Although there was some distortion of the body, the Space Star maintained its structural integrity in testing and protected its passengers.
The driver’s head and chest ran an increased risk of injury from hitting the steering wheel if the collision were even more severe. However in the NCAP test, his airbag worked satisfactorily.
The driver’s head just ‘bottomed out’ on the airbag and, in a more severe accident, head injury risks for him would rise. His chest also struck the steering wheel and that can lead to severe injuries, too.
Airbags are standard for the driver and passenger. The driver risked leg injuries should his knees hit some areas below the facia.
The centre rear belt was a static lap-only type that can cause injuries. A three-point belt is an optional extra, but Euro NCAP believes it should be standard.
The front seat belts were equipped with reel-mounted pyrotechnic pre-tensioners that offered additional protection.
Unlike others tested, the Space Star does not feature head or side-impact protecting airbags as standard. The driver also ran greater risks of abdominal injury.
There was a standard passenger airbag that can be dangerous for any child placed opposite in a rear-facing restraint. There were labels warning of this on the passenger’s end of the facia and a three-language warning on the visible side of the sun visor. However, neither mentioned the risk of serious injury or death.
Mitsubishi chose universal Storchenmühle Air Seat restraints for testing. In the frontal impact, the children’s heads struck the restraint shields sufficiently hard for severe facial damage or brain injury to result. It is predictable that this restraint will cause injuries because the children’s heads must strike the shields. In other ways these restraints performed well, but the certainty of injury made them the worst testers had seen.
The bonnet and bumper gave limited protection to pedestrians but did not score well. Parts of the bonnet’s front edge provided some cushioning, which was unusual.