Mexican Consumers Demand End to Made-in-Mexico Death-Trap Vehicles

A question of lives and money.

By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.

Consumer associations in Mexico have launched a new campaign aimed at the 10 best-selling brands in the country — Chevrolet-General Motors, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Its message is clear: Stop selling death-trap vehicles that do not include even the most basic safety features that have been mandatory in more advanced economies for years over even decades.

Mexico is the seventh largest vehicle manufacturer in the world. In 2016 it produced just over 3.5 million cars, placing it directly above Spain (8th), Canada (9th) and Brazil (10th) and just below India (5th) and South Korea (6th). Many of the cars it produces include the most advanced vehicle safety features, but few of them are sold on the domestic market, especially at the lower end.

In recent years the non-profit organization Latin New Car Assessment Program (LNCAP), along with its affiliate Global New Car Assessment Program (GNCAP), has crash tested scores of cars. Low-end cars sold by Ford, Fiat, Kia, Volkswagen, Renault, Suzuki, Datsun, Hyundai, Nissan and others have all scored zero out of five on vehicle safety in middle- and low-income countries around the world. Many of the vehicles in question lack minimum safety features that have been mandatory in the U.S. and European Union for almost two decades.

To give an idea of the difference this can make in terms of your chances of survival in the event of a crash, here is a video of a 2015 red Nissan Tsuru, manufactured for sale in Mexico, suffering a head-on collision with a 2016 Nissan Versa, made for the U.S. market.

In the shot taken from above both vehicles appear to crumple like cans of spinach in Popeye’s fist. But it’s what happens inside the cars that really matters. In the red car, the dummy’s face smashes into the steering wheel as glass shards scatter everywhere. The entire front of the cabin caves in, crushing the dummy’s knees against the dashboard.

By contrast, the passenger compartment of the silver made-for-the-US car remains more or less in tact, despite the front-end of the car being crushed by the force of impact. The dummy flies forward in the seat belt, but front and side airbags cushion the blow. The windshield cracks, but doesn’t shatter.

On crash safety tests run by LNCAP, the Versa scored four out of five stars. The Tsuru scored zero. Yet both cars were manufactured in Mexico.

Coincidentally, the same day LNCAP announced its intention to crash-test the Tsuru, in 2016, Nissan, clearly aware of the car’s failings, said it would stop selling the model in May 2017. But many other automotive manufacturers continue to produce and sell zero-star cars in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. They include the Ford Ka and the Chevrolet Aveo, two of the most widely sold cars in Mexico.

Adding basic safety features to these low-end models could save thousands of lives in the coming years. According to a 2016 report by Global NCAP and the Inter-American Development Bank, enforcing the U.N.’s minimum recommended vehicle safety standards in just four Latin American countries — Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Brazil — could save over 40,000 people and prevent over 440,000 injuries by 2030.

The governments of Argentina and Brazil have already made airbags mandatory. The Mexican government, ever the friend of global car manufacturers, took a slightly different tack. It passed new regulations ostensibly aimed at making vehicles safer, but it made the rules sufficiently vague so as to enable the car companies to more or less continue conducting business as usual, as NPR reported:

While they specify that cars need to protect the passenger in front and side collisions, they don’t specify how, so it’s up to the manufacturers to decide. And section 6.4 of the regulations says that manufacturers can conduct their own vehicle safety tests — and if the tests meet certain requirements they’ll be considered valid forever, regardless of what other crash testers might find.

