FIAT Chrysler Automobiles has come under fire from Euro NCAP after the Fiat Panda and Jeep Wrangler got zero and one star respectively in the latest safety ratings.
The Panda, last tested by Euro NCAP in 2011, has now been comprehensively overtaken by rival superminis in the race for safety. With nothing more than a seatbelt reminder scoring points in Euro NCAP’s Safety Assist box, the vehicle failed to reach even a single star.
The Wrangler, however, is an all-new vehicle, launched this year. With a seatbelt reminder and a simple driver-set speed limiter but no other form of driver-assistance system. Euro NCAP said it “lags far behind its competitors”.
NCAP’s Michiel van Ratingen said: “It is truly disappointing to see a brand-new car being put on sale in 2018 with no autonomous braking system and no lane assistance. It is high time we saw a product from the FIAT-Chrysler group offering safety to rival its competitors.”
Euro NCAP also released the safety ratings of nine cars. Audi Q3, BMW X5, Hyundai Sante Fe, Jaguar I-PACE, Peugeot 508, Volvo V60 and Volvo S60, all of which achieved 5 star rating.
Even some of them had problems. Tests on the Hyundai Santa Fe highlighted an issue where the side curtain airbags of cars equipped with a panoramic roof could be torn during deployment.
Hyundai has already changed the airbag fixings in production and early cars are subject to an official recall.
The BMW X5 also suffered from airbag problems, the driver knee airbag not deploying correctly in the frontal offset test and providing little additional protection to the driver’s legs. A similar issue was seen with the 5 Series in 2017.