THE FIAT Panda has been awarded one of the worst scores in Euro NCAP crash test history, with a zero-star safety rating.
As well as being the first car since the Fiat Punto in 2017 not to be awarded any stars in a crash test, the Fiat Panda also failed to score higher than 47% in any of the individual categories.
The urban runabout particularly struggled in the safety assist assessment, where it scored just 7% by virtue of the fact that its sole recognised system is a seat belt reminder alert.
It’s a sign of just how far safety standards have come in recent the years; the Fiat Panda was awarded four out of five stars when it was originally crash tested, in 2011. It also scored 43% in the Safety Assist tests, with its safety belt system given the maximum-available three points.
The Panda wasn’t the only car that disappointed Euro NCAP in the safety body’s final round of crash tests for 2018. The brand new Jeep Wrangler (like the Panda, a product of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group) was only able to earn a one-star safety rating, with particular criticism for the conspicuous absence of standard-fit safety assists, despite having a starting price of £44,495.
The UK car safety body Thatcham Research’s research director Matthew Avery said: “These shocking Euro NCAP test results demonstrate an inconsistent commitment to safety, as Fiat has produced four and five-star cars in the past.
“Most troubling is that the Fiat Panda is seen as a good choice for young drivers and fledgling families. But the only safety technology fitted were seat belt reminders, and the rear system failed to meet requirements, so wasn’t even rated.”
The head of Euro NCAP, Michiel van Ratingen, added: “It is truly disappointing to see a brand-new car being put on sale in 2018 with no autonomous braking system and no lane assistance.”