Euro NCAP today releases the results for seven cars in five different categories, mostly aimed at consumers with families. Euro NCAP is pleased to see that all of the cars in the line-up received four stars in Child Occupant Protection – currently the maximum safety protection available on the market. The cars in today’s line-up are the Audi A4, Skoda Superb, Citroen Berlingo, Ford Kuga, the VW T5 Caravelle and two Superminis, the Hyundai i10 and the Seat Ibiza.
Fortunately, most parents today understand the importance of placing their children in the proper restraints. Yet, recent surveys show that over 60% of child restraints are not used as intended. This may be due to incorrect installation of the seat or weak fitment of the harness on the child or even because the wrong seat has been used in the car. Euro NCAP believes one reason for this is the lack of information available about child seat fitment and use. Euro NCAP encourages child seat and vehicle manufacturers as well as parents to take a joint responsibility for the safety of children travelling in cars. Euro NCAP would like to promote greater awareness and understanding of child protection amongst both industry and consumers.
Euro NCAP introduced its Child Occupant rating in November 2003.This rating is based on the evaluation of the manufacturer’s recommended child restraints for an 18-month infant and a 3-year old child. Firstly, the child seats are tested in Euro NCAP’s frontal and side impact tests and points are scored for the dynamic responses of the dummies. Secondly, extra points are awarded for the effectiveness of the labelling and visual information displayed on the child seat and in the vehicle. Euro NCAP insists that warnings about child safety and information about ISOFIX points should be well-presented, clearly labelled and permanently attached. This assessment completed by Euro NCAP’s technical inspectors has the potential of leading to a maximum of 49 points or five stars. So far, the highest award of five stars remains elusive for all car manufacturers.
Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP says ‘I am happy to see all of the cars in this round of testing have performed well in Child Occupant Protection. Children deserve to be as well protected as adults and safety development in this area has not moved on as much as it should have done. Consumers have a responsibility to ensure they fit child seats that are compatible with their vehicle and clearly follow the fitment instructions. Euro NCAP believes that ISOFIX is the only solution that can reduce the level of misuse and offer an optimal level of protection. Fortunately, we see more and more manufacturers offering this solution as standard on their vehicles. It is up to consumers to make this safer choice.’
Of the seven cars tested, four achieved Euro NCAP’s maximum five-star rating for Adult Occupant Protection. Unlike Child Protection, no clear progress was seen in Pedestrian Protection despite approaching legislation. Only three of the seven cars achieved a three star score in this rating.
Results released today are for cars in the categories Supermini, Small MPV, Large Family, Large MPV and Small Off-Roader. The ratings for these cars can be seen in more detail at www.euroncap.com.
Euro NCAP’s test results are released on a quarterly basis.