- Active Bonnet
The active bonnet is a safety system designed to enhance pedestrian safety. When the sensors in the front detect a collision, the rear portion of the bonnet is raised to better absorb the impact with the pedestrian.
Autonomous Emergency Braking systems are safety systems that help the driver avoid (or reduce) a crash and its consequences. Different sensor technologies can be used to identify critical situations ahead, including radar, camera and LIDAR. AEB systems can warn the driver and provide brake support or fully auto-brake the car without driver involvement. More advanced systems combine both these functionalities. Learn more on AEB.
- Airbag cut-off switch
This system allows the passenger airbags to be switched off so that a rearwards facing child seat in the front passenger seat can be installed safely.
- Airbags (frontal, side, curtain, knee)
The airbag is a vehicle safety device that consists of an inflatable bag, also known as an airbag cushion. The airbag module is designed to inflate rapidly during a collision and provide the occupants with additional protection and restraint during a crash. Airbags provide an energy absorbing surface between the occupants and at the interior of the cars. Airbags are normally installed to protect in case of a frontal collision (frontal airbags) and lateral collision (Side curtains airbags and/or torax airbags). Also knee airbags and seatbelt airbags are available. Airbags are only efficient if seatbelts are worn.
- Annual Review
Cars’ star ratings are reviewed annually to ensure that they are still valid. The Annual Review checks if changes have been made to the safety equipment fitted or to anything else which would influence the validity of the original result. A successful review means that the star rating remains valid against the requirements of the year in which the car was originally tested but takes no account of changes to the rating scheme since that time.
- Attention Assist
Attention Assist is a drowsiness detection system that warns drivers and helps to prevent them from falling asleep momentarily whilst driving. It will prompt them to take a break before it's too late. Some Attention Assist systems use a sensitive steering angle sensor to monitor the way in which the driver is controlling the car. Others use a forward looking camera to monitor the vehicle position in the lane and calculate a vigilance level for the driver.
- Belt Load Limiter
Belt load limiters are a devices designed to protect occupants from seatbelt-inflicted injury. In the event of a crash, the pretensioner tightens the belt early in the impact. Once the force in the belt has reached a certain level, the load limiter releases the webbing gradually so as not to exert too much force on the chest of the occupant.
- Belt Pretensioner
The belt pretensioner is designed to retract some of the lenght of a seatbelt in the early stages of an impact. This helps to tighten the seatbelt and restrain occupants quickly reducing the forward movement during a collision.
- Body Type
The car body shell is a fairly complex assortment of large steel sections. These sections have been stamped into specific shapes which make up the body of the car. Car body types are categorized by their style and size: supermini, small family cars, large family cars, pick-up etc.
- Child restraints (CRS and Integrated CRS)
A Child Restraint System is a seat designed specifically to protect children during collisions. Most commonly the CRS, suitable for the child's age or size, is purchased and installed separately by a parent or caretaker. Euro NCAP assesses the safety performance of CRS in the front and side crash and evaluates if common CRS available on the European markets can be fitted easily. Some cars offer build-in CRS also referred to as integrated CRS.
- Crash test dummy
A crash dummy is an anthropometrically correct representation of a car occupant, designed to mimic the human response in a typical crash. Crash dummies are made from plastics, rubber and metal components and contain measurement instruments in the most important body regions. Crash dummies are regularly recalibrated to ensure that they behave consistently over time.
- Dual Rating
From 2016, Euro NCAP allows two star ratings for a car: a default (‘base’) rating which indicates the safety of the car fitted only with safety equipment which is standard on the model range throughout EU28; and, if the manufacturer wishes, a second, ‘dual’ rating for the car fitted with an ‘safety pack’ which may be offered as optional. The dual rating allows consumers to see the improvement in safety which can be achieved by the additional crash avoidance equipment.
- Dummy readings
The information recorded by the crash test dummies in real time during the crash tests, such as accelerations, forces, moments and displacements. Thanks to a series of sophisticated sensors it is possibile to evaluate the protection offered to the different parts of the human body in a crash. This information is then analysed to determine the severity of the impact and assess the crash protection offered by the car. Learn more by reading "crash test dummy".
