Fiat Panda branded a 'zero-star car' for safety

Fiat Panda at Euro NCAP

While the aforementioned cars all five-star rated to no one's surprise, Jeep's latest Wrangler and Fiat Panda did the otherwise. 2018 Jeep Wrangler is now being launched in many countries around the world and India is also expecting the arrival of this Iconic SUV in its latest avatar.

The new Wrangler has achieved the worst score of any new model ever tested by Euro NCAP, and the third-worst in history ahead of the Fiat Panda and Punto.

An FCA Australia spokesperson told GoAuto: "Safety is something we take incredibly seriously, and every other member of our Jeep family of vehicles wears a five-star safety rating with pride, whether they have been crash-tested by ANCAP in Australia or by Euro NCAP".

The new Wrangler, meanwhile, comes with a seatbelt reminder and a "simple driver-set speed limiter, but no other form of driver-assistance system".

The poor rating is mostly due to the lack of driver assistance systems available on the SUV: emergency braking and lane-keep assist are not standard, or even available on European-spec Wranglers.

Although not an official comment, it's believed that if the Jeep tested by the Euro NCAP had been equipped with the upcoming AEB system, its rating would be considerably higher, although no specifics were given.

It scored 50 percent for adult occupant safety, 69 percent for child occupant safety, 49 percent for vulnerable road user safety and 32 percent for its safety assistance equipment.

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"It is truly disappointing to see a brand-new vehicle being put on sale in 2018 with no autonomous braking system and no lane assistance", said Michiel van Ratingen, the secretary general of Euro NCAP, in a statement. "It is high time we saw a product from the Fiat-Chrysler group offering safety to rival its competitors", said Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general, Euro NCAP. The footwell, it said, had "reached the limits of its structural integrity".

The testers criticize, however, that the knee airbag for the driver of the BMW X5 G05 has not worked in all scenarios, as expected.

In the offset test, driver chest protection was rated as weak, while leg protection was marginal.

In fact, the Panda has become only the second auto ever to be awarded 0 star rating ever since Euro NCAP was founded in 1997. The European safety watchdog also invited eight other cars including Jaguar I-Pace, Hyundai Santa Fe, Volvo S60, Volvo V60, Audi Q3, Peugeot 508 and BMW X5.

The current Panda has been around since 2011, and was originally awarded a four-star rating when it was new. Similarly, the dummy readings for the rear passenger showed weak protection of the neck and chest when combined with the high shoulder-belt loads.

In child protection, head protection was declared poor in all tests.

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