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Revealed: The first ever Euro NCAP-rated zero star car

Published 15 December 2017

The Fiat Punto has been awarded the worst ever Euro NCAP score since testing began 20 years ago. The hatchback which was first launched in 2005 as the Grande Punto, scored zero points in crash tests.

And, while 'nul points' is an all too familiar sight for Brits who persevere with Eurovision each year, it's unheard of for a modern car.

Yet the Punto scored just 51 per cent for adult occupant protection and 49 per cent for child protection. Compare this to the Toyota Yaris - with ratings of 83 per cent and 80 per cent - and it shows how poorly the Fiat performed.

But the worst performance was in safety assist where it scored 0 per cent due to the absence of key technologies such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Lane Support Systems.

According to Euro NCAP, tests on the front seats and head restraints of the Punto demonstrated poor whiplash protection in the event of a rear-end collision while structures in the dashboard were thought to present a risk of injury to occupants of different sizes and to those sat in different positions.

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"This is perhaps the strongest example of a manufacturer continuing to sell a product that is well past its best-before date, at the expense of the unsuspecting car buyer," said Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP Secretary General.

In the latest round of Euro NCAP testing the forthcoming Dacia Duster, new MG ZS (formerly XS if you're keeping up with the name changes) and the Vauxhall Viva could only muster three star ratings.

It was the same story for the Ford C-MAX and Grand C-MAX plus the DS 3 and Alfa Romeo Giulietta, which were also given three star ratings. Although this is more understandable given that these models are several years old. 

"The fact that older cars cannot compete illustrates the pace at which the vehicle industry is innovating safety and the willingness and ability of competitive manufacturers to meet the highest standards. Those who do not keep their cars up to the latest standards get left behind, as these results clearly show," added van Ratingen.


   on 15 December 2017

the punto was one of the best performing crash test cars when it was released. now its old desighn has been left behind

AtecaOwner    on 15 December 2017

So will the Punto suffer the same as the Rover 100 did? Sales collapse (when did you see an example under 1 year old) to the point where the car is withdrawn from sale?

Dovile    on 15 December 2017

interesting to note ncap choosing to retest and score mainly ford and fca group cars..... and no 'older' vw group fare (think: skoda rapid, seat alhambra/vw sharan).

also, a-segment cars opel karl/vauxhall viva (first tested 2015) and toyota aygo (first tested 2014), instead of vw up/seat mii/skoda citigo (tested 2011)...... which are nearly 7 years old now, and still advertise as 5-star rated, despite most models still not coming with things like auto-brake system as standard fitment (which judging by the two separate scores given for toyota aygo, is what ncap seems to want push for now).

the decision to add further emphasis/weight to things like warning chimes and other such electronic tat over actual post-crash structural integrity is lost on me. i recall previous generation renault megane being tested in 2014, scoring 3 stars, and then having the score amended by a extra star added soon afterwards because of a seatbelt reminder system modification. so, suddenly it's 33% safer because presence of a new noise and/or light. what a joke.

WilliamRead    on 16 December 2017

Well said; ths NCAP rating is gradually losing its validity, as it is moving away from proper physical protection to assessing the number of gadgets. The fact that a car does or does not have a seat belt warning light has no effect on its inherent safety; it is up to the driveer and passenger whether or not to wer them.

Edited by WilliamRead on 16/12/2017 at 17:11

Maltozo    on 16 December 2017

Agree with the last two posts; NCAP tests are becoming a bit of a joke. Its the crash tests that really matter, that are ultimately relevant, that most people understand them to be, not all this 'smoke and mirrors' nonsense. Get a grip NCAP.

gordonbennet    on 17 December 2017

I'll add a 4th to the above posters, all the lane assist and emergency braking toys flashing lights and warning chimes won't make a scrap of difference when a large heavy vehicle piles into the front, or rear, of the car in question.

   on 19 December 2017

So, it's less safe than a 1997 metro ? - which got one star

Or - could the parameters of the test have changed significantly, but the results (stars) appear the same

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