Max Mosley on Formula 1 Health and Safety

By Brady Holt (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Max Mosley, Global NCAP Chairman, is reported to have recently written to Carlos Ghosn, Nissan Chairman and CEO, calling for an urgent recall of the Datsun Go from the Indian and related motor markets. The Datsun Go, in the recent crash testing results posted by the campaign #SaferCarsforIndia, was reported to have a safety rating of zero stars. The structure of the vehicle was deemed unstable in the test, because it collapsed. The high impact forces placed upon crash testing dummies were reported to represent a significant risk of serious injury or death. The body shell of the Datsun Go’s was remarked to be so unsafe that including airbags within the car would be futile.

As well as serving as FIA President from 1993 to 2009, Mosley was also appointed Honorary President of the European Parliament Automobile Users’ Intergroup and founded the FIA’s Expert Advisory Safety Committee. Attention to safety within Formula 1 came to the forefront of the sport in 1994, with the death of world champion driver Aytron Senna in San Marino. In the wake of Ayrton Senna’s death, Mosley sought a complete overhaul of safety within the sport. He speaks candidly about Formula 1 safety in a BBC interview. Commenting upon the release of the Datsun Go, Mosley reflected on the United Nations’ minimum crash testing standards as a vital component of the UN’s Decade of Action in respect of its Road Safety’s Global Plan. He pointed out that given Nissan’s CEO and Chairman, Carlos Ghosn’s duty of care to both his customers and the public at large (particularly as the European Car Manufacturers Association’s President), Mr Ghosn should demonstrate his leadership, both as a representative of Nissan and the automobile manufacture industry as a whole, to ensure automobile safety in the UN’s Decade of Action.

Mosley relayed his disappointment at Nissan’s authorisation of a new model which was blatantly sub-standard. He pointed out that the Nissan-produced Datsun Go would fail the frontal impact regulations as set out by the United Nations, and urged the Nissan group to withdraw model from the Indian market pending the car body shell’s redesign.

Nissan’s Datsun Go achieved a minimum zero star rating for protection of adults. The model scored only a two star rating for occupant protection in respect of a child. The vehicle’s structure was deemed to be unstable as it collapsed in crash testing; its absence of airbags resulting in a strong likelihood that the head of the driver would collide with the dashboard or steering wheel during a collision, resulting in injuries which may well be life-threatening.

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