The newly released Mitsubishi Express van model has become the first vehicle to ever receive a zero-star rating from Australasia's independent car safety voice, ANCAP Safety.
The Express van is typically used for commercial fleets or private tradespeople and was released on the Australasian market last year. Originally, the van was removed from that market in 2013 before being reintroduced with an upgraded model in 2020.
There are many reasons why ANCAP Safety decided to give the van such a low safety rating; lack of basic safety features and marginal performance in physical crash tests being the two main contenders.
In ANCAP Safety's car crash test video posted on YouTube, you get to watch the Mistubishi Express van get obliterated and smashed from literally all angles during its tests. It's painful yet fascinating to watch, with quite a few moments that'll make you wince with imaginary pain.
How the Express van got its zero-star rating
In what ANCAP describes as "below par," the Express van received a 55 percent mark for adult protection, and 40 percent towards vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians or cyclists.
However, the biggest negative points were for the van's lack of modern safety systems, which ultimately gave it a score of only seven percent on safety assistance features. Unlike many vehicles assessed in the last few years, the Express van does not have autonomous emergency braking or lane support systems.
Other areas of notable risk included serious injury to the chest of the driver in three out of the four crash tests, serious whiplash to the driver's neck, a further penalty was given for "potential hard knee contact points for the driver in frontal crashes," and the van received close to the maximum penalty towards "aggressivity" in frontal collisions with other vehicles.
What this means for Mitsubishi Express van sales
There's nothing on ANCAP Safety's report that states the van will not be allowed onto roads in Australia and New Zealand. But its poor star rating will most likely impact its sales in the region.
The van will still be possible for use. However, its zero-star rating means it'll be ineligible for purchase from a wide range of fleets and commercial buyers who require a five-star rating on their vehicles.
ANCAP Safety Chief Executive, Carla Hoorweg said "Safety rating criteria and consumer expectations have evolved, as have manufacturers’ desire and ability to introduce improved levels of safety."
"We know Mitsubishi can deliver vehicles with high levels of overall safety and a wide range of modern safety technologies and we encourage them to accelerate the introduction of these features into their van product."