Fleet News

First two-star Euro NCAP rating since 2008 bucks car safety trend

Thatcham Research says that the Ford Mustang bucks the positive trend towards safer cars by not offering similar levels of safety in the UK as in the United States, and advises that there are safer choices as a result of the Two Star Euro NCAP rating it received today.

“We have not given a Two Star Euro NCAP rating to any of the top 10 car brands since 2008," said Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research.“This really bucks the trend."

Car buyers are increasingly benefitting from improved safety functionality and features, and this applies equally to cars in the sports roadster category as to family cars.

However, Avery said: "We have concerns about the Ford Mustang’s crash protection of adults and children which also makes it unsuitable for having rear passengers. On top this, it does not have basic life-saving technology like Autonomous Emergency Braking that is available even on the Ford Fiesta, and the recently launched Ford Edge.

“What really concerns me,” continued Avery, “is that Ford has made a deliberate choice.The car has been designed to score well in less wide-ranging US consumer safety tests and only minor updates have been made to meet required European pedestrian safety regulations.This has resulted in poor adult and child protection scores and the high tech radar collision warning system that is available to US consumers, not being available here in the UK.The Two Star Euro NCAP rating is the consequence.”

In the frontal offset test, the airbags of both the driver and passenger inflated insufficiently to properly restrain the occupants. In the full-width frontal test, a lack of rear seatbelt pre-tensioners and load-limiters meant that the rear passenger slid under the seatbelt, implying higher risk at abdominal injuries in real life accidents. In the side impact crash, the head of the 10-year dummy contacted the interior trim bottoming out the curtain airbag.

Ford says that a face-lifted Mustang will be available later this year with Pre-Collision Assist and Lane Keep Assist as standard. Euro NCAP expects to test the safety of this updated model when it is available on the European market.

Other sports roadster cars rated by Euro NCAP over the past few years include the Audi TT, BMW Z4 and Mazda MX-5.

In contrast, the VOLVO S90 and V90 receive Five Star Euro NCAP ratings today as a result of their class leading safety. Both cars follow the trend set with the XC90, with excellent occupant protection, and a full suite of AEB functionality that includes pedestrian and cyclist crash prevention technology as well as its unique AEB system that is capable of identifying large animals.

The S90 and V90 results surpass the best overall score of any model tested in 2016, with Euro NCAP’s top-3 best performing cars ever, all now being Volvos.

“Despite being at a different price point to the Volvo XC90, the Volvo S90 and V90 have the same levels of safety as the XC90," said Avery. "It does make you wonder if anything rubbed off on Ford from the VOLVO/Ford partnership."

Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety and repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘safer cars, fewer crashes’.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research tests and accredits crash repair parts, vehicle repair technicians, and a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.

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  • Tim Williams - 25/01/2017 13:29

    It's a real shame that an organisation whose purpose is to advise the public on the safety of cars waits until the Mustang has been on sale in the UK for 18 months before testing it. Maybe cars shouldn't be allowed to be sold in the UK until they have been tested? Clearly of more concern is the cavalier approach Ford appear to have taken. For a car with the power and handling of the Mustang not to have top notch crash protection is unforgivable. Had I known this before buying mine I would have thought twice.

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