Opel Ampera-E Nets Disappointing 4 -Star Score In Euro NCAP Safety Tests (w/video)
Six other models join the five-star club.
The all-new Opel Ampera-e could be considered one of the biggest disappointments from Euro NCAP’s latest batch of tested vehicles. Six cars were awarded five stars, but the European brother of the Chevrolet Bolt got only four.
The all-electric vehicle performed relatively well in most of the categories, but the organization points out it has no seatbelt reminder for the rear seats.
While this might sound like a minor issue, General Secretary of Euro NCAP Michiel van Ratingen says “we know how effective these reminders are at promoting seatbelt use, so this is clearly a big step backwards on Opel’s part.”
It’s a trend the German manufacturer set with the new Insignia which offered rear seatbelt reminders only as an option.
On the positive side, the Ampera-e is praised for its autonomous emergency braking system, which performed well in tests of its highway-speed functionality, with collisions avoided or mitigated in all test scenarios.
The Ford Fiesta, Jeep Compass, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet, Opel Grandland X, and Renault Koleos all received five stars. The Fiesta becomes only the second supermini to join the five-star club this year, following the excellent results from the new SEAT Ibiza. Kia’s Picanto and Rio received three stars with the standard equipment, but were rated as four and five stars respectively when tested with the optional safety packs.
Euro NCAP was not particularly happy by the apparent lack of restraint robustness in side impact testing by some of the models. In the Jeep Compass, for example, dummy readings indicated injury risk values above the limit to qualify for points in the pole test, while in the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet, during the side barrier test, the side airbag did not fully cover the impact area.
“Euro NCAP is pushing for the fitment of advanced technologies and manufacturers have responded well, with AEB now commonplace on most new cars,” Ratingen added. “However, they should not forget the basics of occupant protection in case of a crash.”
Press blast below:
Today, Euro NCAP releases safety ratings for nine new cars. The Ford Fiesta, Jeep Compass, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet, Opel Grandland X and Renault Koleos are all awarded five stars while Opel’s all-electric Ampera-e gets four. Kia’s supermini Picanto and small-family Rio both achieve three stars with standard safety equipment but are rated as four and five stars respectively when tested with their optional safety packs(1).
Some of this month’s cars demonstrated an apparent lack of restraint robustness in side impact testing. In the pole test of the Jeep Compass, readings in the dummy’s chest indicated injury risk values above the limit to qualify for points, but below those which indicate an unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury. Likewise, in the side barrier test, the head of the dummy representing a 10-year-old child, seated behind the driver, struck the roof frame in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet as the side airbag did not fully cover the impact area. In the same test with the Kia Picanto, the chest of the 10-year-old child was poorly protected.
Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, “Euro NCAP is pushing for the fitment of advanced technologies and manufacturers have responded well, with AEB now commonplace on most new cars. However, they should not forget the basics of occupant protection in case of a crash. All occupants deserve to be equally well protected, whether they’re an adult driver or a child seated in the rear. The adoption of a 10-year-old child dummy in our test last year allows us to highlight areas for improvement, even in five star cars.”
The Ampera-e, while achieving a creditable four-star rating, disappointed in having no seatbelt reminder for the rear seats. This follows a trend set by the Opel Insignia which offered rear seatbelt reminders only as an option. Michiel van Ratingen, “It is very disappointing to see Opel do away with this simple, relatively inexpensive but life-saving technology. If occupants are not properly restrained, any additional means of protection are largely ineffective. We know how effective these reminders are at promoting seatbelt use, so this is clearly a big step backwards on Opel’s part.”
Finally, the 7th generation Ford Fiesta joins the Seat Ibiza as the second supermini this year to achieve a five-star rating with standard equipment only. Competitor Kia Picanto did not achieve the same performance in Euro NCAP’s tests, but consumers have the option to purchase the “Advanced Driving Assistance Pack”, available on all variants, to enhance its crash avoidance capabilities.