Never heard of the Nissan Tsuru, have you? Don’t feel bad, it’s not something you’ll find in the showrooms of Blighty, proudly glistening beside Pulsars and Micras. If you’re Mexican though, you might be a little more familiar, as that’s where it’s available. And, despite the fact it looks older than your Gran, it’s actually a brand new car. Or at least, it was. Nissan has pulled sales now. Why? Because it’s a little less than safe. That’s why.

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Hey sexy!

Nissan Tsuru – New for Old

So what makes it so unsafe? Probably the fact that it’s a really a 1992 design, namely that of a Nissan Sentra. In the online brochure the images, despite a photographer’s best efforts, show that this is an old, old car. And what do old cars lack? Any discernible safety measure, that’s what! Seriously, this sucker hasn’t even got airbags.

How the hell can it still be sold? Well, Mexico doesn’t have much in the way of safety standards. So technically, Nissan has been doing nothing wrong. Morally though, it’s a different story. Especially as 4,000 people have had their deaths linked to a Tsuru between ’07 and ’12. FOUR. THOUSAND.

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No expense spent

Enter stage left, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. These guys and girls take safety seriously, and they’re less than thrilled by old chod like the Tsuru still being offered on the market. To demonstrate this, they slammed one into a 2016 Nissan Versa. The Versa’s driver would have walked away. The Tsuru’s driver would have been in enough bits to make an Airfix kit blush. The results were not pretty. So not pretty in fact, that Nissan has pulled sales of the Tsuru. They say there’s no such thing as bad PR – this story begs to differ.

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My face, my beautiful face!

Nissan Tsuru – No more

The Tsuru scored zero stars. It folded in on itself as if it were made of Bacofoil. It was so bad, the lack of airbag wouldn’t have mattered. Poor old Bob the dummy was crushed between the dash, firewall and seat with ease. Bags of air would have been of little aid. It was, as you can see, shocking.

Not as shocking though as the fact car companies still make these cars. If a country has a low safety benchmark, it’s not your place to profit by ignoring it. You should respect what you’re capable of in other markets. It’s not the fault of the Mexican people. They want to be safe, not exploited. Shame on you Nissan, and shame on any other company that does this.