The European New Car Programme (Euro NCAP), an organization that publishes safety ratings for new cars available in Europe, just gave the sixth generation Ford Mustang a dismal 2/5 star overall safety rating. This was quite the opposite rating given to Ford by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an American non-profit organization funded by auto-insurers.
Euro NCAP carried out several crash tests seen in the video below like the “Frontal Offset”, “Frontal Full Width”, “Lateral Impact”, “Whiplash”, and various pedestrian impact tests. They released a press release highlighting the major takeaways of these stringent tests.
In the frontal offset test, the airbags of both the driver and passenger inflated insufficiently to properly restrain the occupants. In the full-width frontal test, a lack of rear seatbelt pre-tensioners and load-limiters meant that the rear passenger slid under the seatbelt, implying higher risk at abdominal injuries in real life accidents. In the side impact crash, the head of the 10-year dummy contacted the interior trim bottoming out the curtain airbag.
Before you dismiss your Ford Mustang as a deathtrap the Euro NCAP has claimed it to be, it’s important to note the test vehicles reflected available equipment specifically for European markets. This means that it did not have the U.S. available Forward Collision Warning System, which certainly would have improved the ratings. In the same vein, Ford seems to have been caught off guard by this test, as shared by Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen:
Ford did not expect Euro NCAP to test the Mustang and chose not to fit safety technology in Europe which is available to its American consumers, and available on several other sports cars for that matter. Such an attitude to safety should trouble Ford’s customers, whether they are buying a high-powered muscle car or a regular family car.
We welcome any improvement, of course, and look forward to publishing a new rating for the updated model. However, more fundamental updates may be needed if the Mustang is to get a significantly better result. We therefore hope Ford takes the opportunity to invest in the changes needed now for future Mustang generations.
The face-lifted 2018 Ford Mustang as seen here hopefully addresses some of the concerns of the recent crash tests. The redesigned sloping hood should be more pedestrian friendly, while collision detection warning systems as well as lane departure and lane keeping assist will be available, making it the most safe Mustang in its history. Including those features for the European version should be a no brainer at this point.
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(Source: Euro NCAP)