes with a different name coined by the manufacturers) and Seatbelt Reminder (SBR) will be considered to be awarded 5-star given that they perform well in the 5-star range. Cars that scored in the 5-star range but missing either ESC or SBR, or both, will be relegated to 4-star. In other words, a 4-star car that has points in the 5-star range performs better in crash test compared to cars in 4-star range. The reason behind this is to encourage manufacturers to installed this active safety features (safety assist) that primarily mitigate the risk of road accident (ESC) and reminding users to wear seatbelt (SBR).

6Why do we need another NCAP in ASEAN since most cars are tested in other NCAP programs around the world?

Since safety standards may vary in different parts of the world, there is a need to evaluate cars’ occupant protection based on NCAP requirement in the region. Though a car model had been evaluated in other NCAP program in the world and scored a good rating, it will not necessarily mean that the car will perform as good in ASEAN NCAP due to the manufacturing origin and quality. Some car models are developed with minimum safety specifications for certain market due to less demand on best safety performance.