In a recent report from Euro NCAP, the Fiat Punto has failed to pass the crash test. The upper B-segment hatchback, which has a reputation for having a pretty good build quality, has not only failed the crash test but has received a ZERO star rating. The Fiat Punto that has gone through the latest Euro NCAP tests featured front dual airbags. In spite of having the highly essential safety feature, the hatchback has faired really poorly in the crash tests. With this, the Punto becomes the latest mainstream car in India to join the list of models that have received a big zero from Euro NCAP.
Other cars on the list include the Tata Nano, Datsun Go, Maruti Swift, and Mahindra Scorpio. However, these cars were given a ZERO star rating due to the lack of airbags in the entry-level variants. The Punto that has been tested, however, had front dual airbags.
The latest generation of the Punto came out in 2005 and has been on sale in many countries across the globe. Speaking on the poor performance of the Punto, Euro NCAP Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen, said – “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.”
He further added,“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. We would urge consumers to choose cars with the most up-to-date five-star ratings, many examples of which we have seen in 2017.”
Fiat SpA has tried to play it down by stating that the Punto received a 5 Star rating 12 years ago. However, what the company didn’t say is that it has pretty much failed to update the product as per new guidelines of Euro NCAP. Here is the statement from the company- “Safety is of the utmost importance to the FCA group. When Punto was launched 12 years ago, it was the first 5* EURO NCAP car in its class. The importance of safety to the FCA group is demonstrated by the number of new models achieving 5*, for example Alfa Romeo Giulia, Alfa Romeo Stelvio and the Jeep Compass.”
Fiat Punto Euro NCAP Crash Test Report
The passenger compartment of the Punto remained stable in the frontal offset test. Dummy readings indicated good protection of the knees and femurs of both the driver and passenger but structures in the dashboard were thought to present a risk of injury to occupants of different sizes and to those sat in different positions.
Protection of the passenger’s chest was rated as marginal, based on dummy readings of compression. In the full-width rigid barrier test, protection of the chest of the rear passenger was weak, and that of the neck was marginal. Protection of the driver was good or adequate for all critical body regions.
In the side barrier test, chest protection was rated as marginal, based on rib compressions. A side pole test was not performed as the Punto does not have a standard-fit head protecting airbag. Tests on the front seats and head restraints demonstrated poor whiplash protection in the event of a rear-end collision. A geometric assessment of the rear seats indicated marginal whiplash protection.