With the car companies still having the final say on how safe their cars are, Mexico’s consumer associations have decided to take matters into their own hands, by sending signed petitions to the CEOs of the ten biggest selling brands in Mexico demanding that all their product ranges include the following basic safety features:

  • ABS brakes, which reduce the braking distance and prevent tires from skidding in emergency braking.
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which prevents skids and rollovers in emergency maneuvers.
  • Anchors for child retention systems (Isofix or Latch), which attach child seats to the vehicle structure providing greater protection to children and babies.
  • Front and side impact guards, which provide added protection for occupants in the event of a frontal or lateral collision.
  • Mandatory Airbags.
  • Three-point seat belts for all passengers.
  • Pedestrian protection systems, which minimize the possible injuries suffered by pedestrians or cyclists in the event of impact

If enough pressure is applied in the right places, car companies may eventually buckle in this battle between lives and dollars. Much will depend on whether Mexico’s next government adopts a more adversarial approach on the issue than the current one.

Many of the most unsafe cars, such as Nissan’s Tsuru, are already being phased off the manufacturing line. Given that the 10 most dangerous cars in Mexico are also the most widely sold, since they are also the most economical, this trend could eventually have serious financial implications for car manufacturers. If they decide to absorb the additional costs of building safer cars themselves, it will mean sacrificing part of their profits. If they pass the costs onto consumers, it could lead to declining sales at the lower end of the market.

Whichever option the car companies go for, one thing is clear: given the number of lives that could be saved and injuries that could be prevented by making cars in poorer countries as safe as they are in richer countries, or at least safer than they are now, which is not safe at all, it would be a price worth paying. By Don Quijones.

Mexico’s largest infrastructure project, a project “mind-watering” magnitude in money and corruption, runs into trouble. Read… Business Elite, Banks Panic after Presidential Front-Runner Threatens to Scupper Mexico’s Largest Infrastructure Project 
 

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  56 comments for “Mexican Consumers Demand End to Made-in-Mexico Death-Trap Vehicles

  1. raxadian
    May 7, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Wow.

    Just…. damn.

    And this is legal?

    So not only Mexico is getting so dangerous that even Colombia is nowadays considered safer, tourists risk death trap taxis?

    Why a taxi you ask? Because taxis don’t last so buying cheap might seem attractive since you will have to replace the car in just a few years.

    • Harrold
      May 7, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      Taxis in Germany seem to all be Mercedes.

      • alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit
        May 7, 2018 at 11:01 pm

        Everything* in Germany is Mercedes, they’re like GM here.

        OK, ok, they have VW, AwesomeAudi, etc but there’s a lot of Merc stuff there.

    • van_down_by_river
      May 7, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      A typical Mexican worker makes about $10,000/year. A typical car (not truck or SUV) sold in the U.S. costs around $30,000. Are you suggesting vehicles sold in Mexico should have all of the expensive features of those sold in the U.S.? If so I’m certain what you propose would put car ownership out of reach for most Mexicans. Hey, I’m fine with it – I think cars ruin societies. But on the other hand, people will probably just keep their junk cars longer (see Cuba) and the deteriorating engines will foul the air even worse. You want Mexicans to have ABS – fine you pay for it.

      • RagnarD
        May 7, 2018 at 7:58 pm

        Less people in cars means
        Maybe less people dying in cars
        Maybe it means more people dying on motorbikes? Or mass death in buses that aren’t properly maintained / and /or are recklessly driven?

        • alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit
          May 7, 2018 at 11:03 pm

          Those little buzz-buzz motorbikes tend to have 2-stroke engines that pollute a LOT.

          In these motorbike countries, everyone seems to sort of ooze along at about 15MPH and at low speeds, accidents tend to involve everyone just kind of picking themselves up and dusting themselves off, maybe some money and/or insults are exchanged and then everyone goes about their way.

        • RagnarD
          May 8, 2018 at 6:44 am

          Agreed. When I was in India in 1995 I saw a LOT of people with limps. It was not hard to imagine where all the leg injuries came from as I tried to traverse the streets on foot.

    • Cynic
      May 8, 2018 at 2:35 am

      ‘Mexico is so dangerous and corrupt, it makes Argentina look like Switzerland.’

  2. Bookdoc
    May 7, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Here’s the problem in Mexico-that equipment isn’t free so pricing will rise and possibly push the cars out of affordability. That means they will drive even more unsafe old junk. The wealthy get cars with all the safety stuff but the poorer Mexicans still need transportation.

