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NISSAN still sells a 1990 Nissan Sentra in Mexico - Zero Stars and recently tested against a new 5 Star Nissan Versa
I usually keep an eye out for cars that have been in production for decades but somehow, the Nissan Tsuru, aka the 1990 Nissan Sentra has eluded me until today. I saw it on Facebook that the Latin NCAP had crash tested the 2015 Nissan Tsuru against a 2016 Nissan Versa, aka the Nissan Sylphy (here in Malaysia - still think the name sounds like a sexually transmitted disease. Versa is so much nicer). The Tsuru died a terrible death. For a car (and the crash test dummy inside) that is.
It also highlights the fact that a car first launched in 1990 will be a death trap if it gets involved in an accident at 130km/h at the very least. The newer Versa's passenger cabin comes out relatively unscathed.
And we here in Malaysia thought that the folks at Nissan here were bad in selling the N16 model Sentra years after it was discontinued elsewhere. Nissan Mexico beats everyone hands down since they're still producing such an old car by today's standards. And you thought Proton was bad. A Japanese company is still at it somewhere in the world today!
The NIssan Tsuru is based on the 1990-1994. It was first produced in Mexico in 1992 and will be in production till May 2017. Wow. This Tsuru/Sentra is the same car that we have been using as the Genting Highlands taxi until recently. From the video of the crash test you can see the Tsuru has no airbags to protect the driver.
If you go to the Nissan Mexico website, you can see that safety features include no airbags and just front and rear seatbelts. There is also no ABS or any sort of electronic brake assist or stability controls. The car was as it was from 1990. I do find this a little unnerving to say the least. Well, what would you expect when the website states under 'technology' to be a photo of the CD player head unit you see in the interior below?
Global NCAP has this to say of course. “Our Car to Car crash test demonstrates why these Zero Star cars should be removed from the market immediately. In April this year we published a report showing that the Nissan Tsuru had been involved in more than 4,000 deaths on Mexico’s roads between 2007 and 2012. Even though we welcome Nissan’s announcement, why should at least 15,,000 more units of this potentially life threatening model be sold between now and May? Why has it taken Nissan three years since we first crash tested and gave the Tsuru a Zero Star rating to take this unsafe car out of production?”
Nissan Finally Take Zero Star Tsuru Out Of Production Following NCAP Campaign
On the eve of Global NCAP and Latin NCAP’s Car to Car crash test, Nissan announced that they will take the Zero Star Tsuru out of production in Mexico next May.
Reacting to the announcement David Ward, Global NCAP Secretary General said:
“This is a long overdue decision to cease production of a car that is fundamentally unsafe. Three years ago our partner Latin NCAP crash tested the car and revealed its Zero Star rating. It has taken Nissan too long to recognise that selling sub-standard cars is unacceptable. At last they have responded to the demands of Latin NCAP and Mexican consumers to withdraw the Tsuru from the market.
Car to Car Crash Test:
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Global NCAP and Latin NCAP hosted a Car to Car crash today at the IIHS headquarters in Virginia, USA.
The test was conducted between the 2016 Nissan Versa, sold in the United States, and the 2015 Nissan Tsuru, sold in Mexico. Both cars are manufactured in Mexico and have been previously tested by the IIHS and Latin NCAP respectively, the Versa obtained a performance of Good (equivalent to 5 Stars) and the Tsuru was rated Zero Stars.
After the test which involved a 50% overlap and a combined closing speed of 80mph (129 km/h), the results graphically highlighted the urgent need for the Nissan Tsuru to be taken out of production.
A driver in the Tsuru would have had high probability of suffering life-threatening injuries, it is likely that the crash would have been fatal, there were no airbags, and the main structures all failed, fatally compromising the survival space.
David Ward, Global NCAP Secretary General added:
“Our first ever Car to Car test clearly shows the importance of minimum crash test regulations. Mexico doesn’t yet apply them and the US has had them for decades. The lack of standards can result in the sale of unsafe cars like the Nissan Tsuru. Across Latin America all countries should apply UN or equivalent safety standards to all new passenger cars, so that there is no future for Zero Star Cars.”
Alejandro Furas, Latin NCAP Secretary General said:
“I believe that Nissan made this announcement as a reaction to our campaign to stop the production of Zero Star Cars in Mexico and across Latin America.
“Our Car to Car crash test demonstrates why these Zero Star cars should be removed from the market immediately. In April this year we published a report showing that the Nissan Tsuru had been involved in more than 4,000 deaths on Mexico’s roads between 2007 and 2012. Even though we welcome Nissan’s announcement, why should at least 15,,000 more units of this potentially life threatening model be sold between now and May? Why has it taken Nissan three years since we first crash tested and gave the Tsuru a Zero Star rating to take this unsafe car out of production?”
Notes to editor:
The Facebook recording of our live broadcast of the event is available here