BYD Atto 3 electric cars built from 21 November 2022 will be awarded a five-star safety rating in Australia, while vehicles that have already been delivered will need modifications to be awarded the same score.
The BYD Atto 3 electric car from China has been awarded a five-star safety rating in Australia, more than a month after it was hit with a ‘stop-delivery’ notice due to two compliance breaches.
In a media statement issued today, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) said all examples of the BYD Atto 3 built from 21 November, 2022 will be awarded the five-star safety score.
According to ANCAP, the BYD Atto 3 recorded results of 91 per cent in Adult Occupant Protection, 84 per cent in Child Occupant Protection, 69 per cent in Vulnerable Road User Protection (pedestrians and cyclists), and 80 per cent in Safety Assist technology.
The announcement comes more than five weeks after the BYD Atto 3 missed out on the five-star safety rating in Australia, even though it earned top marks in Europe and New Zealand.
Local crash test authorities withheld the five-star rating pending a review by federal regulators.
When Drive asked BYD for comment regarding the withheld safety score, lawyers representing the local distributor tried to stop Drive from publishing the story and said a media statement would be issued within 24 hours.
On October 13, Drive exclusively reported the BYD Atto 3 was found to have breached Australian motor vehicle compliance regulations related to the child seat anchor point in the middle back-seat position.
BYD’s local distributor claimed the electric car had been certified in Australia as a five-seat passenger vehicle, however the Atto 3 lacked the top tether child restraint anchor point in the centre position of the back seat – a legal requirement for all five-seat cars.
While the two ISOFIX child seat latches (with corresponding top tether mounts) in each outboard rear seating position were accessible, the anchor fitting for the middle seat was obstructed by a carpet covering – making the Atto 3 non-compliant with local regulations.
Regulators also found the Atto 3 had been fitted with two ISOFIX latches in the front passenger seat, despite child restraints being illegal in the front seats of a passenger car in Australia.
On October 21, a stop-delivery notice was issued following the compliance breach, as the Australian distributors of the BYD Atto 3 worked with federal regulators to comply the electric car for local roads.
Following lengthy delays, deliveries of the Atto 3 resumed in Australia last week, with the local distributor of BYD announcing all examples of the electric car sold from November 14 would be compliant with Australian regulations.
BYD’s Australian distributor says it has modified the locally-delivered Atto 3s to ensure their rear centre seats have an accessible rear anchorage point for child seats, while the two ISOFIX latches in the front passenger seat have been “disengaged”.
According to ANCAP, examples of the BYD Atto 3 built before 21 November 2022 will be eligible for the safety rating once they have been modified.
This week, Drive exclusively reported BYD has become Australia’s second best-selling electric-car maker within its first two months on sale.
In September and October 2022, 889 examples of the BYD Atto 3 were registered in Australia – surpassing the sales figures of specific electric models such as the MG ZS EV, Polestar 2 and Hyundai Kona Electric.