Skip to main content

There has been much publicity about the Mitsubishi Express van, Australia’s first vehicle to be awarded zero-stars by ANCAP.

Whilst its disappointing Mitsubishi have chosen to launch a vehicle with such low safety standards, the fact remains it is compliant with Australian Design Rules and therefore meets the minimum standards of vehicle safety required by our Federal Government.

It’s been reported the Renault Traffic (Mitsubishi Express sister vehicle) went on sale in Europe in 2015 and assessed by Euro NCAP as a three-star vehicle. Whilst this is true, an important distinction is the Renault Traffic assessed in Europe was a people mover which is very different to the cargo van. It’s highly unlikely the cargo van would have achieved a three-star rating. The cargo van version was available to be purchased here in Australia but unrated anywhere.

Whilst 2015 was prior to ANCAP and Euro NCAP harmonising their assessment protocols the Mitsubishi Express people mover could have been awarded a three-star rating with a 2015 date stamp but of course the Mitsubishi Express is a van not a people mover.

Since 2015, ANCAP have increased the minimum requirements for their star-rating assessments three times being 2016, 2018 and 2020, therefore this Mitsubishi Express is three generational changes behind the current safety assessment protocols applied by ANCAP.

It’s not uncommon for vans to have an affective life of 8 to 10 years depending on the annual kilometres travelled, so the 2015 Renault Traffic only has 2 to 4 years left on our roads whereas a 2021 Mitsubishi Express will be around for 8 to 10 years making its safety technology at least several generations old when it comes to the end of its affective life.

This vehicle is unlikely to be purchased by the estimated 1,000 organisations whose fleets exceed 250 vehicles as most, if not all, embrace safety policies where only five-star vehicles can be purchased unless there is no five-star vehicle in that category. Of course, in this case there is, the Toyota Hiace which was awarded five-star by ANCAP date stamped 2019.

The people most likely to purchase the Mitsubishi Express will be consumers and organisations with small fleets who do not understand ANCAP’s safety ratings and have faith the Australian Government will not allow unsafe vehicles into Australia.

There are estimated to be 439,000 organisations in Australia with a fleet of less than 20 vehicles and their purchases decisions will be based on purchase price, vehicle reliability and dealer network support. Its widely accepted Mitsubishi make quality products, are supported by adequate warranty programs and an extensive dealer network.

AfMA supports ANCAP’s independent testing program especially given the low level of safety standards set by the Australian Design Rules.

AfMA recommends purchasing only five-star vehicles unless there is no five-star vehicle in that category. Buy the safest vehicle you can afford noting there is huge difference in safety equipment between a 2020 five-star vehicle compared to a 2015 five-star vehicle.

AfMA exist to link people and knowledge to create outcomes. We are working with the Department of Transport Victoria to develop interactive online courses for drivers explaining ANCAP’s star rating system and vehicle safety features. These courses will be available in late April 2021.

Read ANCAP’s Press Release & Full Safety Report here