The Nissan Qashqai has been awarded a 5 star safety rating and, at the same time, been criticised for omitting a life-saving breaking feature.
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) gave the Qashqai and one other car, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class the top rating this week, but also said that it should have included Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), a technology which is included in the European model of the same car.
AEB is seen as the next great road safety advancement after the seatbelt, airbags and stability control (which can prevent a skid in a corner).
"AEB is available on the European-sold Qashqai yet it is not available at all on Australian and New Zealand models. It is astounding to see yet another mainstream manufacturer despecify their models for our local market," said ANCAP Chairman, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh in a statement.
“AEB is a proven life-saver and all manufacturers should be doing their utmost to bring this technology to the market today. The lack of AEB cannot be a matter of cost as it is available on other inexpensive cars."
"Are lives in Australia and New Zealand worth less than those in Europe?" Mr McIntosh questioned.
As The Newcastle Herald reports, NISSAN Australia managing director Richard Emery rejected the claim that the feature had been left out of the vehicle to reduce its price.
“It wasn’t made available to us,” Mr Emery said at the Brisbane launch of Qashqai.
“Frankly, I am disappointed the focus has gone off the number of safety features it actually has. The car achieved a five star ANCAP rating and the raw numbers are very impressive.”