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The European crash test scores have been revamped meaning cars could soon be sold with two separate star ratings. Motorists will then be faced with the decision of whether to fork out for the super-safe version or stick to the standard car.
The crash test expert, Euro NCAP is set to launch its new star rating scheme in January 2016 which will target drivers who “still consider airbags and seatbelts to be the sufficient safety equipment”, according to its secretary general, Dr Michiel van Ratingen.
Cars launched after this date will only gain the maximum crash test ratings if they sport the most advanced crash avoidance systems such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), pedestrian detection and lane departure warning. Only if manufacturers are able to make this type of technology standard across all new cars might they be able to bypass the new two-tier star system.
Premium brands such as Mercedes-Benz and Audi will be likely to take this option, but if they fail to sell the numbers of cars they predict, they will be at risk of losing the five-star rating.
The latest move by Euro NCAP is likely to affect list prices as more advanced optional safety kit becomes standard on new cars, furthermore, insurance premiums might fall as a result but only if cars are clearly identifiable as having AEB as standard.
Neil Addley Managing Director of Trusted Dealers said “There are a number of issues in road safety and child safety in cars that are bubbling around at the moment. Legislators need to be clear in their communication around these to avoid confusing consumers. That said it is great to see the number of deaths on the road reducing year on year as you can see in our feature https://www.trusteddealers.co.uk/road-traffic-police-reductions-study/”
From 2016, around 70 per cent of all new cars, will be sold using the new two-tier system, and experts at Euro NCAP predict that many cars will typically achieve just three stars unless they are able to offer an optional safety pack.