JUST four stars ANCAP rating for Hyundai’s new Tucson range? Impossible.
The rating was a come down for Hyundai as the Tucson achieved a lower crash-test score than the ix35 it replaced.
Official testing revealed compromised structural integrity of the driver footwell, along with excessive movement in the brake pedal.
The rating applied to the 2.0-litre front-drive variants sourced from South Korea which went on sale in August, and came in spite of a five-star rating already given by European NCAP, along with a maximum safety score in the United States.
Hyundai reacted swiftly to ANCAP’s findings last November, sending a team of engineers to Australia to investigate.
“A team of engineers from (Hyundai’s) R&D centre, based at Namyang, South Korea, flew to Australia in mid-September to examine the vehicle shortly after the original test,” a statement from Hyundai Australia said. “A redesign was validated and put into production by mid-November.”
Following the redesign, the Tucson was on Monday awarded a maximum five-star rating by ANCAP, matching cohorts such as the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V. ANCAP has confirmed that models released ahead of the remedy will retain a four-star rating, or will remain unrated depending on country of origin.
“The five-star ANCAP rating published means all Hyundai Tucsons built from mid-November (Korea) and mid-December (Czech Republic) carry the maximum score from Australia’s vehicle safety authority,” the company said in a statement.
ANCAP said the fix would greatly improve occupant safety.
“It is encouraging to see Hyundai make a number of design and production changes to improve the safety of the vehicle and we commend them for acting quickly to implement the improvements,” chief executive James Goodwin said.
“The changes significantly improved the vehicle’s performance in the frontal offset test, which would reduce the possibility of injury to occupants in the event of a crash.”
The original ANCAP crash test, conducted in early November, revealed the Tucson suffered from a compromised driver footwell structure, which could result in an injury to the driver’s lower left leg area in a crash.
This resulted in a score of 0.41 out of a possible four in the ‘occupant safety: lower leg’ crash test, and while the Tucson achieved six perfect scores out of the total of eight crash tests and nabbed five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test, the South-Korean mid-size SUV walked away with one less star than Hyundai was hoping for.
The redesigned Tucson now achieves a score of 2.8 in the same test, elevating it to a five-star rating and ensuring Hyundai now boasts an entire passenger car and SUV range with a maximum safety rating across the board.