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Screengrab from a video of the safety test on Hyundai HB20 posted by Latin NCAP.
Screengrab from a video of the safety test on Hyundai HB20 posted by Latin NCAP.

Hyundai HB20, its hatchback in Brazil, fails in latest Latin NCAP safety tests

  • Hyundai HB20 scored one star for adult passenger safety in the latest audit test conducted by Latin NCAP.
  • HB20 is one of Hyundai's best-selling models in Brazil.
  • HB20 had previously fared well in the tests but the latest audit test reveals a stark difference.

Hyundai HB20 has managed to get just one star in the latest audit test conducted by Latin NCAP on what is the replacement model for one of the company's best-selling products in the Brazilian market. The HB20 is a hatchback and while it fared well in a similar test in 2019, the latest test appears to have even surprised officials from Latin NCAP.

While 'Made in Brazil' Hyundai HB20 - with two airbags - had fared extremely well in a similar test back in 2019 - scoring four star in safety ratings, the results of the latest audit test failed to impress. "The result of the audit test shows that the model offered lower protection on the adult occupant's chest than in the original test, narrowly exceeding the maximum biomechanical limits allowed for the body in the side impact test," Latin NCAP informed, adding it has the right to audit any sponsored test at any time.

Latin NCAP in its reports concluded then that the hatchback has a one-star safety rating for adult occupants and three stars for child occupants. "According to the Latin NCAP 2016-2019 protocol, under which the vehicle was evaluated, a critical area of ​​the body with red color limits the result to no more than one star," it stated.

The result of the test may be a setback for Hyundai in Brazil, almost as much as it was a surprise for Alejandro Furas. "It is surprising and disappointing that a manufacturer like Hyundai, a leader in safety in global markets, is characterized by poor safety performance in Latin America," said the Secretary General of Latin NCAP.

Asked about why the tests on the same model brought out two varying results, Furas said, "Latin NCAP did not find a difference in the construction of both vehicles but in their performance itself. In fact, the deformation of the structure looks the same, with similar internal deformation and similar impact points on the dummy. We have noticed a different deceleration under the same test conditions and a slightly different behavior on the inner door panel during the crash. Security systems must not show these variations from one test to another."

Furas also mentioned that Latin NCAP has asked Hyundai if the company can explain the performance differences. A response is awaited.

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