Fleet News

Safety changes to Ford Escort

CHANGES are being made to the Ford Escort which will improve its crash safety performance. The Escort was one of three of Britain's best-selling lower medium sector cars - with the Vauxhall Astra and Rover 200 - which were absent from the latest round of European New Car Assessment Programme crash testing. The omission of the three cars prompted a wave of protest from rival manufacturers.

The vehicle had initially been one of the cars due to be tested, but Ford told NCAP that it was making changes to the car which would affect the vehicle's crash performance. As a result it was withdrawn. A Ford spokesman said it was too early to reveal the changes, but the car would be tested when a production model was ready.

The new Astra was not tested because it was not on sale when the test programme started, but the Escort is due to remain in production until 2000 despite the arrival of the Focus in October. The Rover 200 was considered too small for the lower medium sector - although it is Rover's competitor in the class. But Euro NCAP officials tested the Honda Civic five-door which shares many characteristics with the 400 - the manufacturer's upper medium sector competitor - although Honda says the Civic is its lower medium competitor.

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