Toyota Prado to soldier on without five-star safety rating

Australia’s top-selling four-wheel-drive wagon will remain on sale after its five-star safety rating expires at the end of this year. No word on when the new one is due.

The Toyota Prado – Australia’s top-selling four-wheel-drive wagon – will soldier on without a five-star safety rating once it expires at the end of this year.

The current-generation Toyota Prado was introduced in 2011 and is expected to be replaced in the next year or two.

However, it has been deemed uneconomical to submit the Toyota Prado to a new round of crash safety testing so late in its model cycle.

“There are currently no plans to retest the LandCruiser Prado,” Toyota Australia said in a statement.

“It is an extremely safe vehicle, which is recognised by customers who bought our best-selling large SUV in record numbers last year.

“Every variant offers a high level of active and passive safety features, including Toyota Safety Sense driver-assist technologies, which offers a pre-collision avoidance system with autonomous emergency braking, high-speed active cruise control and lane-departure alert with steering assistance.

“Following a comprehensive update in August 2020, the range was further upgraded in July 2021 with all variants now featuring blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert as standard.

“We expect to continue offering customers a Toyota LandCruiser Prado for many years to come,” the Toyota Australia statement concluded.

The Toyota Prado will remain on sale locally but will be deemed “unrated” by Australia’s car safety watchdog – the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) – from 1 January 2023, and its five-star score from 2011 will be listed under “previous models”.

Although the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) does not have the authority to ban or approve vehicles, the not-for-profit program – funded by state and territory governments – has become the default car safety benchmark.

In response to criticism outdated car safety ratings were being compared to more recent scores – tested against much tougher criteria – ANCAP will from the end of this year enforce a six-year expiry date.

More than a dozen popular models such as the Toyota Prado, Mitsubishi Triton, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Navara, Mazda CX-3, Mazda 2, Suzuki Vitara, Volkswagen Amarok and Volkswagen Passat will have their five-star safety ratings wiped at the end of this year – unless they are replaced by new models, or undergo an upgrade and a new round of tests.

Another dozen or so popular vehicles – such as the Hyundai i30, Kia Rio, Kia Stonic, Mazda CX-9, Mazda MX-5, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Compass, LDV T60 ute and LDV D90 SUV – face being stripped of their five-star scores by the end of 2023 or 2024 unless they are replaced by new models, or undergo safety upgrades and a new round of tests.

Under previous crash-test rating guidelines, car companies were allowed to advertise a five-star safety score even if it was up to or more than a decade old – despite the vehicle being unlikely to earn a five-star score if assessed against the latest criteria.

Some five-star scores for vehicles still on sale today – such as the Fiat 500 – date back to 2008.

As previously reported by Drive:

  • ANCAP safety ratings with a date stamp of 2015 or earlier expire 31 December 2022 
  • ANCAP safety ratings with a date stamp of 2016 will expire 31 December 2023
  • ANCAP safety ratings with a date stamp of 2017 will expire 31 December 2024

The CEO of ANCAP, Carla Hoorweg, told Drive: “The presence of older ratings had the potential to create confusion among consumers and inappropriate comparisons between vehicles that have been designed and rated against different protocols. 

“From 2025, every vehicle with a current ANCAP safety rating will only have a date-stamp lifespan of six years.”

MORE: Six-year expiry on safety ratings explained


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