    • RangerOne
      May 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm

      Maybe. That depends on if car manufactures there were simply selling the same car at the same price for higher margin because people simply aren’t aware of the level of crash safety deficiency relative to similar cars in the US and Europe.

      Do we think it is likely that car manufactures in Mexico knowingly producing vehicles with substandard safety were gracious enough to pass their savings along to a customer base in the form of lower prices? I wouldn’t take that bet. To your token though I doubt they would eat the added cost for free now going the other way.

      I agree the no immediate change will likely fix the problem though since those unsafe cars will not magically vanish from the street. And lots of people cant afford new fairly priced or not.

      • van_down_by_river
        May 7, 2018 at 7:28 pm

        The “invisible hand” prevents Mexicans from being overcharged for substandard vehicles. People look for the best value and, as the author points out, there is lots of competition from 10 different suppliers. The majority of Mexicans are not wealthy but they aren’t stupid either – they are not going to pay top dollar for a stripped down econo-box. I’m sure many aspire to own nicer vehicles but just can’t afford it.

        • alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit
          May 7, 2018 at 11:06 pm

          Nope! I knew a guy who was as Mexican as a snake fighting an eagle in a cactus bush and he bought a Ford Festiva and was paying something like $13k for it, in the mid-80s. (The first version of the Festiva, a real little econo-box.)

          He did it because he needed a car, couldn’t pay cash, probably not the greatest credit, etc.

          Think of all the buy-here-pay-here in the US too. There are plenty of people paying out the nose for shoddy cars.

        • May 8, 2018 at 12:11 am

          We sold brand-new Festivas for $5k to $7k in the mid-1980s. There was a dealer-add-on AC for about $800, if you really wanted to go full-hog. In the mid-80s, you could buy a brand-new decked-out Taurus for 13K.

          I don’t understand why your Mexican friend bought a Festiva for the price of a decked out Taurus.

    • Robert Williams
      May 11, 2018 at 8:43 am

      Autos in Mexico will remain affordable… the profit margin will decline. This is basic capitalism run amok. Capitalism can work well if tightly controlled. Putting profits above human life is a perfect example of these needs. Hold their toes to the fire… Manufacturers/stockholders will bitch, but they’ll accept diminished profits for safety.

  3. May 7, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    I am genuinely curious — and really, NOT ANY of this curiosity is judgmental — about this particular statistic that is not stated in the article above :

    How many of the fatal accidents in Mexico — with their (according to this post) “less safe cars” are as a result of serious driver error ? Such as excessive speed, unsafe driving, under the influence driving and the like ?

    Similarly, How many of the fatal accidents in the U.S.A. — with our (engineered to be) “more safe cars” are as a result of serious driver error, in spite of the cars having superior safety features ? Such as excessive speed, unsafe driving, under the influence driving and the like ?

    I know people, old people, say from 50 to 70 years old, who never have at-fault accidents, drive within the speed limit, don’t drive under the influence and the like. Yes, these old-fogey friends of mine can die in a bad accident — but statistically speaking they will generally not be the driver at fault.

    We have legislated some very nice safety features into our automobiles, you betcha ! And I love them. And I would be afraid to drive without being belted — and I drive with a genuine appreciation of the five(?) airbags in my car. REALLY !

    We here in the good old USA legislate fine safety features onto our autos — and still we kill about 800 PEOPLE PER WEEK — with our ‘safer’ cars.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year

    Perhaps we could legislate “Safe Driving Attitudes” to be programmed into our drivers’ brains — because 800 deaths per week is still too darned many, IMO.

    • RangerOne
      May 7, 2018 at 4:29 pm

      Without getting into the question of what needs to be regulated and not, which I think you can make various arguments for even in this case…

      You don’t really need to see statistics to know that a car made this recently with that level of safety is a death trap. The crash test is pretty representative of a relatively low speed collision. Which in most parts of the world we expect to survive these days.

