Euro NCAP’s Spotlight Falls on Heavy Quadricycle
4th June 2014
Euro NCAP has tested four heavy quadricycles in a special safety campaign. All vehicles have performed very poorly and some have shown serious risks of life threatening injuries.
In recent years, a new class of sub-compact vehicles has emerged in Europe. Quadricycles, originally derived from motorcycles, are small and fuel-efficient vehicles used in rural or urban areas as an alternative to motorbikes or city cars. In some countries, they are also used by local government authorities and institutions which require small and environmentally-friendly vehicles. Although street-legal, quadricycles do not have to pass any of the rigorous crash tests to which cars are subjected.
The tested models were the Club Car Villager 2+2 LSV, the Renault Twizy 80, the Tazzari ZERO and the Ligier IXO J LINE 4 Places. All are fully type-approved for use on public roads, yet in frontal and side impacts at 50km/h, all showed severe safety problems. The tests differ from Euro NCAP’s normal procedures and the results of the quadricycles cannot be compared with the star ratings published for passenger cars.
Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP Secretary General said: ‘It’s worrying to find that, because crash safety tests are not required by law, quadricycles show a level of safety that is way below that of cars. Even though they meet legislative standards, these vehicles lack the minimum safety equipment which has become commonplace on passenger cars sold in Europe.’
While some vehicles scored better than others, all four quadricycles showed serious safety problems. The vehicles were scored primarily on data from crash dummies but penalties were also given for poor performance of the structure or restraints. The Ligier and the Tazzari had major failings of their restraint systems in the frontal test. In the Ligier, the upper connection of the driver’s seatbelt pulled out of the structure, leaving the dummy unrestrained and leading to a high risk of injury. In the Tazzari, the driver seatbelt broke and the driver’s head hit the steering wheel with a force that indicated a high risk of serious or fatal injury. The structure of the Club Car virtually collapsed in the frontal impact. The Renault Twizy - the only vehicle of the four tested to have an airbag as standard - scored best but its stiff structure and restraint system resulted in some dangerously high dummy readings.
‘Our test campaign confirms that quadricycles generally provide a much lower level of safety than regular passenger cars. The poor results, however, urge us to ask ourselves whether consumers should really be satisfied with the protection currently being offered? As quadricycles look set to become more and more popular, Euro NCAP is calling for manufacturers and legislative authorities to ensure a minimum level of crash safety for this vehicle segment’ stated Michiel van Ratingen.
The detailed results of the tested vehicles are published on the website and the crash test videos are available on our Media Center and YouTube channel. Next Euro NCAP results will be released on 25 June 2014. For more media information, please contact Marie Brasseur, Euro NCAP Communications Manager.