Hyundai Tucson now a five-star crash performer
The Hyundai Tucson has had its official Australlasian safety rating lifted to five stars following a redesign by the Korean carmaker.
The popular mid-sized SUV was controversially handed a four-star score by the Australasian New Car Assesement Program in November, after official testing revealed compromised structural integrity of the driver footwell, along with excessive movement in the brake pedal.
The rating applied to the 2.0-litre front-drive variants sourced from South Korea which went on sale in August, and came in spite of a five-star rating already given by European NCAP, along with a maximum safety score in the United States. The rating was especially embarassing for Hyundai as the Tucson achieved a lower crash-test score than the ix35 it replaced.
"A team of engineers from (Hyundai's) R&D centre, based at Namyang, South Korea, flew to Australia in mid-September to examine the vehicle shortly after the original test," a statement from Hyundai Australia said. "A redesign was validated and put into production by mid-November."
Following the redesign, the Tucson was on Monday awarded a maximum five-star rating by ANCAP, matching cohorts such as the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V. ANCAP has confirmed that models released ahead of the remedy will retain a four-star rating, or will remain unrated depending on country of origin.
"The five-star ANCAP rating published means all Hyundai Tucsons built from mid-November (Korea) and mid-December (Czech Republic) carry the maximum score from Australia's vehicle safety authority," the company said in a statement.
ANCAP said the fix would greatly improve occupant safety.
"It is encouraging to see Hyundai make a number of design and production changes to improve the safety of the vehicle and we commend them for acting quickly to implement the improvements," chief executive James Goodwin said.
"The changes significantly improved the vehicle's performance in the frontal offset test, which would reduce the possibility of injury to occupants in the event of a crash."