Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Fiat Panda scores a shocking 0 star safety rating in crash test

Fiat Panda scores a shocking 0 star safety rating in crash test

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also had a new auto in the same round of Euro NCAP testing, in the form of the Jeep Wrangler.

The Panda - one of two zero-rated cars in Euro NCAP's history along with the Fiat Punto a year ago - failed to score more than 50% in any of the safety organisation's four key testing categories; it scored just 16% in the Child Occupant Protection test compared to an average of 79% for this category. It lost points for not having things like automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist - the Wrangler doesn't offer either of those things in Europe, even as an option. "It is high time we saw a product from the Fiat-Chrysler group offering safety to rival its competitors", said Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general, Euro NCAP.

Fiat Chrysler Australia, the importers of the Jeep brand, declined to be interviewed directly, instead issuing a statement that says the company takes safety "incredibly seriously".

The Panda and Punto - which was tested 12 months ago - at least have the excuse of being old cars that Euro NCAP felt the need to test against the latest safety requirements. The new vehicle assessment program tested Hyundai Santa Fe in four categories - safety of adult occupant, safety of child occupant, safety of vulnerable road users and safety assistance system. "Deformation of the footwell showed that the structure had reached the limit of its integrity", read part of the report. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the previous generation a three-star rating.

Given that the vehicle would be driven mostly in the city in stop-start traffic, NCAP also mentions, "the standard-fit autonomous emergency braking system performed well in tests of its functionality at low speeds, typical of city driving, at which many whiplash injuries are caused". During the rearward impact test, rear passengers were found extremely vulnerable to the so-called "whiplash injuries".

Watch the Panda and Wrangler crash tests below and head over to Euro NCAP's YouTube channel to view the rest...

An FCA source has confirmed that the 2019-specification JL Wrangler will be sold locally with AEB when it hits showroom floors in March next year.

The scores of the vehicles that underwent the stringent safety test procedures are keenly observed not just by the manufacturers but the prospective customers as well due to the paramount significance they have on modern day vehicles. The vehicle scored 69% for child protection.

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