Fiat Tipo only achieves three stars in Euro NCAP tests
26 October 2016
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
Euro NCAP - the safety-rating body backed by the European Commission and seven Governments, including the UK - has given the Fiat Tipo a lowly three-star score.
The Tipo was tested last month.Fewer than 10 UK models have achieved three-star ratings since the start of 2014, in which time 84 cars have been crash-tested.
Euro NCAP said the VW Golf rival scored just 25% in the safety assist evaluation thanks to the lack of speed limiter and automatic emergency braking systems as standard.
The VW Golf - which achieved a five-star rating - scored 71% in the safety assist category.
The Tipo also scored a 62% pedestrian protection rating, with the safety body marking it down thanks to the surface of the bonnet offering mixed levels of protection, while the car scored 60% in the child occupancy test, with Euro NCAP criticising the lack of information provided to the driver regarding whether or not the front airbags are on or off, and it scored 82% in the adult occupancy section.
The Golf scored 65% in the pedestrian protection section and 89% in the child occupancy bracket and 94% in the adult occupancy part.
Results from these four areas make up the overall score, which is marked out of five stars.
Fiat's Tipo did, however, score four starswhen the car was fitted with an optional safety pack. Under Euro NCAP rules, a second star rating can be given to a car with an optional safety pack as long as it can be fitted on all versions, is available in all markets and is sold in "significant numbers".
Fitted with the optional pack, the Tipo scores 57% in the safetyassist section, 62% in the pedestrian protection category, 82% in the adult occupancy section and 60% in the child occupancy bracket.
The £250 pack consists of a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking tool, although it has not been designed to mitigate pedestrian impacts.
"The Tipo is marketed as a functional carthat maximises value for money. However, to maximise safety, and to bring the car up to the protection levels offered by its biggest rivals in this segment, consumers should not pass over the safety pack," said Euro NCAP secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen.
Automotive safety research body Thatcham called on manufacturers to automatically offer advanced safety features as standard.
"Consumers shouldn't be asked to make a choice when it comes to safety," said Thatcham Research chief executive, Peter Shaw. "The problem is that when safety systems are not standard, consumers simply do not specify the option. Our data shows that uptake rates of optional safety packs are extremely low, - in the region of 2.5%. That's why we believe vehicle manufacturers need to prioritise AEB as standard on all new cars."
Matthew Avery, research director at Thatcham also believes car makers should target five stars for all new models: "The scores give consumers a clear indication of which cars they should be considering, and just as importantly the ones that fall short of expectations. With most small family cars such as the Vauxhall Astra, Renault Megane and VW Golf all achieving five -stars it's disappointing that Fiat can't follow suit."