Blow after blow leaves Ford’s reputation bruised
The company’s flagship Mustang falls short in the Euro NCAP vehicle-safety test
While investigations continue into the Ford Kuga fires crisis, the company has now been dealt another blow with the announcement that its flagship Mustang has failed to achieve a satisfactory score in the Euro NCAP vehicle-safety test.
With Volvo’s new S90, being launched in SA this week, scoring the full five stars, the iconic Ford Mustang achieved only two stars. In a statement announcing its latest crash-test results, Euro NCAP stated: "Ford’s iconic muscle car, the Mustang, has scored a two-star rating for overall safety, with concerns about its crash protection of adult and child occupants and a worrying lack of safety equipment commonly available on the European market.
"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 seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters meant that the rear passenger slid under the seatbelt, implying higher risk of abdominal injuries in real-life accidents. In the side impact crash, the head of the 10-year-old dummy contacted the interior trim bottoming out the curtain airbag."
Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP’s secretary-general, said: "Ford did not expect Euro NCAP to test the Mustang and chose not to fit safety technology in Europe which is available to its American consumers, and available on several other sports cars for that matter."
The Mustang sold in SA features the same European specifications. "Such an attitude to safety should trouble Ford’s customers, whether they are buying a high-powered muscle car or a regular family car," says Van Ratingen.
Minesh Bhagaloo, product communications manager for Ford Motor Company Southern Africa, says: "We are disappointed with the Euro NCAP’s 2017 Mustang rating. Mustang is a safe car meeting, or exceeding, all applicable safety standards globally.
Mustang’s safety credentials are further demonstrated by the five-star NHTSA NCAP rating awarded in the US as well as a ‘good’ IIHS rating. The overall Euro NCAP rating is based on four pillars, with a very strong focus on family car safety characteristics and specific safety assist features, which are usually not part of the standard equipment of cars in the Mustang category," he says.
"The Mustang is a safe vehicle and customers can continue to enjoy their Mustangs knowing that they feature advanced safety features and a structure designed to manage crash energy under a variety of crash scenarios," he adds.
Ford recently confirmed that it will be updating the Mustang, including further safety improvements.