Thatcham urges AEB as standard

Thatcham Research, voice of Euro NCAP in the UK, is continuing to urge vehicle manufacturers to fit life-saving safety technology such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) to cars as standard, rather than as an optional extra.

The drive to improve safety is once again reinforced by the latest Euro NCAP testing results, which show that consumers need to choose and spec their cars carefully.

According to Thatcham Research, while 2016 has seen some very good Euro NCAP results, the latest results show disappointing outcomes for two superminis. The Suzuki Ignis and SsangYong Tivoli both only received a three star Euro NCAP ratings. The addition of optional safety packs increased the score on the Suzuki Ignis to a five star rating, and for the SsangYong Tivoli to a four star rating. Thatcham Research has found the take up of optional safety packs to be extremely low, less than three per cent in the UK.

‘We’re increasingly seeing car makers opt for a Euro NCAP Dual Rating – a score for the standard car, and then a second rating with the optional safety pack. Car buyers need to make sure that they understand this rating and speak with their dealership to spec their cars carefully’, commented Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research’s director of research. ‘Don’t be misled – do your research, as it’s only by choosing the optional safety packs that you will be getting the levels of safety you should expect.’

Thatcham Research suggests the optional pack to look for on the Suzuki Ignis is the ‘Dual Camera Brake Support’, while for the SsangYong Tivoli it is ‘AutoBrake with Forward Collision Warning’.

Meanwhile, while the Ford Edge and Hyundai Ioniq’s received overall five star Euro NCAP ratings, and scored well in active safety features that prevent a crash in the first place, Thatcham Research claims car buyers need to be aware that both scored below standard in rear passenger protection. While both models protected children buckled in to child car seats, some of the injury parameters for both neck and chest exceeded safe limits for adult passengers. And when tested for six year old and 10 year old children sitting on booster seats, the safe limits were also exceeded. This is a real issue for cars targeted at families with children, or carrying elderly passengers.

Matthew said, ‘Our advice to consumers is don’t just take Euro NCAP ratings at face value, look at the detail. If the safety of your rear passengers is important to you, and it should be, then there are other vehicles in the same category that have been tested in 2016 and rated five stars that have far better rear occupant protection.’

The Audi Q2, with its five star rating, scored a 93% adult occupant rating and 86% child occupant rating.