Ford Motor Company's [NYSE:F] sixth-generation Mustang has scored just two out of a possible five stars in the latest crash test run by Euro NCAP, the first time since 2008 such a low score has been handed out to a major automaker by Europe’s main safety body.
Euro NCAP also issues scores, measured as a percentage, in four critical areas of safety: Adult Occupant Protection, Child Occupant Protection, Pedestrian Protection and Safety Assist. In the case of the Mustang, the scores came in at 72 percent for Adult Occupant Protection, 32 percent for Child Occupant Protection, 64 percent for Pedestrian Protection, and 16 percent for Safety Assist.
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The test was conducted using a 2017 Mustang GT, a model that in the United States has garnered a five-star rating from NHTSA. The discrepancy is primarily due to Ford choosing to equip cars in the United States with more standard safety features, such as automatic braking. However, there were other issues too.
In the frontal offset test, the airbags of both the driver and passenger inflated insufficiently to properly restrain the occupants. In the full-width frontal test, a lack of rear safety belt pre-tensioners and load-limiters meant that the rear passenger slid under the seatbelt, which could lead to abdominal injuries. And in the side impact crash, the head of a dummy simulating a 10-year-old came into contact with a piece of interior trim due to the airbag failing to provide sufficient cushioning.
In response, Ford said its updated 2018 Mustang on sale later this year will address many of these issues. For example, the car will be equipped with more electronic driving aids as standard including pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist.