Australasia’s independent voice on vehicle safety, ANCAP Safety, has appointed its first zero-star rating to the new Mitsubishi Express van.
The latest Mitsubishi Express van – a popular choice for commercial fleets and private tradespeople – was unable to qualify for a rating higher than zero due to the absence of active safety systems and marginal performance in physical crash tests.
It’s a revelation made all the more surprising by the fact that the vehicle is essentially a badge-engineered and French-built Renault Trafic.
It’s also ironic given Mitsubishi reportedly withdrew the previous Express van – an old-school single box model – from the Australasian market in 2013 due to its failure to meet rapidly evolving safety and emissions standards.
After a seven-year hiatus, the Express nameplate was reintroduced locally last year.
According to ANCAP, the new Express lacks basic safety features that consumers have come to expect in a newly released model.
Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane support systems (LSS) – safety features which are routinely fitted to almost all vehicles assessed in recent years – are not offered on the Mitsubishi Express, resulting in a Safety Assist score of just seven per cent.
Scores for Adult Occupant Protection and Vulnerable Road User Protection were also low.
“Mitsubishi recently introduced the Express into our market, but its specifications do not align with today’s safety expectations,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, Ms Carla Hoorweg.
“Unfortunately, we saw below par performance for protection of occupants and vulnerable road users from the Express, with results lowered even further due to a fundamental lack of active safety systems.”
The zero-star rating will see the Mitsubishi Express ineligible for purchase by a wide range of fleets and commercial buyers that have for many years required 5-star rated vehicles.
“The Express’ poor result sends a clear signal to manufacturers and their global parent companies that safety must be prioritised in all segments offered to the Australasian market,” said Hoorweg
“Safety rating criteria and consumer expectations have evolved, as have manufacturers’ desires and abilities 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 the company to accelerate the introduction of these features into its van product,” she said.