General questions about Euro NCAP What is the main purpose of Euro NCAP? How does Euro NCAP provide a truly independent assessment of the safety performance of cars sold in Europe? Who may sponsor a vehicle for Euro NCAP testing? In terms of safety, what is the system of certification of new cars in the EU? Why not use legislation to improve safety? Does Euro NCAP consider any aspect of a car’s performance – adult occupant protection, child protection, pedestrian protection or safety assistance technologies - to be more important than others?
What is the main purpose of Euro NCAP?
Firstly, Euro NCAP makes available to consumers independent information about a cars’ comparative safety. Secondly, Euro NCAP acts as an incentive for manufacturers to improve the safety of their cars. Euro NCAP has been shown to have an important influence in improving road safety. There is evidence that improvements in vehicle safety have led to the greatest reduction in road accident casualties.
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How does Euro NCAP provide a truly independent assessment of the safety performance of cars sold in Europe?
Euro NCAP was set up by the Transport Research Laboratory, for the UK Department of Transport. Subsequently, other governments have joined the programme (France, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and the Catalonian part of Spain). Many Consumer Groups in Europe are members through International Consumer Research and Testing. Motoring clubs are represented by membership of the FIA, ACI and by the German motor club ADAC.
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This wide consortium of members ensures our independence. Euro NCAP itself is an International Association under Belgian law. We are independent of industry and political control and no individual member can bias Euro NCAP towards their individual interests. Euro NCAP is totally independent of the automotive industry.
Who may sponsor a vehicle for Euro NCAP testing?
Each member pays an annual subscription and must fund the testing of at least one car model each year.
In terms of safety, what is the system of certification of new cars in the EU?
Car manufacturers can fund the testing of their own cars but Euro NCAP has total control. The manufacturer cannot influence the testing, assessment or publication of the results.
All vehicles sold within the EU must meet the requirements of European Whole Vehicle Type Approval. Type approval is the process where a car is shown to meet all of the requirements of European legislation regarding safety, emissions, noise etc. The frontal and side impact crash tests used by Euro NCAP are based on those used in European legislation. However, much higher performance requirements are used by Euro NCAP. The frontal impact speed used by Euro NCAP is 64 km/h compared 56 km/h for legislation.
Why not use legislation to improve safety?
Legislation sets a minimum compulsory standard whilst Euro NCAP is concerned with best possible current practice. Progress with vehicle safety legislation can be slow, particularly as all EU Member States’ views have to be taken into account. Also, once in place, legislation provides no further incentive to improve, whereas Euro NCAP provides a continuing incentive by regularly enhancing its assessment procedures to stimulate further improvements in vehicle safety.
Does Euro NCAP consider any aspect of a car’s performance – adult occupant protection, child protection, pedestrian protection or safety assistance technologies - to be more important than others?
All aspects of a car’s safety performance are integrated into the new overall star rating. Euro NCAP does not consider any one part of this performance to be more or less important than another.
In the previous method of assessment, the three star ratings are of equal importance and we do not rate one higher than the other. They provide information to those consumers who are interested in the various aspects of the safety of their vehicles.