Crash test body Euro NCAP has awarded just one five-star rating to the models involved in its latest batch of testing, and issued a safety notice for Kia’s newest model.
Only the Toyota Verso earned the maximum five-star overall score – a sign that the organisation is sticking by its pledge to make car manufacturers work harder on safety.
This is the first batch of tests to be subject to Euro NCAP’s higher scoring structure, which has been made tougher for 2010.
The Citroen Nemo Multispace MPV earned a poor three-star rating as it lacks a standard curtain airbag and performed poorly for whiplash protection.
It was also docked points as safety aids like electronic stability control are not even available as options.
The Seat Exeo was awarded four stars as its dashboard presented a risk of leg injury in a crash, while the Nissan Cube also missed out on top marks due to its performance in child occupant protection.
The Kia Venga, the Korean firm’s new mini-MPV, also got four stars – but Euro NCAP said that during testing the driver’s seatbelt was partially cut by the lower seat rail. It described the problem as ‘a serious flaw that can potentially undermine proper restraint of both frontal occupants’, and issued a safety notice.
However, Kia says it has already rectified the fault by fitting a sleeve to the seatbelts in all Vengas, which has only just gone on sale.
Those waiting for delivery have been upgraded, and the fix has also been implemented on the handful of Vengas already delivered. Kia says that the action does not constitute a recall.
Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, said: ‘Any reduction of the performance of the seatbelt not only poses a serious risk to the driver and passenger, but also compromises the validity of the Euro NCAP rating awarded to the car. Customers must ensure that the modification is fitted, so that the four star rating applies.’
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