Last year, Hyundai UK conducted what it called the "ultimate wear and tear challenge," by parking a car for 10 hours in a safari park, where it was besieged by dozens of the park’s primates.
The baboon invasion supposedly simulated the punishment to which a car is subjected by the children of a typical family: jumping up and down on seats, pushing and prodding buttons and opening and closing storage bins.
Fifteen four- and five-year-olds, recruited from the Holmer Green Schools in Buckinghamshire, UK, put a Hyundai i30 (Elantra GT in Canada) through six hours of abuse – a.k.a. - kids being kids.
The kids put that claim to the test. Hyundai parked the car in the school’s playground and then let them have their way with it.
They also inspected the car’s many gadgets making faces for their friends in the reversing camera and calling their teacher via its hands-free Bluetooth system.
On the outside, they put the paintwork to the test by smearing mud and other substances on the body panels. And they confirmed that the car really was "made of steel" by throwing magnets at it, using the hood as a slide and beating on the doors with drumsticks.
Six hours later, another group of ten ten-year-old students cleaned up the mess the junior students made.The tourer cleaned up as good as new and was driven out of the playground intact and virtually unscathed, the company said.
"At Hyundai we believe in ‘new thinking’ which is why we like to take a different approach when it comes to quality testing," said Mark Baxter, Hyundai UK’s Product Planning Manager.
"Kids are notoriously hard on cars and these days families need transport that will withstand sticky fingers, accidental spillages and energetic personalities... we thought that if (the car) can withstand the tests of (these) kids, we could be confident that it would be tough enough for family life," he added." The fact that the i30 survived with only a few scratches after such rigorous testing is testament to the way modern Hyundai vehicles are built."
Tyreece Carey, a five year old reception pupil from Holmer Green First School said: "My favourite part was getting really messy with my muddy wellies. And I enjoyed making sandcastles in the boot. Mrs McClelland (his teacher) said I could only do this today and that I mustn’t do it in Mummy or Daddy’s car."
To thank Holmer Green and its pupils for all their help, Hyundai is funding new equipment for both of the schools.