Euro NCAP: When innovation and a world first bring higher vehicle safety
Publication date: 29 August 2012
Six new models have recently undergone safety tests: the Audi A3, Ford B-MAX, Isuzu D-Max, Kia Cee’d, Renault Clio and Volvo V40. Euro NCAP, of which the FIA is a member, reports how these vehicle measure up against the latest requirements and finds encouraging trends.
With a creditable four star rating, safety on board the new Isuzu D-Max is significantly improved compared to the model tested in 2008. While the previous pickup failed to impress with a struck-through two star rating for adult occupant protection and just one star for pedestrian protection, the latest results show that Isuzu has learnt from the experience and made safety a priority for its newest model. Their efforts have resulted in a score of 83% for adult occupant protection and improved protection for child occupants against a tougher 2012 regime. Equally, pedestrian safety score is considerably improved although - with 51% - it did not yet reach the 60% threshold required for five stars.
The new Isuzu D-Max
With its rear sliding doors and innovative design, the Ford B-MAX has achieved five stars. Ford has done away with the middle columns on the B-MAX, known as the B-pillars, that usually separate the front and rear passenger compartments. To ensure the highest levels of protection in lateral collisions, a structure is incorporated into the doors to form a central post when the doors are shut. Euro NCAP found that safety was uncompromised as the B-MAX scored 92 percent for adult occupant protection. The mini MPV also comes with Active City Safety, an AEB system previously rewarded under Euro NCAP Advanced, which helps the driver achieve maximum braking effectiveness in an emergency situation.
The new Volvo V40 achieved five stars and is Euro NCAP’s all time top scorer in its segment. What particularly distinguishes the V40 from other vehicles is the world-first Pedestrian Airbag technology, fitted as standard on the entire V40 range. In case of a crash with a pedestrian, sensors detect the impact, release the bonnet and deploy the airbag in a split second. The pedestrian airbag lifts the bonnet and partly covers the stiff A-pillars providing greater protection for the pedestrian. In Euro NCAP’s tests, this has translated into a 88% score in pedestrian protection, the highest score yet achieved in this part of the assessment.
The new Volvo V40 featuring the world-first Pedestrian Airbag technology
The list of five star achievers is closed with the latest releases of Renault Clio, Kia Cee’d and Audi A3. Compared to their respective predecessors, this latest generation of hatchbacks offers significantly improved pedestrian protection amongst other notable improvements. Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP Secretary General, says : ‘In Europe, 14 percent of all road traffic fatalities are pedestrians. While in the last three years Euro NCAP has increased the requirements, the vehicle manufacturers have stepped up to the challenge. The scores observed today were unthinkable just a few years ago with the new V40 setting a new standard.’
Detailed results of the tested cars are published on the Euro NCAP website. Next publication of Euro NCAP results is scheduled for 28th November 2012.