Fiat Panda, Jeep Wrangler off the pace in latest safety-crash ratings

Fiat Panda, Jeep Wrangler off the pace in latest safety-crash ratings

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 failed to achieve more than 50 per cent in any of the four key tests that the safety organisation puts a vehicle through. It must be noted, the Euro NCAP awarded this rating despite the Wrangler's flawless score on side-impact tests.

Commenting on the results, Michiel van Ratingen, General Secretary, Euro NCAP said, "It is truly disappointing to see a brand-new auto being put on sale in 2018 with no autonomous braking system and no lane assistance".

The Audi Q3, BMW X5, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jaguar I-Pace, Peugeot 508 and Volvo V60 and S60 all scored five stars. "It is high time we saw a product from the Fiat Chrysler group offering safety to rival its competitors". In Europe, the Wrangler's safety systems are limited to a seatbelt reminder and a driver-operated speed limiter warning system. The BMW X5 was marked down to 89 per cent because the driver knee airbag failed to deploy properly in the frontal offset crash test, which would have resulted in upper leg injury.

The biggest complaint is that the popular off-roader is lacking active and passive safety systems like automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring systems-with the only features now available being a primitive seatbelt reminder.

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The Euro NCAP testing procedure has changed dramatically over the past few years, with a major overhaul being introduced at the beginning of 2018, one that made the current testing procedure the toughest one in the history of the organization.

The Panda was originally tested when the latest generation first went on sale in 2011, attaining a four star rating.

It scored just 50 per cent in the Adult Occupant test, indicating some deformity of the A-pillar and deforming of the footwell area on the driver's (in this case, left) side. Fiat Panda also performed badly in whiplash protection for rear seat passengers and also where chest protection for front seat occupants is concerned.

Child occupant protection has nearly halved, from 31 per cent to 16, while pedestrian protection has not changed much, going from 49 per cent to 47. Similarly, the dummy readings for the rear passenger showed weak protection of the neck and chest when combined with the high shoulder-belt loads.

The only points collected in the safety assist assessment were for seatbelt reminders.

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