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Zero-star safety rating awarded to Mahindra Scorpio and MG5 in ANCAP blitz


Testing conducted by ANCAP saw both vehicles awarded zero stars, with the seat belt of one unlatching during the crash process

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has awarded a zero-star safety rating to the Mahindra Scorpio 4WD wagon and MG5 sedan in a recent blitz. 

In a statement, ANCAP said the results, which saw poor performance in both physical protection and active safety technology, were due to the “fundamental omission of safety features that have been commonplace in new cars for many years”.

ANCAP has awarded the Mahindra Scorpio and MG5 zero stars

 ANCAP chief executive officer Carla Hoorweg said the results were “a stark reminder that not all cars offer the same level of safety – even when they’re brand new models.”

“The MG5 and Mahindra Scorpio were both released into the Australian and New Zealand new car markets for the first time this year, yet it’s clear that their safety offerings are some generations behind what we see with almost every new car on sale today.” she said.

Its notable that ANCAP has told Chasing Cars it conducted the testing process entirely independently from Mahindra and MG, with the safety authority purchasing the vehicles themselves.

Its expected the future safety upgrades will be made

Both importers have pledged to make upgrades to their cars in the future, though the exact timing and upgrades fitted to Australian models remain to be seen. 

It’s the first zero-star safety rating awarded to a new car sold in Australia since ANCAP tested the Mitsubishi Express back in 2021.

MG5 missing key equipment, says ANCAP

As part of the overall zero star rating, the MG5 was awarded the following results

  • 37% Adult Occupant Protection
  • 58% Child Occupant Protection
  • 42% Vulnerable Road User Protection
  • 13% Safety Assist

In testing the MG5 range, the affordable sedan was penalised for its crash performance in front-on and frontal-offset collision test, with particular condemnation applied to the protection provided to the head and neck of the child dummies in front and side impacts, with three out of four assessed with a ‘weak’ result. 

The MG5 was criticised for its performance in a crash, particularly in regards to children

ANCAP was also critical of the lack of safety equipment such as seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters in the base Vibe grade, while the model as a whole lacks modern tech such as blind-spot monitoring and a centre airbag. And while it does have AEB, ANCAP said the performance of the system was limited.

Mahindra Scorpio scores ‘zero percent’ in some areas

At the time of testing, the Scorpio earned the following results:

  • 44% Adult Occupant Protection
  • 80% Child Occupant Protection
  • 23% Vulnerable Road User Protection
  • 0% Safety Assist

The latter result, awarded to safety assist, was due to the fact that the Scorpio had no active safety equipment fitted, though the brand has previously said some technology such as AEB was planned for introduction at a later date.

Similar to the MG, the Mahindra was criticised for its crash performance though children fared better, with the child occupant protection rating scored at 80 percent. 

The Scorpio scored zero percent when it came to safety assistance due to a lack of equipment

Concerningly, ANCAP observed that the driver’s seat belt came unlatched “during deployment of the seat belt pre-tensioner immediately prior to impact”.

While the testing body said this has no impact on the score, it had reached out to the manufacturer for further examination.

ANCAP also criticised the absence of equipment such as a front-centre airbag, the complete lack of active safety technology and the fact that the curtain airbags only extended to the first two rows of the three-row, six-seat vehicle. 

Mahindra, MG pledge to improve vehicle safety

Chasing Cars sought comment from both Mahindra and MG on the results, and were provided with an official statement from each.

Within the responses, both pointed out that their respective cars met Australian Design Rules at the time of sale, with a spokesperson from MG noting that the MG5 was an ‘affordable’ option in the market. 

The Mahindra is also considered to be generally more affordable than its competitors. 

2023 MG MG5 white sedan driving side profile shot
MG has said there are safety upgrades planned for 2024

A spokesperson from MG said it was “always striving to do the right thing by our customers in terms of affordability, form and function. Where and when possible, we will add improvements to our products for our models during their life cycle.” 

“In 2024, the MG5 will receive a safety pack upgrade which will increase the overall safety of this model inline with ANCAP’s rating system.”

“These planned enhancements for the MG5 will reiterate our commitment to customers and ensure further passenger safety with a much more advanced ADAS systems including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Speed Assist systems, Lane Assist systems and Pedestrian Protection safety systems as seen in some of our other models.”

Mahindra made a similar pledge but noted that the Scorpio still technically holds a Global NCAP of five stars and features a multitude of safety features such as its six airbags. 

Mahindra Scorpio 2023 puddle
The Scorpio will receive higher levels of safety equipment in the future, the brand says

Global NCAP has no formal affiliation with either ANCAP or Euro NCAP. 

“The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), updated on January 1, 2023 has specific requirements that include certain additional features,” a spokesperson from the brand said.   

“We at Mahindra are committed to our promise of safety and are working towards meeting unique safety regulations and these requirements for Australia as part of our product mid-cycle update.

“We continuously strive towards safety innovations, ensuring every Mahindra customer can drive our SUVs with the utmost confidence and peace of mind.”

Mahindra Scorpio 2023 duo
ANCAP said it conducting the testing independent of MG and Mahindra

ANCAP conducted testing independent of manufacturers

Update 2:30pm: ANCAP CEO, Ms Hoorweg, has now confirmed to Chasing Cars that it conducted the process entirely independently from Mahindra and MG/

“All MG5 and Mahindra Scorpio test vehicles were purchased independently by ANCAP as there was no desire from the respective manufacturers to put these models forward for testing,” CEO Ms said.

“It is a routine part of ANCAP’s approach to purchase, test and rate vehicle models where testing is not supported by the manufacturer and potential safety concerns or deficiencies are suspected.”

While it praised the statements of intention from MG and Mahindra to improve their models it said that, like any other model, further tests could be conducted on other unrated models in their respective ranges.

“We go through a rigorous process to determine which models are prioritised for testing, and criteria considered include whether the model is a popular high-volume seller, fleet-focussed, from an emerging brand, offers an alternative-powertrain, or the brand has poor, unknown or questionable safety pedigree etc,” she said.

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