The Ka gains most of its score from side impact and was particularly poor in protecting the driver’s legs from serious injury. Although we have awarded three stars the Ka only just gets into this rating. The wrong child restraints were tested. Ford tells us that these should have been their branded Römer Prince child restraints.
The frontal impact forced the steering wheel well out of position, but the airbag still retained the head in forward motion. The passenger compartment retained its ability to protect the occupants, but the seat belts are not fitted with pretensioners unlike most of the cars tested in this group. There were several hard areas under the facia that would cause severe injuries if contacted by the knees in frontal impact. The rearward displacement of the brake pedal posed a hazard to the driver’s feet and ankles. The Ka is therefore not good at protection the legs and feet of the driver with a high risk of serious injury in these body regions.
After the first side impact test Ford were allowed to retest the Ka with an improved side structure which included a foam block and a section of foam at pelvis level. These improvements will be in the cars manufactured after the VIN number below. The chest took most of the load in side impact with the lower body being less effected. The head had a glancing blow on the central door pillar, but this was not judged to be severe. The armrest collapsed on impact saving the abdomen from further injury. The amount of loading on the chest is therefore a problem and gives a high risk of serious or fatal injury to this body region.
Unfortunately a local Ford dealer supplied Ford branded Römer Peggy Universal child seats which are the wrong child restraints for testing in the Ka. This is an error which could have occurred to any customer, so Ford tell us that they have taken this matter very seriously and have instructed their dealers Europe wide to get rid of this type of restraint; so this should not be a problem in future. The three year old risked chest injury in the frontal impact and his head came outside the restraint in the side impact, as did that of the 18-month-old. Installation labels and belt routing were not clear or permanent.
The pedestrian protection on the Ka is dire with a very aggressive upper and lower leg impact sites gaining no points. The bonnet is only a little better but scoring most of its points in the glass area of the windscreen.