Mustang gets ‘shocking’ safety score

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The Ford Mustang, Australia’s most popular sports car, has been given a “shocking” two-star safety rating.

Australia’s testing agency, Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), described the result as “simply shocking”.

The Ford Mustang rating is limited to two stars due because of poor performance in three of the four areas of assessment – Adult Occupant Protection, Child Occupant Protection and Safety Assist. The poorest-performing area of assessment was Safety Assist, with the Mustang scoring two out of a possible 12 points.

The full-width frontal test showed a risk of serious head, chest and leg injury for the rear passenger. There was also insufficient inflation of both the driver and front passenger airbags in the frontal offset test, which allowed the driver’s head to hit the steering wheel and the passenger’s head to contact the dashboard.

No significant injuries were recorded by the crash-test dummies, Ford said of the results.

The car was also found to lack a number key safety features such as speed assistance systems, lane support systems, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning and rear seatbelt reminders. These are all now considered under the updated ANCAP system.

ANCAP’s chief executive James Goodwin said: “I would encourage Ford to swiftly introduce design and production changes.”

Ford said it was disappointed with the result, saying the Mustang had been “meeting, or exceeding, all applicable safety standards globally”.

A spokesman said the car had performed well in tests in the United States, including achieving a five-star rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The test was performed on a left-hand-drive V8 coupe and was conducted in Europe by EuroNCAP, ANCAP’s partner body. The organisations share results but use different assessment protocols.

ANCAP said many cars had achieved five-star results under the European scheme.

The Mustang began arriving in Australia in late 2015. Last year it sold 6208 in Australia. Prices start at $45,990.

Ford said the 2018 model would get driver assistance features including autonomous emergency braking.

Many sports cars are not crash-tested as they are too expensive to be bought and smashed three times. Models such as the Porsche 911, Mercedes-Benz SL do not carry independently assessed safety ratings. The Mustang's lower price and popularity pushed EuroNCAP to test it, media reports said.

Written by Nick Platt
February 08, 2017