Euro Ncap: Ford improves Mustang's safety after woeful crash test
THE Ford Mustang might be classed as a muscle car but it is still a weak proposition as far as its safety rating goes.
When Euro Ncap, which crash-tests and safety-rates cars sold in Europe, first assessed the Mustang it gave it a meagre two-star rating.
This is roughly the equivalent of getting some marks in a school exam for writing your name correctly and turning up on time; the last time Euro Ncap scored a new car from a major car brand so poorly was in 2008...
Ford said it would revisit the Mustang's safety and Euro Ncap said it would test the car again.
The net result is that the big Ford has now secured a three-star score.
This, says Euro Ncap, is because the Mustang is now equipped as standard with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking.
"Structurally, the new vehicle is identical to the last, so this assessment uses the crash tests performed previously," it said.
"The restraint system has been updated to prevent the airbag bottoming out for driver and passenger."
The car's automatic airbag deactivation now meets Euro Ncap's requirements.
Matthew Avery, from Thatcham Research, a UK member of the Euro Ncap organisation, said Ford's updates to the Mustang were to be applauded and underlined "the power of the Euro Ncap consumer testing programme as a force for positive action".
"Our advice to buyers is to always opt for a Euro Ncap five-star car, so a three-star rating is never a cause for celebration," he said.
"We will continue to apply pressure on carmakers to ensure UK drivers have the safest possible cars."
Our advice to buyers is to always opt for a Euro Ncap five-star car, so a three-star rating is never a cause for celebration
Meanwhile, the organisation has tested a batch of new models.
Honda's latest Civic managed to secure only a four-star rating. While a solid score, this must count as something of a disappointment for the company's new family car, especially as it was marked down for lower-than-expected protection for children.
The head of the rear passenger dummy representing a 10-year-old recorded a hard impact through the Civic's curtain airbag.
Five other cars - Volkswagen Arteon, Seat Ibiza, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Vauxhall Insignia and Hyundai i30 - were given the maximum five-star rating.
The Arteon achieved the highest score yet recorded among executive cars in the pedestrian protection category.
Alfa Romeo's Stelvio SUV was singled out for its Volvo-matching adult occupant protection score and the Ibiza for its high level of standard safety equipment for a car of its size.
"The Ibiza not only comes with standard-fit autonomous emergency braking but also pedestrian autonomous emergency braking, which is proven to reduce vulnerable road user deaths," said Mr Avery.
"The new VW Polo will be built on the same platform as the Ibiza which bodes well and with major new supermini launches expected later in 2017, the safety game is now on for carmakers in this category."