      With that level deformity of the driver side cabin, it’s very likely even an average traffic accident will get you killed.

      Keep in min slamming into a stationary object like a wall or poll at 30 mph is equivalent to a head on collision with an equal weight car both doing 30 mph.

      Having 30-40 mph collisions result in serious bodily injury is a very dangerous situation regardless of how people drive. These cards effectively have a drastically broader range of accidents that are likely do serious harm or kill you.

    • May 7, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      According to the the US NHTSA, there were 37,461 traffic fatalities in the US in 2016. And these were the top two causes, together accounting for 55% of the total:

      1. Drunk-driving deaths (10,497 fatalities), up 1.7%;

      2. Speeding-related deaths (10,111 fatalities), up 4.0%;

      And note, there were also 3,400 fatalities involving “distracted driving” – texting, etc.

      All these activities are illegal for a good reason: they kill others (if not the perpetrator).

      https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/usdot-releases-2016-fatal-traffic-crash-data

      • May 7, 2018 at 5:29 pm

        Thank you very much — I was looking for the numbers to buttress my point, that even with our very good American Automobile Engineered Safety Improvements — a good half of the sad fatalities are due to the driver, and not some notion that the car was just not engineered to be quite safe enough.

        A ton and a half, hurtling into some object at 60 MPH (88 feet/second) can only be made so safe.

      • mikey
        May 8, 2018 at 8:26 am

        The speed limits are so low that everyone is speeding all the time on any highway I use that is not congested.

    • van_down_by_river
      May 7, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      You hit the nail on the head. Speed limits are not even enforced because the voting public get upset by so called “speed traps”. People are allowed to drive at freeway speeds around town and violate safe driving practices without consequence. Meanwhile, there is a lot of hand wringing about parents not being allowed to let their kids outside or “gee, when I was a kid we used to ride bikes to school”. Who in their right mind would let there kid outside unsupervised when cars are whizzing past at 60 mph – not quite the same as the old days. Kids can’t even play outside with friends and have a normal childhood and everyone acts like that’s just fine. Cars ruined society. Get out of your car sometime and go for a walk, it’s noisy and really just horrible outside.

      • RagnarD
        May 8, 2018 at 10:17 am

        Not going to argue about cars ruining things
        Clearly that’s a + / – issue
        But IMO speed limits are a lot more about taxation than safety
        How much money has been collected via speeding tickets in the name of actually safety vs “you happening to be the poor sap who is in the wrong spot at the wrong time”? Ie For all intents you r keeping up with traffic, but you’re going a mile or two over whatever the cop has set on the radar gun.

      • May 8, 2018 at 11:40 am

        Cars ruined society and will ruin, literally, everything. We–prodded and dragged by the car companies colluding with the oil companies–made some really bad choices.

        Even getting Seattle to be serious about ditching cars is all but impossible, but if we collectively don’t reduce cars and driving so it’s only a few percent of trips now taken, it’s game over.

    • robt
      May 8, 2018 at 11:44 am

      “… serious driver error, in spite of the cars having superior safety features.”

      You may mean ‘serious driver error, because of the cars having superior safety features.’
      There’s a book about that: ‘Foolproof’ by Doug Ip.

      • May 8, 2018 at 4:42 pm

        Excellent point.

        Needed saying. One might call it a form of moral hazard — in the same way the Government’s backstopping of Banks, regardless of how intentionally bad their behavior — leads to ever-greater risk taking, leading to more backstopping with the public purse.

        I will check out the book — you have already told me that making our machinery ever more foolproof leads to sloppier or less careful operator attention, to careful operation.

        https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/oct/12/foolproof-greg-ip-review-biggest-risk-is-safety

  4. Maximus Minimus
    May 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    While building safer cars is certainly a good thing, enforcing traffic rules might be even better. How good is Mexico in this regard? While I don’t know much about Mexico, but know places where it seems, everybody chooses which rules to obey.

