Euro NCAP: “Inconsistent” Fiat panned with another zero-star safety rating

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Author: | Updated: 05 Dec 2018 12:04

The 2018 facelifted Fiat Panda has been given one of the lowest ratings in Euro NCAP’s history, with a zero-star safety rating given having failed to achieve more than 50% in any of the car safety organisation’s four key testing categories.

The announcement comes a year after the Fiat Punto was the first car ever to be downgraded to a zero-star rating having been on continuous sale since 2005. So much for Italian craftmanship…

Fiat Panda Euro NCAP

Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, said: “These shocking Euro NCAP test results demonstrate an inconsistent commitment to safety, as Fiat has produced four and five-star cars in the past.

“Most troubling is that the Fiat Panda is seen as a good choice for young drivers and fledgling families. But the only safety technology fitted were seatbelt reminders and the rear system failed to meet requirements, so wasn’t even rated.”

The bad news doesn’t stop there for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles either, with the new Jeep Wrangler only just given one star thanks to the fact it includes a seatbelt reminder and a simple driver-set speed limiter but no other form of driver-assistance system. It joins the above models as the three lowest rated vehicles to go through the programme.

Commenting on the disappointing results, Michiel van Ratingen from Euro NCAP said: “It is truly disappointing to see a brand-new car being put on sale in 2018 with no autonomous braking system and no lane assistance. It is high time we saw a product from the Fiat-Chrysler group offering safety to rival its competitors.”

Other manufacturers fared a lot better, with the Audi Q3, BMW X5, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jaguar I-Pace, Peugeot 508, Volvo V60 and its partner, the S60, all achieving a maximum five-star rating. But some weren’t without their own faults.

Euro NCAP’s tests on the Hyundai Santa Fe highlighted an issue where the side curtain airbags of cars equipped with a panoramic roof could be torn during deployment. In response, Hyundai has already changed the airbag fixings in production and early cars are subject to an official recall.

The BMW X5 also suffered from airbag problems, the driver knee airbag not deploying correctly in the frontal offset test and providing little additional protection to the driver’s legs. A similar issue was seen with the 5 Series in 2017.

The British-built Jaguar I-Pace was singled out for praise however, with Michiel van Ratingen, stating: “The I-Pace, especially, demonstrates that future vehicles will be good for the environment but also provide high levels of safety.”

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