Fewer winners drive out in latest results
3rd March 2010
Today, Euro NCAP releases the crash test results for five new cars the Citroen Nemo, the Kia Venga, the Nissan Cube, the Seat Exeo and the Toyota Verso. In this latest set of results only one car, the Toyota Verso, receives Euro NCAP’s maximum five star rating. New Euro NCAP rules and further demands in European legislation in 2010, means this year carmakers face even tougher challenges.
In 2010, Euro NCAP raises the bar for carmakers to achieve five stars across three areas of safety protection. Performance thresholds for Adult Occupant Protection and Child Occupant Protection rise from 75% to 80% and from 70% to a 75% respectively. However, it is in Pedestrian Protection where the difference is felt the keenest increasing the minimum level required from 25% to 40%. The Toyota Verso is the only car to receive a maximum five star award in today’s results, with good scores achieved in all areas and a worthy 69% in pedestrian protection.
Most manufacturers today offer several solutions to the family wagon formula, some of which are based on their commercial range. Euro NCAP has noticed that the latter cars are particularly poorly fitted with regard to their safety features and equipment. The latest model sold by Citroen, the Nemo Multispace, is a direct derivative of the Nemo commercial van. The car achieved an overall rating of three stars and a lacklustre 29% in Safety Assist as Electronic Stability Control and Speed Limitation Assistance are both not available as options. The low score in Adult Occupant Protection is attributed to the lack of a standard curtain airbag and poor whiplash performance of the seats.
The Seat Exeo, a saloon car based on the previous generation Audi A4, achieved an overall rating of four stars. Stiff structures in the dashboard presented an elevated risk of injury to knees and femurs, which the fitted knee airbag was unable to mitigate. However, the car did well in protection of pedestrians and the infants in the rear. The Nissan Cube, otherwise a solid performer, was let down by its child occupant protection during the frontal impact test with a overall four star rating as the result.
The Kia Venga also achieved a four star rating, although not without problems. During the frontal test the driver seat belt was partially cut by the lower seat rail, a serious flaw that potentially can undermine proper restraint of both frontal occupants. Kia swiftly introduced a solution and is currently taking market action to respond to Euro NCAP’s findings.
Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP says “Any reduction of the performance of the seat belt not only poses a serious risk to the driver and passenger, but also compromises the validity of the Euro NCAP rating awarded to the car. Customers must ensure that the modification is fitted, so that the four star rating applies.”
Please see separate Safety Information: Kia Venga for further details.
Euro NCAP’s test results are released on a quarterly basis. Keep checking our website for details of forthcoming results.
ESC performance data on all cars tested in 2009 is now available on www.euroncap.com/results.
For further information please contact Euro NCAP at +32 2 4007740 or email.