Euro NCAP announces first four-star award for pedestrian-protection.

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The European New Car Assessment Programme has announced that the Citroen C6 is the first car to be awarded the maximum four stars for pedestrian protection. The executive-sized car is also awarded five stars for adult occupant protection and four stars for child protection, showing that occupant safety need not be compromised to protect those outside the car. Euro NCAP has been pressing for better pedestrian protection for many years to try to drive down avoidable deaths and injuries to vulnerable road-users.
The C6 detects when a pedestrian has been struck and activates a 'pop-up' bonnet to give greater clearance between the bonnet and the rigid parts of the engine. It is the first such system to be assessed by Euro NCAP but it is expected that other similar systems will be introduced soon. The Seat León is awarded three stars for pedestrian protection, reflecting a growing emphasis by some car manufacturers on pedestrian safety. The Jeep Grand Cherokee scores zero points for pedestrian protection and is awarded no stars in that category.

Claes Tingvall, Euro NCAP Chairman said,

"It is very gratifying that Citroen have achieved four stars for pedestrian protection. A few years ago, some manufacturers claimed that it was impossible. Now, it is clear that manufacturers who are committed to all-round safety can protect those outside the car without compromising the safety of those inside. Citroën's achievement is particularly clear, coming as it does in the same phase as a car that has scored no points for pedestrian protection. There is no longer any excuse for such neglect and Citroën are to be congratulated for setting an example which we hope others will follow."

Amongst the latest Euro NCAP results released today (23rd November) is a struck-through three-star rating for the Chevrolet Matiz for adult occupant protection. The strike-through indicates an unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury in one aspect of the car's performance, in this case chest protection in side impact. The Matiz lags behind other Superminis whose results are also released today, notably the Fiat Punto and the Toyota Yaris, both of which are awarded the maximum five stars for adult occupant protection. The Matiz is also the only car tested in this phase not to have a seat-belt reminder system as standard. Such systems have been shown to encourage seat-belt use (1), essential for effective occupant protection.

Claes Tingvall said,

"All but one of the cars tested in this phase had a seat-belt reminder system. That's great news. All of the safety features in a car are wasted if people don't wear their seat-belts and we now know that a reminder system is a very effective way of encouraging use.

"I am pleased to see that we have two more Superminis providing five-star occupant protection. It is clear that manufacturers are finding new ways to provide safety even in small, tightly packaged cars. However, we also have a struck-through three star car in this phase, showing that there is still room for improvement. Euro NCAP will continue to encourage all manufacturers to achieve the highest levels of safety."

Results are released in the Supermini, Small Family, Large Family, Executive, Small MPV and Large Off-Roader categories.

Editors reminder:

Euro NCAP celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a high level conference on 29th November 2005 . Professor Claes Tingvall will introduce a prestigious list of speakers from Europe, Japan and the USA. The conference will review how consumer information programmes have raised the public awareness of car safety and in turn created a competitive market for car makers. Press release is to follow. For further information and accreditation please see www.euroncap.com.

Summary of Results

Super-minis

Small family cars

Large family

Executive car

Small MPVs

Large off-roaders

* Results already released

Reference

(1) "Seatbelt reminder systems ensure almost 100 per cent seatbelt use," August 2005

Maria Krafft, Folksam , Sweden

For more information contact: office@euroncap.com

Editors note:

1. Organisations participating to Euro NCAP include the Departments of Transport of Sweden, The Netherlands, France , Germany , the United Kingdom and Catalonia as well as the FIA Foundation, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC), Thatcham and the International Consumer Research and Testing (ICRT) on behalf of the European consumer organisations. Euro NCAP is also supported by the European Commission.

2. The future test programme will continue to assess new cars in all segments.

3. Australia has adopted the same testing protocols as Euro NCAP and they are publishing results from Euro NCAP that are applicable in their market. The Euro NCAP testing protocols are unique in that they include tests for front, side and pole impact and also give information on pedestrian protection.

4. Euro NCAP introduced an additional star rating for child protection in November 2003. This rating is for a combination of a car with specific child seats that have been recommended by the car manufacturer. The combination can now earn up to five stars for child protection. The rating depends on the fitting instructions for the child seats, the car's ability to accommodate them safely and their performance in front and side impact tests. However, there are important limitations to this rating, which are:

•The child protection rating can not be used for the car alone, nor can it be used for the car with a different combination of child seats.
• The tested child seat alone does not have a child protection rating.
• The same child seat tested in combination with other cars may give a different child protection rating.

5. The front impact test is conducted at 64km/h (40mph) into an offset deformable barrier, the side impact test 50km/h (30mph), the pole test at 29km/h (18mph) and the pedestrian tests at 40km/h (25mph).

6. The full results will be on the web site www.euroncap.com from 23 November.

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