car safety

We highlighted a shocking double standard in the car industry which was putting consumers’ lives at risk. Motor manufacturing giants were selling cars in unregulated markets with minimal or no safety features. This was able to happen because car manufacturers were choosing to only comply with existing weak national regulations for these markets, even though they complied with stronger United Nations vehicle safety standards in cars made for other regions. As a result, millions of unsafe cars that did not meet UN Vehicle Safety Regulations were being sold in low and middle-income countries, where 90% of the total global road crash deaths occur. Lives were being lost. This injustice couldn’t be allowed to continue.


By campaigning for improved car safety in Latin America, we were determined to eradicate the shocking double standards adopted by global car manufacturers, which was putting consumers’ lives at risk.

With our members in Latin America, we worked with Bloomberg Philanthropies, alongside the Global and Latin New Car Assessment Programme (Latin NCAP) to save lives through safer cars.

Together we were determined to remove dangerous zero-star cars from the road.

  • We put pressure on governments and manufacturers to save lives by adopting the minimum UN safety standards, requiring manufacturers to stop producing such unsafe cars.
  • We pushed for improved national regulation of car safety standards throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

unsafe and unfair

Cars were being sold in Latin America and India with minimal or no safety features. These vehicles could not be sold in the US, Europe, Japan or Australia, where car safety regulation is tighter and manufacturers provide better car safety information.

Showrooms were providing sparse and inaccurate information about car safety features: claiming, for example, that a large boot or trunk would make a car more crashworthy.

  • Five of the 10 top-selling cars in Mexico and Brazil were so unsafe that they scored only zero or one star in Latin America car crash test ratings, out of a total of five stars.Car models with the lowest safety ratings dominated rankings for best-selling cars in Latin America.
  • Globally 1.25 million people are dying and 50 million more are being injured each year on the road.
  • Road deaths in Latin America stood at 17 per 100,000 people, in India it is 16.6. In high-income countries the figure is 8.7 per 100,000 people.


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