We try to keep our FAQ updated. However – if you can't find the answer to your question here, do not hesitate to contact us! We will do our best to give you an answer as soon as possible.

  • Why Latin NCAP continues to test models without airbags instead of directly qualify them as zero stars cars?
  • Latin NCAP aims to provide information to all consumers, without taking into account their geographical differences or economics status. The cheapest vehicles are precisely those without these systems and are the ones consumers with more restricted resources can buy. Latin NCAP cannot qualify cars without airbags automatically as zero stars, Latin NCAP must test them and show evidence. Showing these results is making an important effect on the market, as some manufacturers shifted their production matrix and added standard airbags because they did not want to see their car with zero or one star.

  • Why has Latin NCAP been launched?
  • To improve vehicle safety, the establishment of NCAPs in all world regions, including Latin America, is a recommendation of the Global Plan for the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

  • I can't find the vehicle I'm looking for, where can I find it?
  • Latin NCAP has not tested all the available vehicles in the market. We would like to test all vehicles but that is not possible due to budget and logistics issues. In order not to limit the information to consumers there is a sponsorship program in which manufacturers, government or any other organisation can sponsor a test at any time.

  • Can you compare Latin NCAP with Euro NCAP?
  • The star ratings in Euro NCAP cannot be directly compared with the star ratings in Latin NCAP. Euro NCAP makes the final star rating from 5 different tests: Frontal off-set, side, pole, whiplash and pedestrian tests. Latin NCAP only performs the frontal off-set crash test and side impact test to develop the star rating for each car and side pole impact test for those cars that may reach 5 stars. This is why there is no possible comparison between both star ratings.

    Latin NCAP frontal crash test itself is the same as performed by Euro NCAP. So the performance of the car in the frontal crash test can be directly compared between the two. This test does give a very good indication of the safety performance of the car.

  • Why does Latin NCAP not perform the whiplash test?
  • As a new programme, Latin NCAP started off with the frontal impact test. As based on UN regulation 94, the frontal impact test is a key safety test for vehicles. The frontal impact test provides enough evidence to be able to make a judgment on the safety of a vehicle and risks to car occupants.

    Then side impact test was incorporated and performed for those cars which aspired to be 5 stars.

    Latin NCAP continued developing further and nowadays it is required frontal and side impact test for all models, and side pole test for those models aspiring to be 5 stars.

    As of 2020, Latin NCAP modified its protocol again and the pedestrian and whiplash test began to be applied.


  • How are the cars selected?
  • A list is developed with the top selling cars and their sales volume. Latin NCAP selects from this list the models to be tested.

    Latin NCAP makes a table of all the cars’ total sales in all the assessed countries and a proportional (per capita) sales index per country. With these statistics taken together, an overall sales list was drawn up. From this list, Latin NCAP selects the cars that are top selling in as many countries as possible.

    Moreover particular models are also considered for specific countries.


  • How are cars chosen and how does the process for manufacturers' sponsored cars work?
  • In those selected by Latin NCAP the models must be the most basic safety equipped version available in any country of the Latin American market. The intention is to test the most popular cars, widely available and commonly purchased on the market.

    Any manufacturer can sponsor any car at any time. However in a manufacturer sponsored car, Latin NCAP will also test the most basic safety equipped version if the manufacturer has submitted a vehicle with more equipment than the basic version.


  • How Latin NCAP get the cars in general?
  • At dealers, like any consumer does.

    If the car is sponsored the first option is to get the car at a dealer. If this is not possible Latin NCAP can choose the car from production, strictly following the protocol and having the chance to perform a verification test at any time.


  • Do Manufacturers know about the crash test?
  • Yes, when Latin NCAP selects a car for the test, the manufacturer is informed. The manufacturer is invited to witness the crash test. Also, the results are shown before publishing, allowing them to respond and engage in discussions and explanations. Latin NCAP always makes the final decision regarding the information published.

  • Where Latin NCAP tests take place?
  • Latin NCAP performs the tests in Germany, near Munich, in the laboratory ADAC (German Automobile Club).

    The reason for this is that there are no independent accredited laboratories in Latin America.


  • Why crash tests are carried out at 64 km/h?
  • By carrying out frontal impact tests at 64km/h we are simulating a car impacting a similar sized car where both cars are travelling the same speed of 55 km/h. This speed has been shown by accident studies to address a high proportion of fatal and severe injury accidents.

  • What things should I take into account when choosing a new car?
  • Latin NCAP recommends to buy a car with the maximum Latin NCAP stars (5 if possible):

    Latin NCAP also reccomends

    o At least 4 airbags

    o Electornic Stabitliy Control

    o Pedestrian Protection

    o Autonomous Emergency Braking

    o ISOFIX anchorages for Child Restraint Systems

  • Which are the safest cars?
  • In the website http://bit.ly/LatinNCAPRes you can download the complete list with all Latin NCAP results.

  • Why are there results with two-colour stars and other with yellow stars?
  • The two-colour stars results correspond to the assessment protocols used between 2010 and 2015. As from 2016 the assessment protocols were expanded and became more demanding. These upgrade of the testing protocols include the unification of the colours of the stars used (yellow) to clearly identify the vehicles tested under the new protocol.

  • Why Latin NCAP tests a non-airbags version of a model, if in my country it is only sold with airbags?
  • Latin NCAP evaluates the most basic safety version of the models available in all Latin American & the Caribbean markets. If in any country throughout the region a consumer can buy a model without airbags, Latin NCAP will test that version.

    The manufacturer always has the option to sponsor a test with a better safety equipment(eg with airbags) as long as the manufacturer decides that that version becomes the standard for all countries of the region.

Contact information

Joaquín Nuñez 2719 Of. 210.
CP 11300. Montevideo, Uruguay
+598 2716 8749 secretaria@latinncap.com
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