Double standards: how Renault saves on Sandero security in third world countries

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About the restyled Renault Sandero / Logan / Stepway for Latin America, we spoke in detail in July this year. The manufacturer claimed that the safety of these machines was significantly improved, and Latin NCAP decided to verify the validity of these claims. The last time the pre-reform Renault Sandero with two frontal airbags passed Latin NCAP tests last summer, and then experts awarded the car only one star for protecting adults and three stars for protecting children.

After the update, the protection of children in terms of loads increased to four stars, but for adults the picture has not improved significantly. With a frontal impact at a speed of 64 km / h against a deformable barrier, the load on the driver’s chest was reduced to a theoretically surviving brown level (it used to be lethal red, see the pictures below). In a side impact, despite the fact that the car now has base airbags for the driver and front passenger in the base, a critical red level of loads was again recorded. A side impact on the pillar also led experts to call Sandero deadly.

2018 Renault Sandero / Logan crash test results.



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Renault Sandero / Logan / Stepway 2019 crash test results before the upgrade.


Along the way, interesting structural nuances were found out. Cars assembled in Colombia have larger side airbags (22 liters) than Argentine and Brazilian-made cars (18 liters). In addition, Colombian cars have a more robust frame for the backs of the front seats, and the body does not deform so much during a side impact, although the structural integrity in both cases was found to be unsatisfactory.

The side airbags for Colombian-built cars (left) are larger and more intricate than those assembled in Argentina and Brazil (right).

The seat back frame of Colombian-built cars (left) is stronger.
With a standard side impact, the sidewall of the body of Colombian cars (left) deforms slightly less.

Given that the stabilization system is not included in the basic package, but only for rich equipment, Latin NCAP awarded the updated Sandero / Logan / Stepway only one star for adult protection and scolded Renault for changing the design of cars depending on the market. If the Colombian version is closer to the European Dacia Sandero, then cars for Argentina and Brazil deliberately made simpler / cheaper.

2013 Euro NCAP Romanian Dacia Sandero crash test results.

After Latin NCAP crash tests, Renault decided to make changes to the Sandero / Logan / Stepway design for Latin America: in particular, the response time of the side cushions was adjusted and the sidewall structure in the pelvis was optimized, which allowed the body to be pushed further to the center of the cabin during a side impact. . Repeated crash tests showed that the level of loads during a side impact fell to a brown level, that is, remained high, but the riders still had a chance to survive. Loads upon hitting a pillar in the chest area remained deadly. Nevertheless, the final rating for the protection of adults was raised from one to three stars, that is, there is progress, but not the one to be proud of.

Renault Sandero / Logan / Stepway 2019 crash test results after the upgrade.

We add that in Latin America, the Sandero / Logan / Stepway is by no means considered budget models – this is quite a middle class for wealthy citizens. Alas, such positioning is reflected only in some design elements and prices, and not on security. In Russia, by the way, Renault Sandero still has only two frontal airbags in the database, and the side ones are only for expensive versions.

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