• 06-SEP-2017

Occupant Protection a Side Issue for Some

Ford Fiesta - Pole crash test 2017 - after crash
Today, Euro NCAP releases safety ratings for nine new cars.  The Ford FiestaJeep CompassMazda CX-5Mercedes-Benz C-Class CabrioletOpel Grandland X and Renault Koleos are all awarded five stars while Opel’s all-electric Ampera-e gets four. Kia’s supermini Picanto and small-family Rio both achieve three stars with standard safety equipment but are rated as four and five stars respectively when tested with their optional safety packs(1).

Some of this month’s cars demonstrated an apparent lack of restraint robustness in side impact testing. In the pole test of the Jeep Compass, readings in the dummy’s chest indicated injury risk values above the limit to qualify for points, but below those which indicate an unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury.  Likewise, in the side barrier test, the head of the dummy representing a 10-year-old child, seated behind the driver, struck the roof frame in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet as the side airbag did not fully cover the impact area.  In the same test with the Kia Picanto, the chest of the 10-year-old child was poorly protected. 

Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, “Euro NCAP is pushing for the fitment of advanced technologies and manufacturers have responded well, with AEB now commonplace on most new cars.  However, they should not forget the basics of occupant protection in case of a crash.  All occupants deserve to be equally well protected, whether they’re an adult driver or a child seated in the rear. The adoption of a 10-year-old child dummy in our test last year allows us to highlight areas for improvement, even in five star cars.”

The Ampera-e, while achieving a creditable four-star rating, disappointed in having no seatbelt reminder for the rear seats.  This follows a trend set by the Opel Insignia which offered rear seatbelt reminders only as an option. Michiel van Ratingen, “It is very disappointing to see Opel do away with this simple, relatively inexpensive but life-saving technology.  If occupants are not properly restrained, any additional means of protection are largely ineffective. We know how effective these reminders are at promoting seatbelt use, so this is clearly a big step backwards on Opel’s part.”

Finally, the 7th generation Ford Fiesta joins the Seat Ibiza as the second supermini this year to achieve a five-star rating with standard equipment only. Competitor Kia Picanto did not achieve the same performance in Euro NCAP’s tests, but consumers have the option to purchase the “Advanced Driving Assistance Pack”, available on all variants, to enhance its crash avoidance capabilities.

For full results, visit www.euroncap.com.  For media information, please contact media@euroncap.com