An evaluation of ANCAP frontal offset score reduction in older cars
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program’s (ANCAP’s) ratings provide crucial information to consumers on the relative safety of new vehicles. However, there is debate whether the ANCAP safety rating of a vehicle remains unchanged as the vehicle ages, especially considering the vehicle deterioration while in service. This study was undertaken to evaluate the reduction (if any) in ANCAP frontal offset score of a nine-year-old old car compared to when it was new. The Ford Falcon AU2 four-door sedan (manufactured in 2000) was selected as the subject vehicle since it was one of the most popular passenger cars in early 2000 and it performed reasonably well in the frontal offset crash test. During this program, three Ford Falcon AU2 sedans in typical, used but undamaged, condition were tested using the ANCAP frontal offset test protocol. The results of these three tests were then compared to those obtained when the vehicle was initially tested in 2001. The results indicate that the reduction on the frontal offset ANCAP score of the nine year old cars is low. However, based on the dummy measurements, this study suggests that when compared to new vehicle there is an increase of injury risk on the occupants’ lower body region. This increase is likely due to subtle deterioration of the vehicle and its components.