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Advanced Active Safety Technologies Still Not a Top Priority for Every New Car

Press release   •   Oct 26, 2016 09:01 BST

Fiat Tipo - Frontal Offset Impact test 2016

Latest Euro NCAP test result confirms that consumers cannot assume all new cars launched include a full range of Safety Assist features as standard

  • New Fiat Tipo falls short on collision avoidance technology, achieving only a Three Star Euro NCAP rating
  • When the optional safety pack is added, which includes Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), it raises the score to a Four Star rating
  • Thatcham Research believes a Five Star rating and ‘Safety as Standard’ should be the goal for all new models launched in the UK

Despite overall improvement in the safety performance of newly launched cars, consumers still aren’t automatically getting a full range of advanced safety features as standard – and according to Thatcham Research, the independent voice of automotive safety in the UK and a member of Euro NCAP since 2004, that needs to change.

“Consumers shouldn’t be asked to make a choice when it comes to safety,” said Thatcham Research Chief Executive, Peter Shaw. “The problem is that when safety systems are not standard, consumers simply do not specify the option. Our data shows that uptake rates of optional safety packs are extremely low - in the region of 2.5%. That’s why we believe vehicle manufacturers need to prioritise AEB as standard on all new cars.”

Euro NCAP test results for the new Tipo issued today, reveal that Fiat’s new small family car achieves only a Three Star rating in standard guise, scoring just 25% in Safety Assist evaluation. An optional safety pack, which includes City and Inter-Urban AEB, raises the Euro NCAP rating, but to only four stars.

By comparison, other new cars recently introduced in the family car category – such as the new Renault Scenic – feature AEB as standard throughout the range, enabling a Five Star Euro NCAP rating.

“Vehicle manufacturers should be targeting a Five Star Euro NCAP rating for all new models and to achieve this they need to score highly in every assessment category, including Safety Assist,” commented Thatcham Research Director of Research, Matthew Avery. “The scores give consumers a clear indication of which cars they should be considering and just as importantly the ones that fall short of expectations. With most small family cars such as the Astra, Megane and Golf all achieving 5 stars it’s disappointing that Fiat can’t follow suit”

To find out more on car safety and to check the level of safety technology on a new car you are considering, visit www.thatcham.org/car-safety.

Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research tests and accredits crash repair parts, vehicle repair technicians, and a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.