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  • 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.

  • What do the Latin NCAP stars mean?
  • The crash tests evaluate the protection of adult and child occupants at 64 km / h in frontal collision, 50 km / h in lateral collision. Active safety technologies are evaluated through preventive elements that act to avoid accidents or injuries. Since 2020 Latin NCAP incorporates the evaluation of pedestrian protection in the event of a collision.

    Conceptually, a zero-star car is one in which one of its occupants may receive life-threatening injuries in any of the evaluated crash configurations. While in a five-star car, in the same crash conditions, its occupants have a high probability of not suffering serious or permanent injuries.


  • What tests does Latin NCAP carry out?
  • Latin NCAP performs passive safety tests (crash test) and active safety (Electronic Stability Control, Autonomous Emergency Braking) of the cars available in the market.

    The crash tests evaluate the protection of adult and child occupants at 64 km / h in frontal collision, 50 km / h in lateral collision. Active safety technologies are evaluated through preventive elements that act to avoid accidents or injuries. Since 2020 Latin NCAP incorporates the evaluation of pedestrian protection in the event of a collision.


  • 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.

    Latin NCAP 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 voluntary testing program in which manufacturers, government or any other organisation can sponsor a 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 and also 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.

  • How does the process for manufacturers’ volunteer cars work?
  • Any manufacturer can voluntarily propose any model for voluntary testing at any time. However, in a car provided voluntarily by the manufacturer, Latin NCAP will also evaluate the version with the most basic equipment in case the manufacturer presents a car with more equipment than the basic version.

  • Why does Latin NCAP test the most basic versions?
  • Latin NCAP aims to provide information to all consumers, regardless of their economic status. The cheapest vehicles are precisely those that lack safety equipment and those that are purchased by consumers with more restricted resources.


  • 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 voluntary testing program in which manufacturers, government or any other organisation can sponsor a test at any time.

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

    If the test is from the voluntary testing program 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.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Why are there results with two-colour stars, others with yellow stars and others with a single “set” of stars?
  • The results with two-colour stars correspond to the assessment protocols used between 2010 and 2015. In 2016 the assessment protocols 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.

    From 2020 the protocol was modified again by a more demanding one and this change includes the unification of the stars in a single set that contains the adult occupant protection and the child occupant protection.


  • Can Latin NCAP and Euro NCAP be compared?
  • Latin NCAP results up to and including 2019 cannot be compared to those of Euro NCAP. This is because Latin NCAP has two sets of stars (one for adult and one for child) and Euro NCAP is a single set of stars that includes both ratings. Also, Euro NCAP performed more tests than Latin NCAP. For example, he carried out the whiplash test and the pedestrian protection test. However, it is possible to directly compare test by test and its scores, for example, the 40% overlapped frontal impact test can be compared directly. The side impact until 2017 of Euro NCAP as well, ESC can also be compared directly and Euro NCAP side pole impact test up to 2017 can also be compared to Latin NCAP.

    For Latin NCAP results from 2020 inclusive onwards, they can be compared in relative ways with Euro NCAP tests until 2017. It is important to consider the great differences that exist in the markets that translate into different test criteria and weight of each technology. For example, the incidence of traffic accidents on pedestrians is lower in Europe than in Latin America, so it is necessary to give more weight to the pedestrian protection in Latin America than in Europe in the medium term. Another difference is that in Europe there is a requirement of compulsory ESC, side impact and side pole impact that in Latin America is not required, therefore it is different in the way in which these elements are weighed in Latin NCAP than in Euro NCAP.



  • How far is it from the Euro NCAP Protocol with this new update?
  • With the Protocol 2020, Latin NCAP is very close to the 2014 Euro NCAP Protocol. In some respects it is above Euro NCAP and in others not so much.


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

  • 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 possible. When possible a model with five stars in the most recent protocol or in the 2016-2019 protocol.

    Latin NCAP also recommends:

    • Airbags

    Dual frontal airbags, dual side body airbags and dual side head airbags (curtain).

    The airbags absorb the energy produced in the collision and mitigate the impact.

    • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

    A vital technology to avoid crashes as it independently brakes each wheel so that the driver does not lose control of the vehicle. It allows the driver to maintain control of the car in risky situations.

    • Pedestrian Protection

    Cars also have to protect the most vulnerable road users. The UN 127 or GTR 9 regulations detail which is the maximum injury level allowed (acceptable) that a vehicle can cause in case of running over a pedestrian.

    • Speed Limiter

    The speed limiter manually limits the speed of the vehicle to the maximum speed allowed.

    • ISOFIX Anchorages for Child Restraint Systems

    The main objective of the ISOFIX system is to avoid mistakes in the installation of Child Restraint Systems. To work properly, the vehicle must have ISOFIX anchorages under UN R129 and R44 regulations.

    • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

    The ABS system prevents the wheels from locking during braking.

    • Seatbelts

    The pretensioners that are activated in a braking prevent injuries and reduce the risk of death.

    Also, if possible, it should have:

    • Autonomous Emergency Braking

    The AEB is an advanced safety technology that help drivers avoid or mitigate collisions with other vehicles or vulnerable road users.


  • If the model I am looking for is not on Latin NCAP, can I consider the result of another NCAP?
  • Euro NCAP, CNCAP, ASEAN NCAP, ANCAP tests are not valid for the models that are sold and manufactured in Latin America. Latin NCAP has found several models that look and have the same name that in another part of the world, and when testing them, their performance was not the same. Therefore consumers should always refer to the local NCAP tests and results.

  • If a car has few stars in its first test and then improves its rating, does the previous result lose validity?
  • No. The test can improve for new vehicles. However, there may be units in stock with lower safety specifications, so it is justified to maintain the publication of previous tests. In addition, previously evaluated vehicles can continue to be sold on the market as used vehicles. The new crash tests, when the batch is modified, has its VIN and corresponding validity date identified in the new test.


  • How long does the new Protocol last?
  • The new protocol started in the end of 2019 until the end of 2023.


  • Do manufacturers know about the new Protocol?
  • The manufacturers know about the new Protocol since at least early 2017.

  • A vehicle asses with the previous protocol how many stars would it have with the new one?
  • It is not possible to generalize in this aspect and make a linear equivalence.

    As an example, it may be that a vehicle that is five stars in the Protocol 2016-2019, when evaluated in Pedestrian Protection offers low safety and because of this, the total rating in the Protocol 2020 would be low. Or on the contrary, it may be that a model is with the Protocol 2016-2019 five stars and also with good protection for pedestrians and good security assistance, managing to keep the stars with the Protocol 2020.

    In order to know how many stars a car receives with the Protocol 2020, it is necessary to carry out its complete evaluation without having to repeat the tests already done. With the Protocol 2020, Latin NCAP does not explore into the tests that have been carried out until now, but rather extends the aspects to be evaluated in the vehicle.


  • Are the vehicles evaluated with previous protocols still valid?
  • The results are valid as long as they are published on the Latin NCAP website. All published results indicate the year of the test and under which protocol it was evaluated. The star safety rating system continually evolves as new technologies are developed and are increasingly available. This means that tests are regularly updated, new tests are added to the system, and star levels are adjusted. For this reason, the test year is essential for a correct interpretation of the result.


  • Can manufacturers continue to use results for advertising evaluated under Previous Protocols?
  • Manufacturers can use Latin NCAP results for advertising for limited time. A result prior to 2013 inclusive can be used for a maximum of 6 years (until the end of 2019). Vehicles evaluated from 2014 onwards can use the result for up to 4 years after the date of publication.


Contact information

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