    • Enrique
      May 7, 2018 at 6:38 pm

      Depends on where you are. In parts of the state of Tamaulipas, for example, there is more or less no presence of traffic police anymore due to the utter and complete dysfunction on every level flowing from the drug war/cartel issues.

      In most parts of the country you can get out of any traffic infraction by handing an officer a quite small gratuity. This would probably affect overall driver behaviour on many levels.

    • Vaughn
      May 7, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      I’ve lived in Puerto Vallarta for 9 years. Truly, the most unlawful drivers I have ever seen. Not unusual to see a driver turn in front of 3-4 lanes, with a traffic cop standing on the corner. All they do is make sure the whistle works. Just this year, I have been within inches of getting hit, while walking my dog, on the sidewalk.

      In a hurry? No problem, as the curb and sidewalk present another option. Stop signs? Target practice.

      Cell phones illegal? Yeah, right. Lawless in most all regards.

  5. Mike G
    May 7, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Interesting that the cars considered safe and normal when I was younger (the Nissan Tsuru is essentially the US 1992 Sentra) are now considered unspeakable death traps.
    It’s a wonder any of my generation survived to middle age.

    • Ragdoll
      May 7, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      Ditto to that!

      My first car was a 65 Olds F85 with no disc brakes, no radial tires, and seat belts I did not use, ever. I was young and foolish. Being a young woman I was naturally careful and not prone to speed. The fact that the Olds was a larger car than some small sedans today likely made it safer for careful drivers.

      Over the years I have lost more than a few friends and distant family members to car crashes. I’d say most of my deceased friends or family were at fault,based on my accumulated memories.

      I survived as you say, with no advance safety features until now — and no serious accidents either.

    • RangerOne
      May 7, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      Its all relative. By today’s standards early 90’s cars are less safe. A continuing reduction in statistical driving fatalities supports this claim.

      The term “death trap” is a dramatization of a clear difference in level of safety between now and then. But safety was good in the US in the 90s. So there are diminishing returns from all this new stuff.

      • Cynic
        May 8, 2018 at 2:43 am

        A friend is a transplant surgeon in England: the supply of parts from car crashes is drying up, mostly due to the efficacy of all the new car safety features, so they are turning to elderly corpses…. Also stepping up organ growing research.

  6. Debt Free
    May 7, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    I can guarantee you that a typical Mexican driver is more cautious than the typical American without all those extra safety features. I remember riding in a Nissan Sentra (same car) as a child back in the day, and lived to tell about it.

    You pay for all that extra safety equipment with leases or 84 month financing here in the U.S., along with higher insurance rates due to distracted drivers on mobile phones.

    • Harrold
      May 7, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      That is not true at all.

      You can buy a 2018 Subaru Impreza made at their plant in Lafayette, Indiana for $20k.

      Standard safety equipment includes traction control, ABS, brake assist, and front, side and even knee airbags!

    • Javert Chip
      May 7, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      not believing your guarantee

      • Debt Free
        May 7, 2018 at 5:09 pm

        Ceteris paribus, compare the same person driving a 1968 VW Beetle and your 2018 vehicle of choice in the same locations and driving conditions, assuming both vehicles are in good repair. There would be considerably less speeding, reckless lane changes, road rage and browsing Facebook or p*rn from mobile devices when driving the ’68 Beetle.

        • van_down_by_river
          May 7, 2018 at 8:03 pm

          You know it! Air conditioning in an old Beetle involves rolling down the windows and if you drive faster then 30 mph the noise ruins the radio listening experience. If you drive 30 mph in an F150, with power everything, you will feel as though you aren’t moving and get impatient. If your car is too boring to tolerate at 30 mph then get something that’s more fun to drive. I suggest a 1968 Fiat 850 sport spider convertible – 40 willing hp and wind in your hair, top speed of 60 mph flat out on the highway – now that is fun that won’t get you into problems.

