Grim Findings in Latin Crash Tests

SOME of the best-selling cars in Latin America and the Caribbean provide extremely poor crash protection, new safety tests show.

The testing by the Latin American New Car Assessment Program, known as Latin NCAP, represents the first comprehensive crash-test program for Latin America, safety experts say. Latin NCAP is an initiative of safety organizations including the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile and the FIA Foundation and is similar to NCAP programs that promote highway safety in Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, the United States and Europe.

The test results indicate that occupant safety in the region’s best-selling cars is “20 years behind the five-star standards now common in North America and Europe,” Latin NCAP said. “Unfortunately, in Latin America one-star cars still dominate the market.”

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