FAULT IN OUR STARS

Brett Pember, Thirroul, NSW

THANK you, Toby Hagon, for a most interesting ANCAP explanation (Wheels June).

I consider myself an informed motoring consumer, but I was amazed to learn of the role that Safety Assist Technologies (SATs) can play in a rating. I always thought that a five-star car would have better crashworthiness (structure, crumple zones, etc), occupant protection (airbags, etc) and technologies (ESC, etc) than a four-star car, but now know that this might not necessarily be the case. I cannot believe that lack of trailer stability control and hill-start assist could cause a reduced rating! Those of us that can manage the complexities of a handbrake and know how to load and tow a trailer could well be misled significantly.

I guess it might be up to the manufacturers to advertise on their suddenly ‘unsafe’ fourstar cars why that rating exists, so that the people who don’t need SATs like rear seatbelt warning buzzers and electronic keys can make a realistically informed judgement.

I agree, too, that the proliferation of SUVs definitely warrants an approach similar to the US.