Monday, 11 October 2010


Just days after the recent launch of the 2010 Hyundai Sonata in South Africa, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata – currently in the manufacturing stage - was awarded a 5 star rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US.  The NHTSA recently introduced its new safety rating system which is aimed at improving the overall safety of vehicle through tougher testing. Out of 34 vehicles tested, only two received a top rating of 5 stars, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata being one of them.

“For us this is a very exciting affirmation as it again verifies our position as a leading brand not only in quality; design and price but also in an all important category – safety. This safety rating is certainly testament to Hyundai’s truly unique design and unwavering quality assurance,” says Alan Ross, CEO of Hyundai Automotive South Africa.

The US transportation department’s new safety rating system includes tougher tests, and measures the impact of collisions on drivers and passengers. Furthermore, the new system measures the effect of high-speed collisions on female/smaller crash test dummies as they are more heavily affected by these collisions. This increase in testing standards has meant that automakers now need to take airbag size and safety into more stringent consideration during the design phase to account for lighter weight passengers. The testing is said to be far more rigorous – with the overall score for a vehicle accumulated through results gained in a frontal crash test; side crash tests and rollover resistance tests.

“It is expected that this type of rigorous crash test rating will force all manufacturers to take safety measures to the next level and there is already word that some automakers are adding collision sensors and other safety mechanisms into their vehicles, since the implementation of the new testing standards,” adds Ross.  “We are proud to already offer our customers complete peace of mind, as they know that even with elevated safety rating procedures, the Hyundai Sonata 2011 has passed all local and international benchmark tests.”

“For new vehicle buyers this rating should become a critical consideration, as it assists the buyer to identify the best performers in terms of safety – a feature that is non-negotiable to consumers. In line with this, the new standards will no doubt enhance brand competitiveness and Hyundai South Africa are certainly excited at this prospect as we know – with this – our brand will continue to elevate year on year,” concludes Ross.


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