Fiat Punto gets Zero Star rating, shocking the Euro NCAP
The Euro NCAP crash test results are of great importance for the modern safety conscious buyers and thus, also for the automakers. However, while the safety measures in the new-age car models have been increasing, there are still a lot of car models which fail miserably or get poor ratings in the Euro NCAP models. Recently, the Euro NCAP faced some disappointments during a latest testing phase, along with a shock.
During a latest batch of crash tests, Dacia Duster, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, DS 3, Ford C-Max, Ford Grand C-Max, Toyota Aygo, MG ZS, Vauxhall Viva and Kia Stonic, all received Three Star ratings in their standard models. The Toyota Aygo got four Stars and the Kia Stonic received a full Five Star rating with the optional safety equipment in place.
These results were a disappointment for the Euro NCAP, as each of these above mentioned cars scored full Five Star ratings in the previous two batches of testing. Not only this, Euro NCAP was also shocked at the unbelievingly poor results of the Fiat Punto hatchback model.
The Fiat Punto received no stars (Zero Star) after the crash tests by Euro NCAP and thus, drew special attention from the NCAP's secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen. He said that this presents a clear picture that the older car models cannot compete in the safety tests anymore, and this shows how fast the vehicle industry is moving forward in terms of innovative safety. In the current times, the car makers who do not update their cars and endow latest safety measures get far behind the others.
The third generation Fiat Punto was launched back in 2005, which makes it twelve years old. The Punto was not replaced with a new model in quite some car markets including India and the U.K after the 2008 economic recession, and it was the decision of Fiat head Sergio Marchionne. The Punto is a real aging car and as a result doesn’t perform well in the market. For instance, the Punto’s sales have been plummeting for quite long.
Ratingen added by saying that the Punto is perhaps the most prominent example of a car manufacturer continuing to sell a model which is well past its “best-before date” by taking the advantage of unsuspicious customers. He further added saying that the Euro NCAP is urge consumers to be aware and only choose cars with good safety measures and the most up-to-date five-star ratings.
On the other hand, the highest achievable Five Star ratings were awarded to five models with their standard equipments in the latest batch of tests. These are namely the BMW 6 Series GT, Jaguar F-Pace, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Kona and Kia Stinger.
While speaking on the NCAP results, a Fiat spokesperson said that safety is crucial to the FCA group. When Punto was launched 12 years back, it also was the first 5 Star Euro NCAP model in its own class. The latest safety standards have been demonstrated to the FCA group by the number of new cars achieving 5 Star ratings.
The locally manufactured Fiat Punto has been selling in India since 2009, and after a mild facelift in 2014, it is being called the Punto Evo. While the new Fiat Argo has launched in South America as a replacement of the Punto, there are no words of it coming to India yet.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An adventurer at heart and introvert by nature, I love to travel, click nature's beauty and beautiful machines on wheels. Art, literature and poetry are also close to my heart.