A couple of readers have noted the absence of some 4WDs (and other vehicles) from the ranks of the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) ratings. ANCAP tests and publishes safety ratings for new motor vehicles and these have become widely used by buyers – and often heavily promoted by car companies whose products have scored well, particularly when achieving the top five-star rating. Vehicles tested include new vehicles entering the Australian and New Zealand markets and, according to a spokesman, "are selected based on a variety of factors including the volume of vehicles sold." The thing is that ANCAP testing is not compulsory and, as such, it is not a regulatory requirement that vehicles sold into New Zealand or Australia have to be crash tested. And ANCAP's a completely separate thing to the Australian Design Rules (ADRs), which are compulsory, set by the Australian Government, and accepted by New Zealand. It's also separate from the European NCAP.
Most vehicles tested by ANCAP are purchased at random from dealerships, the spokesman told 4wdNewz. "Increasingly, however, ANCAP safety ratings are becoming more important to manufacturers in terms of marketing their vehicles. In this connection, ANCAP works with the manufacturers and importers to conduct tests and publish a rating in time for the public launch."