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Old 03-06-2019   #16
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Re: Zero Stars & Euro NCAP

Quote Originally Posted by Sam D Housecat View Post
After the Panda was re-tested, I emailed Euro NCAP requesting details as to the rationale in again testing this model. Euro NCAP have not responded to two requests for comment.

Aside from the publicity for Euro NCAP, and adverse headlines for FIAT, what in reality was achieved in retesting the Punto and Panda?

As with every other manufacturer, FIAT design its cars to meet the safety standards as they apply at the time. When tested by Euro NCAP at launch in 2005, the 199 Punto achieved five stars. In 2011 the 319 Panda achieved four stars. One star was deducted from the Panda since stability control was not available as an option on all markets/models. In 2013 Euro NCAP recognised the Panda separately in respect of its low speed collision avoidance option.

Just as at launch, at the time of second testing by Euro NCAP both the Punto and Panda continued to conform to the statutory crash worthiness requirements as applied across the EU.

Because neither the Punto nor the Panda were new designs, or structurally revised models, Euro NCAP could have no expectation that a second crash test would yield different results from those already achieved. In terms of their research brief, there was therefore no logical reason for the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) to carry out further crash tests on these models.

With the pace of technological advance, and models today required to satisfy an ever changing and widening brief, no manufacturer can hope to future-proof their designs. Among this host of competing demands, and the rate of technological change, improvements in occupant safety would, merely to keep pace, require a ground-up redesign of both the platform and the technical systems every four or five years.

Many manufactures take the view that such an investment would be better spent in the development of an entirely new model. In the past, when the pace of change was slower and designs were less technically complex, such decisions would often coincide with declining sales as the model aged and neared the end of its seven to twelve-year production cycle.

Increasingly however, the development and production of lower margin cars like the Panda pose a particular difficulty. The economics of developing technically advanced designs, building them from high-strength materials and marketing them for a low price simply donít stack up. In order to satisfy the design brief and bring new models in on budget, FIAT has for decades been pioneers of platform and component sharing.

From an ethical standpoint, the revised tests carried out by Euro NCAP could not be said to have been conducted in good faith. Only by using its altered testing criteria could Euro NCAP achieve the zero-star ratings. Even if we allow that Euro NCAP had a research goal to carry out a comparative study of its test criteria, this could have been achieved without unreasonably maligning a manufacturerís reputation. Having now briefed against the same manufacturer twice, Euro NCAPís actions might be regarded as being unreasonably vindictive.
Most eloquently and intelligently put. These people seem not to have enough to do! Why dont the y retest all the small German cars too!!!!!
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Old 03-06-2019   #17
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Re: Zero Stars & Euro NCAP

Quote Originally Posted by The Panda Nut View Post
Most eloquently and intelligently put. These people seem not to have enough to do! Why dont the y retest all the small German cars too!!!!!
Find a German car still being sold as new now, that was in production 13 years ago, and Iím sure that NCAP would oblige.

The reason they donít test other cars like this is that other manufacturers donít ring out their old models quite like fiat do. Most manufacturers will replace a car every 5 - 7 years with a new model.

Even the Mercedes A class spans nearly 3 different models, in the same time frame that the gm version of the punto grande/evo/punto spanned
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Old 10-06-2019   #18
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Re: Zero Stars & Euro NCAP

What I find quite odd is that they retested the Panda, yet not some other cars of the same age. The cars they retest seem quite random: they've retested the Panda, Giulietta and C-Max, yet not the Sharan/Alhambra, up, or Nissan Puke.
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Old 02-07-2019   #19
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Re: Zero Stars & Euro NCAP

Quote Originally Posted by Ralf S. View Post
My view is that if NCAP are revising their test standards, then they should be revising how they award test stars, rather than regressing the 5-star standard gained by Fiat (legitimately, based on the criteria at the time). To do what NCAP did is disingenuous and undermines their own credibility.

It's like saying my History O'Level (which I passed based on the criteria for passing, back in the 20th Century) is no longer valid because now there's a a GCSE or some fandango where instead of knowing that Magna Carta was signed in 1215 AD, I didn't write about what King John's feelings must have been, at being brought to task by his barons. "F*cking p*ssed" is presumably not going to get me an A-grade today...

The other issue with NCAP is that the additional safety gains it is pushing (in their unrevised but ever-more exacting testing scheme) is that the requirements for a car to achieve a high score are bearing less and less relevance to the car if it is involved in an accident and more and more on how many electronics it has, that might prevent poor little Harrison (who would have been beaten to a pulp, at school, just for being called Harrison, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth) from denting the front bumper.

