China’s Brilliance Flunks Another Crash Test

By Chris Haak

03.27.2009

brilliance-bs4Chinese automakers are not known for the originality of their designs or the quality and safety of their vehicles.  Almost two years ago, the Brilliance BS6 sedan had one of the worst showings in the history of the EuroNCAP crash-test regime.  Of the BS6’s crash-test results, I said at the time:

Instead, the poorly-named Brilliance BS6 saw the pedals intrude into the driver’s space by 18 inches, and the dashboard by 7 inches. The driver’s door wouldn’t open without the technicians using a huge crowbar, and the rocker panel bent almost 90 degrees, stopped only when it hit the floor. The base of the windshield moved to the same vertical plane as the top of the windshield was before the crash, and the driver was left sharing space with steering wheels, windshields, and the front end of the car. He or she would have almost certainly been killed instantly.

This time, the same German auto club, ADAC, was conducting the tests, but the EuroNCAP standards have gotten more stringent since 2007 when the BS6 flopped in the tests.  While the BS4 got zero stars in this recent test, identical results would have yielded three stars for the BS4 under the vintage-2007 standards.  The BS6 eventually did get a three-star result under the old EuroNCAP testing regime, but the car required a structural redesign and two attempts to get it.  The video can be found below after the jump (it’s OK if you can’t understand the German interviews).

While it’s good that Brilliance has figured out how to make safer cars, they’re still quite a bit from making safe cars.  ADAC made several comments on the car’s performance:

– The BS4’s safety is comparable to Western cars of late 90s.
– The floor panel on the driver’s side collapsed.
– Sharp-edged metal parts present high injury risk to the driver’s knees.
– The car does not have ESP, which would have slightly boosted the car’s rating.

Think for a moment about all of the safety advances that have occurred over the past decade, including occupant compartments that allow very little intrusion; according to ADAC, the Brilliance BS4 is a decade behind the automobile-safety curve.  This means that while China’s auto industry is developing and improving rapidly, it still has a long way to go before the vehicles meet the standards acceptable in the West.  It won’t take them 10 years to reach par, but I’m guessing another two generations of cars like the BS4 and BS6 before that happens.

Meanwhile, don’t allow anyone you care about to ride in a Brilliance automobile.  Thanks to Autoblog for posting the results of the crash test.

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Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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