Car safety organisation Euro NCAP has expressed concerns about the safety of pick-ups following recent tests.
It announced today that the Nissan Navara had scored just one out of five stars for adult occupant safety as a result of presenting an 'unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury' to adult passengers.
The Navara also scored just three stars for child occupant protection and two stars for pedestrian protection, leading to further criticism.
In addition, the Isuzu Rodeo scored just two stars for adult occupant protection, and was also criticised for posing an 'unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury'. It scored two stars for child occupant protection and one star for pedestrian protection.
Responding to Euro NCAP's findings, Isuzu said: 'We are, frankly, surprised at these findings as Isuzu's own internal tests awarded the Rodeo three stars. In addition, the Rodeo has an excellent 'real world' accident record and underwent more than 1 million km of testing before launch.
'It is also worth noting that NCAP was introduced to assess passenger cars and it may be that the barrier test in particular provokes a different impact reaction from a higher vehicle such as a pickup truck. We need to study these results in more detail before further comment but can assure our customers that we treat safety very seriously.'
A third pick-up, the Mitsubishi L200, scored four stars for adult occupant protection. While this was deemed 'respectable' by Euro NCAP, it also highlighted the car's three-star score for child occupant safety and one-star result for pedestrian protection as 'disappointing'.
Euro NCAP decided to start testing pick-ups when it realised manufacturers were increasing the options and trims available in order to target buyers who may use the vehicle as family transport. These are the first tests it has carried out on pick-ups.
A statement said: 'All the vehicles received disappointing child and pedestrian protection scores. Manufacturers must realise we will test all cars that could have an impact on the safety of European consumers'