The NZ Transport Agency and the Automobile Association have released Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) crash test results for two more new vehicle models in New Zealand - a top five-star rating for the Skoda Yeti sports utility vehicle, and a four star result for the 2011 Toyota HiAce van.
The five star result for the Yeti SUV is based on ANCAP assessments from crash tests by EuroNCAP. The 4-star rating for the HiAce applies to vehicles built from 17 September 2011, when improved protection for drivers' knees was introduced.
NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield says another five star result is good news for New Zealand consumers, adding to a growing pool of top-safety rated vehicles available here.
Mr Dangerfield says the agency is promoting the purchase of safer vehicles as part of the Safer Journeys strategy, aimed at significantly reducing deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads by 2020.
"Reducing road deaths and injuries is a shared responsibility that requires safer roads and roadsides, safe speeds, better driver behaviour, and safer vehicles. When consumers have good information on vehicle safety they will purchase safer vehicles - that demand in turn drives manufacturers to build more safety features into their cars. We encourage people to look carefully at crash test results and buy the safest vehicle they can afford."
The AA's General Manager - Motoring Services Stella Stocks agrees the latest safety ratings are welcome news for New Zealand motorists.
"Skoda are to be congratulated on their 5-star safety rating for their sports utility, the Yeti. The safety of its passengers is second to none, especially with seven airbags as a standard feature.
"The four-star result for Toyota HiAce vans built after 17 September 2011 is also good news. Toyota has recently improved protection for drivers' knees, but there is still concern that the HiAce lacks head-protecting side airbags and Electronic Stability Control, both of which are highly recommended safety features that are included on most passenger cars and in some light commercial vehicles."