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Chinese LDV V80 van gets two stars for safety

One of Australia's cheapest vans has been slammed by safety experts after scoring a "poor" two-star rating out of five in a crash test.

The Chinese-made LDV V80, which costs from $29,990 drive-away, scored a low 4.97 points out of a possible 16 after a crash test at 64km/h into an offset barrier, designed to simulate clipping the edge of an oncoming car, one of the most common and most deadly accidents in Australia.

The surprisingly low score has prompted safety experts to renew their calls to bring the crash protection of commercial vehicles in line with family cars.

This score is nowhere near acceptable

"It's difficult to understand how a vehicle in 2015 could be so obviously sub-standard on safety," said Jack Haley, the safety expert for the National Roads and Motorists' Association.

"This score is nowhere near acceptable. The safety of commercial vehicle users is no less important than that of passenger car users. Couriers travel far greater kilometres each year than private motorists."

The report on the LDV V80 by the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) said: "The passenger compartment lost structural integrity in the frontal offset crash test. Steering column and pedal movement were excessive. Steering column components were a potential source of knee injury for the driver. Dash components were also a potential source of knee injury for the driver and passenger (and) a door opened during the test."

The LDV V80 was released in Australia in 2013 but a new distributor took over the importation of the vehicle in late 2014.

LDV has sold 225 of this particular van in the first seven months of 2015, according to figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

The poor result for the Chinese-made LDV van follows two-star ratings for the first two Chinese-made Great Wall utes sold in Australia in 2010.