At the launch of the VE Commodore in July last year, Holden management were quick to point out that more than a billion Aussie dollars were sunk into developing GM's new global RWD architecture, and that thousands of miles of testing were conducted for the latest version of Australia's most popular car.

Holden is now on the back foot following the four-star crash test rating its VE scored in last week's Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), the local equivalent of the Euro NCAP and America's NHTSA crash test ratings. The latest result means the all-new Commodore is no safer than the previous VY model released back in May 2003. Worse still, in some cases, such as the offset impact test, the new VE was rated less safe than the previous car.

Holden's official response is that the ANCAP doesn't represent real-world conditions, and that 80 cars were crash-tested during the VE's development in addition to more than 5,000 computer-simulated barrier tests. When questioned about the poor result by Australia's GoAuto, Holden chairman Denny Mooney could only respond that he didn't have the test data in front of him. Remember, this is the same platform that GM's RWD ambitions are riding on. It's the same basic structure that will spawn a host of new models including the Camaro and Impala, and the car is already coming to the US as the Pontiac G8, so there's a great deal riding on it.

[Source: GoAuto Online]