There is no testing as to the efficiency of said gizmo's... just that a car has some. Arguably NCAP is designed for VW.. (who said dieselgate?)

So.. if NCAP wants to prevent Fiat claiming Punto is a 5-star car, then the answer is too bad, it can't, if NCAP has any more integrity than a dodgy East London university.

If it really wants to improve scores and force manufacturers to fit an automated Hurt Feelings Sensor and Integrated Butt Pacifier, or whatever other cobblers it can think of, to justify its funding, let's not forget.. then it could have the decency to introduce a 6th, 7th 8th etc. star rather than devalue and undermine its own previous scoring system.

Right now, I (as a consumer) have no idea whether a Hyundai Jangly (4 stars) has the same 4 stars as a Nissan Microbe.. or whether the Jangly has 4 stars (comparable to the Fiat Punto 5 stars).. which would make it a -1 stars car? Or whether it has 4 stars earned somewhere in between so it's like 4.5 stars compared to the Microbe , so marginally less than the Toyota Torpedo, unless that car's 5-stars pre-date the Microbe's 4 stars, so might only be worth 3 stars, in the new money.

NCAP is why everyone hates the EU so much..


Ralf S.
Couldn't have put it better my self. Quite a number of valid points here!
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Old 06-07-2019   #20
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Re: Zero Stars & Euro NCAP

Life is short.

With a little bit of luck each and everyone of us will reach old old and certainly by good luck/chance. Sadly some get struck down before they ware.

Safety testing is a valid science BUT the application of science to every day relevance requires a greater skill than just pure test numbers.

It is a fact that I/you could design a given test that ALL cars would fail. Testing / standards agencies wil alsways be pushing forwards in their requirements. I don't have an issue with this basic trend/philosophy but one has to think about real life, statistical, etc. occurrence profiles. For example in 100 real life crashes how many were oblique offside/nearside events at +40mph?

I don't know the answer to this. But I do know that x years ago many cars were rated 5* that now might rate 1*. YET in the UK our road speeds (legal or otherwise) have not increased so the likelihood of a given crash scenario if not that far different to what it was 10 or 20 years ago.

This presents a problem for buyers and manufactures alike. Do you chase the golden egg or just step back, be realistic and take what may come your way.

I would be more than happy to buy a modern Fiat Pander. "F" what Euro NCAP say.

If you had to buy a vehicle that was NCAP 5*, super ECO, super this, super that, etc. then you will no find one. You would be better off buying a Dinky Toy and driving that around the living room!
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Old 07-07-2019   #21
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Re: Zero Stars & Euro NCAP

Quote Originally Posted by s130 View Post
Life is short.

With a little bit of luck each and everyone of us will reach old old and certainly by good luck/chance. Sadly some get struck down before they ware.

Safety testing is a valid science BUT the application of science to every day relevance requires a greater skill than just pure test numbers.

It is a fact that I/you could design a given test that ALL cars would fail. Testing / standards agencies wil alsways be pushing forwards in their requirements. I don't have an issue with this basic trend/philosophy but one has to think about real life, statistical, etc. occurrence profiles. For example in 100 real life crashes how many were oblique offside/nearside events at +40mph?

I don't know the answer to this. But I do know that x years ago many cars were rated 5* that now might rate 1*. YET in the UK our road speeds (legal or otherwise) have not increased so the likelihood of a given crash scenario if not that far different to what it was 10 or 20 years ago.

This presents a problem for buyers and manufactures alike. Do you chase the golden egg or just step back, be realistic and take what may come your way.

I would be more than happy to buy a modern Fiat Pander. "F" what Euro NCAP say.

If you had to buy a vehicle that was NCAP 5*, super ECO, super this, super that, etc. then you will no find one. You would be better off buying a Dinky Toy and driving that around the living room!
You strike a chord with me here S130. This thread has made me consider what I look at when buying a car and it's surprised me a little to realize that these NCAP ratings have very little part in my choice. How the car drives. How easy it's going to be to repair, How expensive parts are going to be and are they readily available, Does it have a bad reputation for corrosion? etc, etc, are the sort of things I consider important. Perhaps if the car were universally condemned to the extent that the Corvair was then I might be influenced by it's "bad press".
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Old 07-07-2019   #22
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Re: Zero Stars & Euro NCAP

My beef is that manufacturers are pushed to build cars with ever more goodies that might provide some safety improvement. But bolt-ons like air bags are only part of the story. Stuff like hill holders are frankly gimmicks, but they are cheap to add (ABS software) so regardless of any real world benefit we have to endure them and the reliability issues when they inevitably go wrong.
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