- ESC / ESP
The Electronic Stability Control or Electronic Stability Program is a system that improves the vehicle's stability by detecting and reducing loss of traction. When ESC detects loss of control, it automatically applies the brakes to help maintain the vehicle stability. Braking is automatically applied to wheels individually, such as the outer front wheel to counter oversteer or the inner rear wheel to counter understeer. Some ESC systems also reduce engine power until control is regained. Since 2011, ESC tests have been performed on all cars that meet the fitment requirements and the test results can be found under Safety Assist. As of November 2014, all cars sold in Europe must have a ESC system that meet the legal requirements and Euro NCAP has stopped its dynamic testing. Learn more on ESC/ESP.
- European Enhanced Vehicle-safety Committee (EEVC)
The EEVC steering committee consists of representatives from several European Nations and initiates research work in a number of automotive working areas. These research tasks are carried out by a number of specialist Working Groups who operate for over a period of several years giving advice to the Steering Committee who then, in collaboration with other governmental bodies, recommends future courses of action that would lead to improved vehicles with respect to safety.
- Facelift model
A car facelift comprises of changes to a car's styling during its production run and enables a carmaker to freshen a model without a complete redesign. The Euro NCAP Facelift reviews assess if these changes have an impact on the safety performance of the car. Euro NCAP can confirm that the car can still retain the original safety rating, without taking in account the latest test protocols.
- Head restraint (active/passive)
Head restraints are an automotive safety feature that are attached or integrated into the top of each seat to limit the rearward movement of the adult occupant's head relative to the torso in a collision. This helps to prevent or mitigate whiplash or injury to the cervical vertebrae. Active head restraints are designed to automatically improve head restraint position and/or geometry during a rear-end impact by moving towards the head of the occupant.
- Heavy quadricycles (L7)
Quadricycles are sold as convenient, economical means of transport. They are road-legal and a full license may not be required to drive them. These vehicles do not have to pass the stringent legal safety tests that apply to normal passenger cars. Nevertheless, many quadricycles look similar to small city cars and some buyers may consider quadricycles as alternatives to such cars while others may buy them instead of a motorcycle. Light quadricycles (L6) are limited to 45km/h. Heavy quadricycles (L7) are not speed-limited and, while some have very low maximum speeds, others can reach speeds of 100km/h. Discover more on Safety of Quadricycles
i-Size is a European car restraint system safety regulation giving maximum protection to children, including rear facing travel, ISOFIX and improved fitting. All i-Size child seats use the ISOFIX installation method. Regular ISOFIX child seats do not necessarily comply with the higher demands of i-Size.
ISOFIX is an international standard system that allows to fit a child seat into a vehicle without using the seatbelt. It was designed to provide an easy and safe way of installing a child restraint seat (CRS). The ISOFIX system was first introduced on the European market in 1997 and became more widely available when it became part of the European ECE R/44 test standard in 2004. Euro NCAP has encouraged manufacturers to take responsibility for protecting children and to provide suitable facilities for the fitment of child restraints. Many child restraint users fail to attach the child restraint securely to the car and this compromises the protection afforded to the children. Euro NCAP has encouraged improved designs and the fitment of ISOFIX mounts and child restraints. ISOFIX provides a much more secure method of attaching the child restraint to the car, provided that additional provision is made to prevent rotation of the child restraint, due to seat cushion compression and rebound.
- Kerb Weight
Kerb weight is the total weight of a vehicle with standard equipment, all necessary operating consumables such as motor oil, transmission oil, coolant, air conditioning refrigerant, and a fuel, while not loaded with either passengers or cargo.
- Lane Support Systems (LDW, LKA)
Sometimes a moment of inattention is enough to make your vehicle stray from its lane. Lane Keep Assist is a feature that will actively brake or steer the vehicle to ensure it stays in its lane. Lane Keep Assist can warn you when you unintentionally leave the road lane or when you change lane without indication. Learn more on Lane Support.
- Pillar A-B-C-D
Pillars are the vertical or near vertical supports of a car's roof and surround the glazed areas. They are designated as the A, B, C or D-pillar respectively when moving from the front to rear of the vehicle.
- Protocols (Test Protocols, Assessment Protocols)
Euro NCAP Test & Assessment Protocols contain detailed instructions outlining how Euro NCAP tests are conducted and which requirements are applied. The protocols are used in the crash test facilities and by Euro NCAP inspectors during each safety test. They are regularly updated and are available on our website for Industry. Present, past and future protocols can be found in the For Engineers section.
