After the Hyundai HB20 that was panned by Latin NCAP for its safety performance (or lack thereof), another model from the Hyundai-Kia group, the Picanto, is getting plenty of heat from the independent assessment program. Latin NCAP calls upon Kia to upgrade the Picanto (Morning) sold in South America after it scored zero stars during their latest round of crash tests.
Tested in the frontal impact, side impact, whiplash and pedestrian protection, the city car achieved 0 percent in Adult Occupant protection, 29 percent in Child Occupant and 51 percent in Pedestrian safety, with 7 percent in Safety Assist.
The model is offered with just a driver’s airbag as standard, but even with the passenger’s airbag installed the results would have been the same, according to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) for Latin America and the Caribbean. Furthermore, ABS and ESC are not standard, and the side body and head airbags are not available even as options.
“It is absolutely appalling that a global car manufacturer like Kia offers the Picanto with 6 airbags, pedestrian protection and ESC standard, for €8,700 ($10,185) in European markets, while in our region, the car offers such poor safety levels”, said Latin NCAP’s Secretary General, Alejandro Furas.
“The European safety equipment is not even offered as optional in Latin America. Latin NCAP calls and encourages Kia to act now and make substantial improvements in the Picanto as well as in all its fleet in Latin America and the Caribbean region”, he added. “Latin NCAP does not recommend consumers to buy such a poor safety performer model at all.”
“It is unacceptable that the same manufacturer has this double standard”, commented Chairman Ricardo Morales. “For this to stop happening, it is necessary for governments to promote an independent and transparent consumer information system as Latin NCAP and thus improve the safety levels of vehicles sold in the region.”
When tested by the Euro NCAP back in 2017, the third-gen Picanto scored three stars, with 79 percent Adult Occupant, 64 percent Child Occupant, 54 percent Pedestrian and 25 percent Safety Assist.