Euro NCAP issues wake-up call to industry
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The new Chevrolet Aveo (Holden Barina sedan)
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26th February, 2006
A wake-up call for the motor industry as Euro NCAP awards two star strike-through for the new Chevrolet Aveo sedan (Holden Barina sedan).
In recent years, the increasing number of cars obtaining top marks for adult occupant protection in Euro NCAP’s tests has led some to demand the introduction of a new benchmark and a sixth star.
However, results announced on Friday by Euro NCAP prove that whilst some manufacturers are forging ahead in their safety development, others still have a long way to go.
Of the six cars tested by Euro NCAP in this recent phase, only two achieved the top five star accolade for occupant protection in Europe ’s leading independent crash tests.
Claes Tingvall, Euro NCAP Chairman said, “I am pleased to see that two of the six cars have achieved a maximum five-star rating for adult occupant protection. It is reassuring that more and more car companies are now placing an emphasis on safety and we are happy to recognise their achievements. However, we want to encourage the highest levels of safety in all cars and, in that regard, there is still work to be done. Euro NCAP will continue to provide consumers with the best information available regarding the safety of new cars.”
The Chevrolet Aveo sedan (Holden Barina sedan) was singled out by Euro NCAP for the unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury to the driver’s chest, which was highlighted by the frontal test. As a result, the car’s final star was struck through. Although the Aveo scored enough points overall to qualify for three stars, Euro NCAP insists on a minimum level of performance in each of the frontal and side impacts. While the Aveo’s performance in side impact was good, it did not score enough points in the frontal test to be given a three-star rating.
Yet, the Chevrolet was not the only car to come under Euro NCAP’s scrutiny. The Kia Cerato obtained poor results in the side impact tests with a high risk of injury to the driver’s chest.
In contrast, the Peugeot 207 joins the growing list of superminis to be awarded the five-star Euro NCAP rating in adult occupant protection, proving that even the smallest of cars can be safe on European roads.
The Alfa Romeo 159 also received impressive results for its adult occupant protection with a five-star Euro NCAP rating. This is the first Alfa Romeo to have received five stars in Euro NCAP’s adult occupant protection test. More worrying were the Alfa Romeo’s pedestrian protection results: only a one-star rating.
Claes Tingvall, Euro NCAP Chairman said, “I am pleased to see that Alfa Romeo achieved the coveted five-star Euro NCAP rating for adult occupant protection, yet I am disappointed that they have not shown the same commitment to pedestrian protection. There is a clear difference emerging between those car manufacturers who are trying to improve the protection their cars offer to pedestrians and those who still see that as a low priority. When cars can achieve creditable results without any advanced technology, there is no excuse for the very low levels of performance we have seen in this phase. There is no reason why cars cannot now provide a high level of protection to all road users.”
Summary of Recent Results
Large family cars:
Alfa Romeo 159
Small family cars:
1. The “strike through” is used to show that there was a serious risk of “life threatening” injury to one body region. In the case of the Aveo (in Australia, the Aveo is known as the Holden Barina sedan), the driver was at severe risk of injury in a frontal impact test at 64/km/h.
2. Organisations participating in Euro NCAP include the Departments of Transport of Sweden, The Netherlands, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Catalonia, the FIA Foundation, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC), Thatcham on behalf of the British Motor Insurers and the International Consumer Research and Testing (ICRT) on behalf of the European consumer organisations. Euro NCAP is also supported by the European Commission.
3. Euro NCAP introduced an additional star rating for child protection in November
2003. This rating is for a combination of a car with specific child seats that have
been recommended by the car manufacturer. The combination can now earn up to five
stars for child protection. The rating depends on the fitting instructions for the
child seats, the car’s ability to accommodate them safely and their performance in
front and side impact tests. However, there are important limitations to this
rating, which are:
4. With the introduction some time ago of the Child Occupant Protection rating it is important to refer to the Adult Occupant Protection rating correctly. In the past, this has been referred to as the “Overall” or “Occupant” rating. Neither of these is now satisfactory.
5. The front impact test is conducted at 64km/h (40mph) into an offset deformable barrier, the side impact test 50km/h (30mph), the pole test at 29km/h (18mph) and the pedestrian tests at 40km/h (25mph).
6. Comparison between Size Categories: It is essential that no attempt is made to compare the ratings between cars in different segments or mass groups. The frontal crash test aims to measure the performance of the car impacting another car of similar mass. There is no capability to determine what would happen if cars of widely different masses impact each other. It is not primarily the mass difference that has the effect but the effect that mass has on the structural stiffness combined with the relative height of the structures from the ground.
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