Euro NCAP - Up to Speed on Testing.

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Today, Euro NCAP releases the results for six cars: the Daihatsu Materia, Mazda 2, Honda Civic, Mercedes Benz C Class, Renault Laguna and the Volvo V70, which were all put through Euro NCAP's rigorous testing process. Euro NCAP tests unearthed faults that even the manufacturers' own safety tests failed to pick up.

During the tests of the Mazda 2, a supermini, and the Volvo V70, a large family car, problems were noted with the deployment of both these cars' airbags. In the frontal impact test of the Mazda 2, a small disturbance shortly before impact led to a delay in the firing of the airbags and protection of the front seat occupants was compromised. Although these disturbances are not part of Euro NCAP's tests, they could occur in real life accidents. In the case of the Volvo V70, curtain airbag deployment was delayed in the side pole test.

Both manufacturers took steps to rectify the problems in their vehicles. Mazda improved the airbag control software in production cars and will contact all Mazda 2 owners, to ensure their cars are upgraded. Volvo agreed to modify production cars and to contact all V70 owners. As a result of the commitment shown to modify the cars to the upgraded specification, both Volvo and Mazda were granted re-tests. The results released today are based on these re-tests. During the re-testing, the airbags of the Mazda 2 deployed as expected but, unfortunately, the Volvo V70's curtain airbag again fired late. Volvo is currently investigating this issue. Consumers who are concerned about their own vehicles should contact their local dealer.

Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP "This is exactly why Euro NCAP exists: to independently evaluate the protection that these cars offer consumers and to spot just this kind of error. If there is a safety problem, we will not re-test the vehicle unless the problem is fixed on all cars."

Of the results released today, four cars received five stars in adult occupant protection. These were the Mazda 2, the Mercedes Benz C Class, the Renault Laguna and the Volvo V70. The Renault Laguna would have been Euro NCAP's highest ever scorer in adult occupant protection if it had not lost a point for the opening of a rear door in the side impact test.

Euro NCAP is disappointed to see that none of the cars achieved higher than three stars for pedestrian protection.

Results released today are for cars in the Supermini, Small Family and Large Family categories. The ratings for this car can be seen in more detail at www.euroncap.com.

Euro NCAP's commitment to consumers ensures that test results are released as soon as possible. Keep checking our website for details of forthcoming results.

For further information please contact: Cordelia Wilson, Communications Manager +32 2 4007746 or e-mail.

Summary of Results

Supermini

Daihatsu Materia
Adult Occupant Protection: 4 stars
Child Occupant Protection: 3 stars
Pedestrian Protection: 2 stars

Mazda 2
Adult Occupant Protection: 5 stars
Child Occupant Protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian Protection: 2 stars

Small Family Car

Honda Civic
Adult Occupant Protection: 4 stars
Child Occupant Protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian Protection: 3 stars

Large Family Car

Mecedes Benz C Class
Adult Occupant Protection: 5 stars
Child Occupant Protection: 3 stars
Pedestrian Protection: 2 stars

Renault Laguna
Adult Occupant Protection: 5 stars
Child Occupant Protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian Protection: 2 stars

Volvo V70
Adult Occupant Protection: 5 stars
Child Occupant Protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian Protection: 2 stars

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