*Update: this story has been edited to reflect comments made out of context in the sourced story. Holden has since responded to the claims.
Controversy is all around us, but it’s certainly not what Holden needs at the moment as it moves closer to launching the all-new 2016 Holden Spark. Specifically, the new Holden Spark has been subject to criticisms over the brand’s safety claims.
Foremost, Holden states the 2016 Spark arrives with class-leading safety features, yet the sub-compact arrives with only six standard airbags over the ten airbags equipped for U.S. motorists in the 2016 Chevrolet Spark, as reported by Drive.
And it’s not media stirring up the controversy, it’s the Australian crash-test authority, ANCAP.
ANCAP chief executive James Goodwin was displeased to see a difference in safety equipment between markets.
“We don’t like to see any level of de-speccing of safety features between markets,” he states.
“A customer in the U.S., Europe or Australia is still a customer and should be treated with the same respect.”
Holden’s response defended the claims the features are more than enough to keep Australian drivers safe.
“Safety remains Holden’s first priority and despite its small stature, Spark demonstrates this unreservedly with a wealth of safety features performing to the highest standards,” the brand states.
*Holden has since responded to the claims stating the 2016 Spark was designed to meet all ANCAP safety requirements, which differ from U.S. regulations extensively. In fact, Holden’s engineering has the brand striving for the maximum safety award in the segment.