New safety ratings system gets tougher and more wide-ranging
18 February 2009

EuroNCAP has launched a new crash test rating system that replaces the three separate star ratings for pedestrian impact, adult and child protection with a single five-star rating.

The new ratings are also tougher and require electronic stability control (ESC) as standard on 85 per cent of the range to gain full marks, and take into account the presence of a speed limiter on the car.

Six cars have already been tested – the Toyota Avensis and Toyota iQ, the Mitsubishi Lancer, the Subarus Impreza, the Mazda 6 and the Citroen C3 Picasso. Both Toyotas, the Mazda and the Mitsubishi scored the full five stars.

The three categories remain but are now measured in percentages and make up the overall star rating. A fourth category, Safety Assist, has been added to measure the effect of passive and active driver assistance systems such as ESC and seat belt reminders.

EuroNCAP said that the standards needed to gain five stars will continue to rise over the next three years, “increasing the emphasis on all-round safety performance and demanding higher levels of achievement in each area”.

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Dan Stevens

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