Safety concerns raised over Renault and Dacia

The Renault Zoe and Dacia Spring have both failed alarmingly the latest round of Euro NCAP testing, achieving zero and one star ratings for safety respectively.

The tests rated the Renault Zoe ‘poor’ in a frontal offset collision due to weak protection for the chest area of the driver, while the severe side pole test was even more concerning, finding that the driver’s head was directly impacted by the intruding pole.

As a result, the adult occupant score of 43% for the Renault Zoe was the lowest recorded in 11 years, while the model scored just 14% in the Safety Assist category.

Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research’s Chief Research Strategy Officer and Euro NCAP board member said: “It is a serious concern to see results like this in 2021, especially from a carmaker who has previously performed well in Euro NCAP testing. Renault was the first to achieve the full five-star rating in 2001, in part because it was also the first to include a combined head and thorax airbag in the Laguna 2. Unfortunately, a conscious decision has been made to remove the head protection from this vital passive safety feature, by the brand that pioneered the use of it. As a result, the safety of occupants within the vehicle has been severely impacted.”

The Dacia Spring scored just 49% in Adult Occupant Protection and 56% for Child Occupant Protection.

Avery said: “The six-year-old dummy had weak protection, suggesting the forces of a crash could end in serious neck and head injuries. This is anything but a safe family car, despite being marketed as a good option for families.”

Of the 11 new models tested, seven achieved a top five-star rating, including the BMW iX, the Genesis G70 and GV70, the Mercedes-EQ EQS, the Nissan Qashqai, the Skoda Fabia and the Volkswagen Caddy. The electric Fiat500e and MG’s Marvel R earned four stars each.