MPVs: Some Manufacturers Still Lazy About Safety.

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Euro NCAP today releases test results for its latest car line-up and is shocked to find that certain manufacturers are still ignoring Euro NCAP's call for stronger safety measures in family cars. An MPV, the Chrysler Voyager has again been awarded a poor safety score of two stars with the last star struck through, seven years after it originally received a two-star result.

Euro NCAP first tested a collection of MPVs, including the Voyager, back in 1999. Only two out of eight cars received a four-star rating, the maximum available at that time. In its testing, Euro NCAP noted that MPVs were weaker in frontal impact tests. Consequently, many manufacturers have made great improvements to their vehicles since then, particularly in this area. In August 2006, Euro NCAP awarded the Ford S-MAX 36 points and a five-star rating, making it the best performing MPV to date.

However, as the Chrysler Voyager shows, despite this progress, some manufacturers are continuing to sell cars that are little changed from those tested in 1999. In this month's results, the right hand drive Voyager did not meet the minimum score for a three star Adult Occupant Protection rating. The Voyager's results also indicated an unacceptably high risk of serious or fatal injury, resulting in the last star being struck through.

Euro NCAP Chairman, Claes Tingvall, said, "I find it shocking that, in seven years, this manufacturer has not been able to improve the safety of this MPV - a car that is clearly targeting families. Still worse is that Chrysler continues to sell this version in the UK whilst a better-equipped and better-performing version is available in left hand drive across the rest of Europe. I do hope that Chrysler intends to show a greater commitment to safety in the future."

Today's results also include some disappointing pedestrian protection scores. Again, the Chrysler Voyager is the worst performer, scoring no points at all and being awarded no stars. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, also made by Chrysler, performed equally poorly in 2005.

Euro NCAP Chairman, Claes Tingvall, said, "I am continually disappointed by the lack of commitment and effort shown by manufacturers to improving the level of pedestrian protection in their vehicles. This is an area where there are few front-runners and massive room for improvement."

Results released today are in the MPV, Small Off-Roader and Small Family categories.

The ratings for these cars can be seen in more detail at www.euroncap.com. The complete test results will be available from 31st January 2007.

Also available on the website is Euro NCAP's new press pack "A ten-year journey for MPVs";.

Please don't hesitate to ask us if you need film footage on this month's test results or on the MPVs included in the Press Pack.

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 cordelia_wilson@euroncap.com.

Summary of Results

MPV

SMALL OFF-ROADER

SMALL FAMILY

Editors' notes

1. With the introduction some time ago of the Child Occupant Protection rating it is important to refer to the Adult Occupant Protection rating correctly. In the past, this has been referred to as the "Overall" or "Occupant" rating. Neither of these is now satisfactory.

2. 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).

3. Comparison between Size Categories: It is essential that no attempt is made to compare the ratings between cars in different segments or mass groups. The frontal crash test aims to measure the performance of the car impacting another car of similar mass. There is no capability to determine what would happen if cars of widely different masses impact each other. It is not primarily the mass difference that has the effect, but the effect that mass has on the structural stiffness combined with the relative height of the structures from the ground.

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