FOUR new additions to the Australian new car market have all achieved five-star safety ratings, but the assessment body wants more.
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program says there needs to be a shift toward safety assist technologies which can prevent a crash from occurring.
"Many of these technologies are now widely available in Europe and are working to reduce the number and severity of crashes," said ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh.
"Their availability in Australasia is however being restricted by manufacturers, many of which are still only offering them to those who are prepared to pay for them as an extra."
The assessor is calling for technology such as autonomous emergency braking to become standard on all new vehicles.
Among the new showroom entrants wearing five-star ratings are the Jeep Cherokee, Skoda Rapid, Honda Odyssey and Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid.
Set to be launched next month, the Cherokee is the first Jeep rated by ANCAP to achieve all five safety stars.
"Jeep is a mainstream brand that has been around for many years but has lagged its competitors in terms of safety," Mr McIntosh said.
The Cherokee is fitted with a full suite of airbags and a number of safety assist technologies including roll stability, trailer stability, tyre pressure monitoring and daytime running lights as standard on all variants.
Autonomous emergency braking, radar cruise control, blind spot monitoring, reversing collision avoidance and lane support systems are available only as added options on more expensive variants.
It's a similar situation for the Skoda Rapid, Honda Odyssey and Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid.
"While each of the cars for which we've released ratings have achieved excellent results and provide a very high level of safety for occupants - and, in the case of the Cherokee, Odyssey and Pathfinder, have increased their ratings from previous models - there now needs to be a shift in focus (toward additional safety assist features)," Mr McIntosh said.
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