Nissan's Navara pick-up has been slated by safety organisation Euro NCAP, after tests found that it presented an 'unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury' to adult passengers.
The Navara scored one star from a possible five for adult safety after tests showed its airbags opened too slowly and seatbelts didn't provide enough protection during a collision. Euro NCAP also criticised the car's bodyshell for not being strong enough and highlighted severe deformation around the driver's footwell in an impact.
Nissan has responded by saying it has already rectified some of the problems, although these are limited to solving the problem with the airbag deployment and do not address the problem of the chassis deformation.
The car maker says the airbag problem is limited to models produced between May and December 2007, and that all owners of these vehicles can have the problem rectified by visiting a dealer.
In addition, Nissan has complained that the results of testing on a reworked Navara were not published at the same time. Euro NCAP says they will not be ready for presentation for at least four weeks as work is still being conducted on them.
Following the test findings, Nissan has written to all owners of Navara models sold since the car was launched in 2005, inviting them to visit a dealer for a precautionary check of their vehicle.
The Navara did attract praise for the levels of its side impact and child protection. However, this was still only good enough to score three stars out of five overall for child occupant safety. It scored two stars for pedestrian protection and was criticised for having its front bumper at a child's head height.
The result is particularly galling for Nissan, which holds the highest-ever Euro NCAP score with its Qashqai model.