Sunday, December 03, 2006

Five-star rating for four cars

Euro NCAP has recently released the test results for a total of eight new results.

Four of the cars achieved the maximum five-star rating for adult occupant protection – the Ford Galaxy, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, the Lexus IS and the Citroën C4 Picasso. All of the other cars, including the Honda Civic and Audi Q7, achieved four-star ratings.

The five-star cars were praised by Euro NCAP’s chairman, Claes Tingvall, “These manufacturers clearly believe that their customers demand the highest levels of safety and they are able to provide that very high level of protection in their cars. It is reassuring that such manufacturers consistently achieve high ratings.”

In contrast, it was widely reported that Honda expected the new Civic to achieve a five-star rating. However, to Euro NCAP’s disappointment, the tests have shown that it is a four-star performer, an uncompetitive result compared with other cars in its category.

Claes Tingvall, “It is disappointing, though perhaps not surprising, that some manufacturers should try to make it known that they are expecting the highest award from Euro NCAP. Honda state on their websites that they expected a five-star rating for the Civic and continue to do so even after our rating has been published. Such statements are clearly misleading and confusing to the public. Honda has yet to produce a five-star car and should wait until our results are known before suggesting otherwise.”

Audi’s Q7 suffered a rupture of the footwell in the frontal impact, a result of poor welding. Audi state that they have improved production quality as a result of Euro NCAP’s tests, yet they decided not to submit the vehicle for re-test.

Claes Tingvall, “The Q7 is an expensive, prestige vehicle from a marque known for the quality of its products. Those who have bought the car will be disappointed that it has not been rated higher than some older, cheaper vehicles in the same category. People paying a premium price for a vehicle must surely expect to get the highest levels of protection."

Six of the cars achieved a four-star rating for child protection with the other three cars being awarded three stars.

The Honda Civic was the only car to be awarded three stars for its pedestrian protection. All other cars were awarded two stars except the Kia Carnival which was awarded only one star.

Claes Tingvall, “It is reassuring to see Honda continuing their good results in pedestrian protection. There are now a number of three-star cars and we hope that the trend will continue to spread across the industry. At the same time, it is disappointing to see Kia achieve only one star. It shows that some manufacturers still do not take pedestrian safety seriously. Clearly they have much to do to catch up with the others. We would like to see them and other poor performers place a much greater emphasis on protecting this vulnerable group of road-users.”

Read the ratings for these cars in more detail here.



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