      • RagnarD
        May 7, 2018 at 8:07 pm

        Haha
        Yeah
        I’ve traveled too
        Agreed
        Actually never been to Mexico tho
        I will say we in USA travel at a much higher rate of speed than most other places iv been
        But we also have much safer roads and generally very good rule follower drivers

      • Vaughn
        May 7, 2018 at 8:13 pm

        In 9 years here, I’ve never seen evidence of it!

        • Debt Free
          May 7, 2018 at 8:54 pm

          Job #1 then is to enforce traffic laws and conduct mandatory vehicle inspections on an annual basis for tires, mirrors, signals, etc. Mandating the same vehicle safety equipment that we have in the U.S. for a 3rd world country shows the arrogance of the LNCAP.

    • RangerOne
      May 7, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      I am not so sure we pay for the extra safety we get in the states.

      If you are talking smart sensing features like auto stop and lane watch I agree, we clearly pay for those.

      But the vast improvements made in structural integrity over the last couple decades have largely been passed along to the consumer free.

      Someone else is eating this cost, or improvements in automation, cheaper labor, and improvements in manufacturing materials have lead to higher safety begin cheaper than it was 15 years ago.

      Consider that a car like a 2002 Hyundai Elantra scored poor on every single current IIHS safety rating. An equivalent 2016 or 2017 model score far better. Yet the cost of those cars has remain largely unchanged over the last 15 years.

      Trucks and SUVs have gotten far more expensive but not sedans. Both have had vast improvements in safety. Therefor I would suggest safety, with regards to things like airbags and structural integrity have largely not been a factor in price increases as seen by consumers.

  7. RangerOne
    May 7, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    If you cared about the general safety of people over all other concerns regulating mandatory minimum safety standards here would be the best move.

    If you cared about freedom of choice over all else you would want to possibly allow less safe vehicles to be built at a discount to customers. Though to preserve the consumer “choice” companies would have to be transparent about the level of safety that a customer can or is paying for.

    I lean towards the former in this case. But its always a balance.

  8. Michael Gorback
    May 7, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    TANSTAAFL

  9. JD
    May 7, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    No wonder why US manufacturers want to fire their american workers and move there. Cut labor and product costs to the nub and enjoy all the profit … yay!

  10. Debt Free
    May 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Motor Vehicle Loans Owned and Securitized, Outstanding

    Q1 1985: 182.3 billion
    Q1 2018: 1118.3 billion

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MVLOAS

    Comment below.

  11. Bill
    May 7, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    “Whichever option the car companies go for, one thing is clear: given the number of lives that could be saved and injuries that could be prevented by making cars in poorer countries as safe as they are in richer countries, or at least safer than they are now, which is not safe at all, it would be a price worth paying.”

    I disagree with Mr. Quijones’s sweeping conclusion. Ideally, safety features should be optional. Let the buyer choose what safety features they think are worthwhile and affordable. If one size must fit all, then it becomes more problematical: the possibility of saving “just one life” — regardless how well-intentioned — can yield absurd and horribly inefficient consequences. I read the other day that all U.S. cars will be required to have backup cameras within a year or two. Is that really necessary? I think not; God forbid we might have to turn our heads or use the mirrors. But dubious requirements like that will add to the ever-increasing vehicle cost that is adding to the boot on the neck of the productive economy. Another example: some standard sedans now have as many as ten airbags. Do we need ten? My 1994 Camry, which I bought new for cash, has two airbags; the 1993 model had only a driver airbag. Are the additional procurement and maintenance costs justifiable? Reasonable people can disagree. More serious driver education and DUI penalties might obviate the perceived need for ever more costly additional safety features.

    By the way, I am otherwise one of Mr. Quijones’s biggest fans.

    • Debt Free
      May 7, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      Yes, the author seems to forget that the average Mexican factory worker makes $3/hour. The 2017 Nissan Tsuru base model sold for $7,600 new. Can you buy a new vehicle in the U.S. today for that price?

