The recently-facelifted Fiat Panda has suffered the ignominy of a zero-star rating in the latest round of Euro NCAP new vehicle safety testing.
This year trials have been more complex and strict than ever before.They included testing of a cyclist detection system with automatic braking and lane keep assist in emergencies.
"It is truly disappointing to see a brand new auto being put on sale in 2018 with no autonomous braking system and no lane assistance", commented Euro NCAP's Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen.
Thatcham's Matthew Avery added: "These shocking Euro NCAP test results demonstrate an inconsistent commitment to safety, as FIAT has produced four and five-star cars in the past".
Perhaps most concerning about the zero-star rating was the Fiat Panda's Child Occupant Protection scored just 16 per cent. "Deformation of the footwell showed that the structure had reached the limit of its integrity", read part of the report. "This latest award from Euro NCAP confirms the I-PACEs exceptional safety standards", JLR Senior Project Leader Body Engineering Simon Black said. Euro NCAP testing puts a lot more weight on driver assistance systems in its testing, an area where the new Wrangler is somewhat lacking.
FCA has defended its 4x4 rock-hopper, saying it meets federal safety requirements in every market in which it is sold.
Another poor performer in this month's round of Euro NCAP testing was the new Jeep Wrangler, which achieved just a one-star rating and a 50% Adult Occupant Protection score. During the rearward impact test, rear passengers were found extremely vulnerable to the so-called "whiplash injuries".
Child occupant protection has nearly halved, from 31 per cent to 16, while pedestrian protection has not changed much, going from 49 per cent to 47.
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