Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Fiat Panda, Jeep Wrangler off the pace in latest safety-crash ratings

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Nellie Chapman | 08 December, 2018, 02:11

The Wrangler is new, having been launched in North America earlier this year and now Europe. When the all-new Jeep Wrangler 4×4 was put through the same crash testing regime, it scored a paltry one-star rating.

The poor rating is mostly due to the lack of driver assistance systems available on the SUV: emergency braking and lane-keep assist are not standard, or even available on European-spec Wranglers.

Euro NCap released the safety ratings of nine cars that include the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X5, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jaguar I-Pace, Peugeot 508, Volvo V60 and its partner, the S60, all achieve a maximum five-star rating.

Being virtually the same auto, except for the slightly different body style, the two managed the same score in all categories: 96 percent for adult occupant protection, 84 percent for child occupant protection, 74 percent for pedestrian and cyclists protection and 76 percent for safety assist systems.

Euro NCAP's secretary general Michiel van Ratingen said it was truly disappointing to see a brand-new vehicle being put on sale in 2018 with no autonomous braking system and no lane assistance. "It is high time we saw a product from the Fiat-Chrysler group offering safety to rival its competitors", said Euro NCAP secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen.

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Euro NCAP found that the connection between the A-pillar and the trans-facia beam of the Wrangler was damaged in a way that indicated the structure would be unable to withstand higher loads in a frontal offset test. Another part of the report talked about how the deformation of the footwell showed the limit of the structure's integrity.

The testers criticize, however, that the knee airbag for the driver of the BMW X5 G05 has not worked in all scenarios, as expected. Under Euro NCAP regulations, the lowest score from all four categories forms the basis of the final mark.

The Fiat Panda light hatchback, which is not sold in Australia, dates from 2011 when it received four stars from Euro NCAP under the rules at that time.

The Panda also scored zero points in the frontal and lateral impact tests for 6- and 10-year old children, with weak chest protection for older kids in the frontal impact test and poor head and neck protection across the board.

In the full-width crash test, the rear passenger protection was rated as poor - the lowest rating - while driver chest protection was marginal.