      • Suzie Alcatrez
        May 7, 2018 at 8:26 pm

        No, you cannot buy a new death trap like the TSuru for any amount of money in the US.

        • Debt Free
          May 7, 2018 at 8:41 pm

          Cool, now go tell that a poor Mexican they can’t buy that car anymore.

    • drg123
      May 7, 2018 at 11:01 pm

      “Reasonable people can disagree.” Just FYI dude: side impact air bags cut the risk of death from T-bone crashes by 40 percent. At some point it’s not a consumer/capitalist choice, it’s a public health/taxation choice. And your cheapskate 1994 car-touting crap is very short sighted.

    • Gene
      May 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      I recently replaced a 2002 Saturn SC2 with a 2018 Hyundai Elantra. I miss the Saturn but such a low and small car with a plastic body would have been a death trap in the event of a collision with any of today’s larger, heavier vehicles. Although the Hyundai’s safety features (blind spot warning, rear camera with cross traffic warning, 9-11 airbags) were at most a secondary consideration at the time of purchase, my wife and I have now gotten used to them and would not purchase a car without them. A year ago, a bus going at high speed in a parking lot grazed the rear end of my Saturn, rubbing off the decal, but doing only superficial damage. Another one or two millimeters out of the parking space and the car would have been totaled. I wish my 2013 Cruze had these features.

  12. Debt Free
    May 7, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Global NCAP is a UK company. On its webpage, Latin NCAP lists its major sponsors as:

    Inter-American Development Bank
    Bloomberg Philanthropies
    FIA Foundation
    Global NCAP
    International Consumer Research and Testing

    Doesn’t sound like the Mexican version of Ralph Nader to me… Sounds more like international bankers trying to put Mexican peasants into debt peonage for a ‘safe’ automobile at 3 times the price.

  13. MCH
    May 7, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Geez, that’s just insane. Can you imagine if these carmakers did similar things for cars made for the Chinese market? They’d be kicked out in short order.

    I’m not actually sure what’s worse, the fact that these car companies are allowed to do this, or the officials who are accepting bribes in order to be so lax on safety.

    And in China, there would be a few show executions of the officials who would allow this.

  14. Felix47
    May 8, 2018 at 2:03 am

    I learned from Wolf some time ago that the Mexican autoworkers were being paid two or three dollars per hour and they are the best paid workers there. Yet we have the bizarre situation that the same Mexican can work in the US in a car factory for ten to 15 times more (after unions have been broken). The border is essentially open. The only long term solution is to extend the US border down to Panama and integrate central America into the US. Their drug problem is ours too. Their violence problem is ours too. These countries already are the demographic future of the US. They are our demographic present. \if integrated the UAW could unionize the auto plants. Salaries would end up at US levels. The US taxpayer is currently being asked to finance these countries through transfer payments without the economic benefit of their land and resources. That is not fair. On the other hand if the US economy could benefit from the land and resources everyone would do better. I am sure that a popular referendum by these masses of people would favor integration into the US. Their corrupt government officials already have their lily pads in Miami, New York and Santa Barbara. Can you imagine the prosperity if the five freeway was extended to Cabo San Lucas and US law and property rights applied! And US rules for all vehicles would then apply. At some point probably after our lifetimes this integration will happen probably too late and in a dystopian way.

  15. Bet
    May 8, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    My thought is, if not for the stricter regulations here, would they( big car corps) not be making the same cars for us? All about the dinero $$$
    They were forced, many times by lawsuits if I remember correctly

  16. Surf@jm
    May 9, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Let the nanny staters make your autos unaffordable also Mexico….

    Maybe we can deport Ralph Nader to mexico……

  17. Tristan
    May 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Judging by how people drive in Mexico City, they need all the safety features they can get. Red lights mean “GO!” in Mexico.

Comments are closed.