Every new car stripped of its safety rating from today

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Independent safety ratings for some of Australia’s top-selling new models – from the Mazda CX-5 to the single-cab Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series – have run out of road.

Another batch of Australia’s top-selling new cars – many with five-star scores, such as the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series single-cab – have lost their safety ratings from today.

All are expected to remain on sale – as they still meet less stringent government motor-vehicle safety regulations – but the lack of five-star ratings for many of the vehicles may rule-out examples built from today from use in fleets which require top crash-test scores.

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It is the second batch of new vehicles to be stripped of their Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) ratings after the oldest safety scores – for models tested as long ago as 2008 – expired after 31 December 2022.

Safety ratings will now be valid for six calendar years – plus the year in which the vehicle was tested – to make it easier for consumers to compare vehicles tested under the latest ANCAP criteria, and those tested under previous, less strict protocols.

Before the expiry dates were introduced, car manufacturers could continue to advertise five-star safety ratings from more than a decade ago – alongside newly-introduced vehicles tested to the latest and most stringent criteria.

There are no known changes to the safety equipment of vehicles which are stripped of their safety ratings from today – most of which were crash-tested in 2017, with a handful rated in 2016 – compared to examples built last year.

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However examples manufactured from 1 January 2024 will be marked by ANCAP as ‘unrated’ – even if they are identical to those built on 31 December 2022, when its crash-test score was valid.

Top-selling models such as the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, Toyota Corolla, Toyota RAV4 and Tesla Model Y are not affected for now, as their safety ratings are more recent.

Among the hardest hit by the expired safety scores are set to be fleets, as vehicles built and delivered after 1 January 2024 which have just lost their five-star safety ratings – as mandated by many businesses – may not be allowed on worksites, whereas those produced and delivered before the end of 2023 may continue to be permitted.

Car manufacturers can submit their vehicles to be re-tested by ANCAP and have the six-year expiry reset – but they will be subjected to the latest test criteria, which are far more stringent than those in place in 2016 or 2017.

Vehicles which have not received safety upgrades since their original ANCAP score was issued are unlikely to match their previous performance in crash tests.

Drive is aware of only one car maker considering submitting an ageing vehicle to be re-tested, Kia and its pint-sized Picanto – as reported in June 2023 – as an updated model with more safety equipment is now on sale. However it is yet to be confirmed if it will proceed with the re-testing.

Most of the 30 models affected – such as the Ford Mustang, Skoda Kodiaq, Toyota C-HR and Subaru Impreza – are nearing the end of their life cycles, and are due to be replaced by all-new vehicles within the next 12 months.

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Other impacted vehicles such as the Kia Stinger, Jeep Cherokee and Mazda CX-9 have already been discontinued – with no new model on the horizon – and ended production well before 31 December 2023.

Unless they are re-tested to the latest criteria – or a new model arrives – a further 32 vehicles are due to lose their ANCAP safety ratings from 1 January 2025, including popular models such as the MG ZS, Hyundai i30 hatch, Suzuki Jimny and Toyota Corolla.

ANCAP scores expired after 31 December 2023:

ANCAP scores due to expire 31 December 2024:

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

Read more about Alex MisoyannisLinkIcon

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