In 1997, when EuroNCAP was established, car makers said: “The assessment criteria is so severe,
no car will ever be able to achieve four Stars for in Adult Occupant Protection”. That year the Volvo S40 did reach four stars and three years later the first five-star car went on sale. That was the Renault Laguna. Now, here in Ireland over 60% of new cars sold have five stars and over 90% have four stars or better. That Irish score puts us in second place for the safest new car in the European Union.
EuroNCAP is raising the bar with this new scheme. It is convinced that the motor industry will raise their game too, to comply and to make all-round safer cars. Under the new testing regime, vehicles are awarded a single overall score from one to five stars and will cover Adult Occupant Protection, Child Occupant Protection, Pedestrian Protection and a new area of assessment: Safety Assist, to include ESC, seat assessment to reduce whiplash injuries, seat belt reminders and speed limitation.
The overall rating is based on the car’s performance in each of the four main areas and the scores are weighted with respect to each other. Over the next three years, stricter requirements will be introduced increasing the emphasis on all-round safety performance and demanding higher levels of achievement in each area.
Fleet Car has been championing the work of EuroNCAP for years and once again on February 18 as EuroNCAP announced its new rating scheme and the first results under that scheme, the Fleet Transport supplement was the only Irish presence at this enormously important event held in Brussels. Gerry Murphy was in Brussels for Conference and you can read a full report in the next edition of Fleet Transport.