Friday, January 8, 2010
EuroNCAP: Mercedes C-Class, Renault Laguna & Volvo V70 Score 5-Star Rating
In EuroNCAP’s latest bath of results, the new Mercedes C-Class, Renault Laguna and Volvo V70 models all scored a 5-star rating for adult passenger protection. Mercedes’ new C-Class managed to get three stars for child protection and just two stars for pedestrian protection while the Volvo V70 was awarded with 4-stars for child protection and only two stars for pedestrian safety. Finally the Renault Laguna was awarded four stars for the safety it offers to children and as the other two models tested, a mediocre two star rating for pedestrian protection.
The passenger compartment remained stable during the impact. The steering column and steering wheel moved forward, creating more space for the driver dummy's head and chest. Dummy results showed that the knees and femur of the driver and passenger were well protected. Volvo were able to demonstrate that the car would provide similar levels of upper leg protection to occupants of different sizes and to those in different seating positions.
The car scored maximum points for its performance in the side impact test. However, in the first pole test, the side airbags fired late which prevented the side curtain airbag from fully deploying, and the car was penalised. Volvo were dissatisfied with the performance of the car in that test and developed a fix for the airbag deployment problem. Euro NCAP agreed to a re-test on the condition that all cars were modified. Volvo have implemented the fix in all production vehicles and have recalled cars, telling owners to get their cars updated by their dealers. Unfortunately, the same problem occurred in the re-test and again the airbag failed to deploy correctly.
The V70 scored maximum points for its protection of both the 18 month and the 3 year old, based on dummy readings from the frontal and side impact tests. The passenger airbag can be disconnected by a Volvo dealer, allowing a rearward facing child restraint to be usedin that seating position. The label warning of the dangers of doing so without first disabling the airbag was not clear. The presence of ISOFIX anchorages in the rear seats was not clearly marked.