• NATALIA SOUSA

Shocking Latin NCAP results released: 0 stars for Suzuki Baleno and just 1 star for Toyota Yaris

The New Car Assessment Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean, Latin NCAP, released disappointing zero-star performance for Suzuki's Baleno and just one star for the Toyota Yaris. Latin NCAP said it calls for urgent vehicle safety improvements.


The Toyota Yaris, is manufactured in Brazil and Thailand, it features double airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard, but achieved one star under Latin NCAPs latest protocol. The popular B segment model reached 41.43% in the Adult Occupant box, 63.85% in the Child Occupant box, 61.63% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users box and 41.86% in the Safety Assist box.

The Yaris for Latin American market does not offer side body and side head protection airbags as standard as the model sold in Malaysia. In the frontal impact test (unit tested in 2019) the model showed unstable structure and unstable footwell area performance. Side impact showed a door opening during the crash test. A door opening in Latin NCAP side impact test, which has the same configuration as Regulation UN95, means that the car would have failed the UN95 test. In addition, the Yaris seatbelt reminder system (SBR) showed no detection of the front passenger.

In a statement, Latin NCAP commented that the door opening in the side impact requires immediate action by Toyota as it poses a severe risk of ejection in the case of side impacts. The result is valid for the hatchback and sedan versions of the Yaris. This model offers optional equipment that can potentially contribute to better performance and could have become standard in all model ranges at this publication. Still, a decision of Toyota in Mexico affected the standardization of key equipment negatively to improve the result of the Yaris. Toyota refused to test the optional equipment to show its performance which opens the question of the effectiveness of those extra safety elements.


Toyota Yaris 2019 result audit test

As part of the regular procedures, Latin NCAP has performed an audit test on the Toyota Yaris published in 2019. Latin NCAP tested the Toyota Yaris in 2019, manufactured in Brazil. It achieved four stars for adult occupants and four stars for child occupant protection. According to the requirements of the assessment protocols, Latin NCAP has the right to audit any sponsored test at any time.

The audit tests showed that in the side impact, one of the doors opened and the passenger seat seatbelt reminder (SBR) was not correctly detecting the passenger and therefore failing to warn about the seatbelt use. Consequently, the safety rating was recalculated and it resulted in a downgrade to three stars for adult occupant protection. The 2019 result was updated accordingly in Latin NCAP website.


Toyota Yaris

The Yaris was tested in frontal impact, side impact, whiplash, pedestrian protection and ESC. According to Latin NCAP, the one star result is explained by the poor side impact protection, marginal whiplash protection in dynamics, lack of standard side head protection airbags, and lack of passenger Seatbelt Reminder (SBR). However, pedestrian protection performance showed a reasonable level.

Read the full crash test report



The Suzuki Baleno made in India with two airbags as standard achieved zero stars.


The popular compact car achieved 20.03% in Adult Occupant box, 17.06% in Child Occupant box, 64.06% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users box and 6.98% in Safety Assist box.

The zero stars result is explained by the poor side impact protection and low whiplash score due to the lack of UN32 proof for the rear impact test. In addition, there was a lack of standard side head protection airbags, a lack of standard ESC, and Suzuki's decision not to recommend Child Restraint Systems (CRS) for the test. The Baleno was offered in Europe with 6 airbags and ESC as standard. In contrast, the model for distribution in Latin America does not include side body and side head airbags (curtain airbags) and ESC as standard. Furthermore, Like Toyota, Suzuki refused to test the optional equipment to show its performance which opens the question of the effectiveness of those extra safety elements.


The Baleno was tested in the frontal impact and side-impact, whiplash and pedestrian protection. In the frontal impact, the model showed stable structure performance. Side impact test showed high intrusion in the door with poor protection to the chest of the adult door during the test. Whiplash test showed marginal neck protection. The zero stars result is explained by the poor side impact protection, marginal whiplash protection, lack of standard side body and head protection airbags, lack of standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and Suzuki's decision to not recommending Child Restraint Systems (CRS) for the test. Pedestrian protection performance showed a reasonable level.

Read the full crash test report



Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Latin NCAP said:

"Baleno's zero stars is part of an ongoing disappointment, after the Swift's zero-star rating some weeks ago. With especially poor safety performance in adult and child occupant protection on offer from Suzuki as standard to Latin American consumers. Even more surprising and disappointing is Toyota's first-ever one-star model, the Yaris. It is concerning that a decision made by Toyota Mexico is the main reason for this result but moreover the responsible of the decision of not offering now as standard key safety equipment. As a result of the decision, key safety equipment such as side body and side curtain airbags are not available for all Latin Americans".

"Latin NCAP calls on Toyota and Suzuki to significantly improve the standard safety equipment on these models as soon as possible and for them to be tested to demonstrate the improvements. Basic vehicle safety, which is taken for granted in mature markets, is a right that Latin American consumers should claim without having to pay extra for them".

Stephan Brodziak, Latin NCAP Chairman, said:

"It is unfortunate to have another zero stars car from Suzuki, in this case the Baleno model, which in some countries is marketed as" Good, Nice, Baleno", to which we should add "Low safety". As for the Toyota Yaris is very disappointing that it has obtained only one star, as this car is so popular in our region, with very high market penetration. In previous tests Toyota had a very good safety performance record, which is inevitably stained when designing with such low safety of one of the most accessible vehicles for consumers that the brand has, due to the risk involved in having a one star vehicle circulating on the streets of our region. We make an energetic call for both Suzuki and Toyota to be committed to the safety of the consumers in Latin America and the Caribbean, we do not want more zero and one stars cars circulating in our countries".



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