Audi modified the A6 after initial testing because the airbag fired late. Changes made included a new airbag crash sensor and load-limiting front belts and the company has said that the upgraded car tested here is available now. Still, protection for the driver's chest was not as good as that of some rivals. The A6's pedals were found to be loose after the test – they are designed to break away in a serious impact. The car will pass side-impact legislation taking effect from October. Tests to assess pedestrian protection found the bumper and bonnet's leading edge were likely to cause injury, The bonnet rated better for head impacts.
The bodyshell remained stable during the impact but the driver's chest suffered relatively high loading from his seat belt and airbag, suggesting he might sustain injury. The lower facia contained hard structures which could cause local damage to his knees and increased the risk to his upper legs and pelvis. And, although the steering column was covered by an energy absorbing pad over the column angle adjuster bracket, it did not offer sufficient protection to prevent the risk of load concentrations on the knee, and the steering wheel lock was not covered by this pad. Finally, the break-away pedals fitted to this car much reduced the risk of feet and ankle injuries.
The Audi has seat-mounted side-impact chest airbags fitted as standard equipment. The driver's cushioned his arm, chest, abdomen and to some extent the pelvis, but chest protection was not as good as for some cars in this group.
Belts designed to lock around a child restraint are fitted to the outer rear seats. But, because their instruction labels do not meet Euro NCAP standards, the auto-lock function was not tested. A European manufacturers' association (ACEA) pictogram warning of the dangers of fitting a child seat next to an airbag was partially hidden on the central pillar, but a windscreen label in two languages carried the message, too. However, it did not warn of the risk of serious injury or death, as Euro NCAP would want, and could also be peeled off: it would almost certainly be lost if the windscreen had to be replaced. Audi's own forward-facing seats were used, but these did not comply with European regulations because their belt guides were not colour coded, and instructions were poorly attached.
The A6's front proved particularly unforgiving, though the bonnet area where head impacts are likely to occur rated better.