Quadricycles are sold as convenient, economical means of transport. They are road-legal and a full license may not be required to drive them. These vehicles do not have to pass the stringent legal safety tests that apply to normal passenger cars. Nevertheless, many quadricycles look similar to small city cars and some buyers may consider quadricycles as alternatives to such cars while others may buy them instead of a motorcycle. Light quadricycles (L6) are limited to 45km/h. Heavy quadricycles (L7) are not speed-limited and, while some have very low maximum speeds, others can reach speeds of 100km/h.
- Safety Pack
From 2016, Euro NCAP allows manufacturers to sponsor an optional, second rating for their cars. All cars will receive a basic rating, representing the safety level achieved using only standard equipment. The optional rating represents the safety level that can be reached if consumers opt for the additional safety equipment provided in the form of a ‘Safety Pack’. To be eligible for a second rating, the Safety Pack can contain only certain driver assistance technologies that are assessed in Euro NCAP’s rating scheme. These technologies include autonomous emergency braking and lane assistance systems, features which the manufacturer might not be able to make standard in all EU countries but which offer a safety benefit. Euro NCAP would like to see such systems developed, available and promoted on all models. The manufacturer is not allowed to include basic equipment such as airbags in the Safety Pack: if these are optional then they are not included in the basic safety rating.
For any model, the contents and fitment of the Safety Pack may vary from country to country. For example, a manufacturer may sell a car with all safety equipment fitted as standard in one country while, in another, some items will be made available only as an option. The manufacturer can choose how to market the equipment but must be able to show Euro NCAP that they are promoting the technology by selling an increasing number of vehicles fitted with the Safety Pack technologies throughout the life cycle of the model. In countries where all safety equipment is standard, the manufacturer may advertise a vehicle using only the better, optional star rating. In all other countries, the manufacturer must display both the basic, standard equipment rating and the optional, Safety Pack rating, to demonstrate the different levels of safety that can be achieved.
- Seat Belt Reminder
Seat Belt Reminder (SBR) is a safety system that warns the driver and passengers to fasten the seat belts using audible and visual warnings. Read more on SBR.
- Speed Assistance
Speed Assistance systems are designed to help the driver to not exceed the legal speed limit. Different systems are available on modern cars to inform the driver on the present speed limit; warning the driver when the car’s speed is above the set speed threshold; or actively prevent the car from exceeding the set speed threshold. Euro NCAP assesses the functionality of these systems as part of the Safety Assist tests.
- Test Facilities
An approved Euro NCAP test facility is the place where the safety testing - which include the crash tests and the track tests - is performed. Only qualified laboratories are able to perform official Euro NCAP tests. The full list is available in the section About Euro NCAP.
- Twin models
Twin models are cars built on the same mechanical platform and share all exterior and interior components. Twins are identical as far as safety is concerned but may have subtle differences in grille and headlamp shape, and they are sold by different brands as separate models. Euro NCAP always checks to ensure that the safety rating of a tested model can also be applied to its twins.
- Type approved
All vehicles sold in Europe have to pass legal tests to ensure that they meet minimum standards for many different areas of performance: noise, emissions and safety are just some of the areas that are regulated. As the tests are not conducted on each individual vehicle but rather on the type of vehicle, the process is known as ‘type-approval’. Production is checked to ensure that cars continue to comply to the approved type. Euro NCAP is different from type-approval in the sense that tests are more demanding but not legally required.
- Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs)
The vehicle identification number (VIN) is a unique 17 digit code used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles. The format of the VIN is defined in ISO 3833 and includes fields to identify the vehicle manufacturer and the manufacturing plant, the model code and a sequential production number unique to that vehicle.
- Vehicle Target
For the Autonomous Emergency Brake test, Euro NCAP uses an impactable vehicle target that replicates a real medium-sized car. This vehicle target has characteristics that make it appear as a real vehicle for the common sensors used, but has the advantage that it does not damage the test car in staged impacts.
- Vulnerable Road Users (VRU)
Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) are defined as non-motorised road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists as well as motor-cyclists and persons with disabilities or reduced mobility and orientation. Of most relevance to Euro NCAP’s tests are pedestrians and cyclists. Read more about Pedestrian Protection.
‘Whiplash’ is a term used to describe injuries characterised by a sudden distortion of the spine. Such injuries can lead to long, painful and debilitating symptoms over many years. Although Whiplash is not uncommon in frontal and side impact accidents, it most frequently occurs in low speed, rear end collisions. Whiplash injuries are difficult to diagnose, difficult to treat and are estimated to cost the European society up to 10 billion Euro annually. Euro NCAP designed the whiplash test to assess the protection provided against this type of injury. Read more on whiplash protection