Cars chosen for testing How do you choose which cars to test? Who funds the crashed car models used in Euro NCAP’s tests? Why are some cars tested with certain safety features when others are not? Some vehicles that have been crash-tested by EuroNCAP could be sold by manufacturers with lower levels of safety equipment than the standard tested. Does this not mislead the consumer? If a certain model of car has been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, does the rating also apply to the variant models?
How do you choose which cars to test?
Euro NCAP and its members have limited funds and, unfortunately, we cannot test every model that comes onto the market. However, we want to provide information that is useful to as many people as possible so we try to test those vehicles which will sell in greatest numbers. Euro NCAP’s members nominate cars for testing. The cars they choose may be important to the whole European market or they may have a particular relevance to the member’s home country. The Euro NCAP Secretariat and the Board of Directors try to ensure that most important new models are included in the programme. Inevitably, some cars will not be tested and we would like to know which vehicles you would like to see included. Go here to register your interest.
Cars can also be sponsored by the vehicle manufacturers. Some sponsor most of their models, others very few. The process for selecting the test variant and its safety equipment is exactly the same as for member-sponsored cars, and the same methods for ensuring random selection are used in both cases.
Who funds the crashed car models used in Euro NCAP’s tests?
Each member of Euro NCAP pays to have at least one car model tested each year. Car manufacturers can also request that their car is tested. In such circumstances, manufacturers pay for the testing but they have no control over the publishing of the results. Euro NCAP obtains the cars in a number of ways. In each case, care is taken to ensure that the cars are built to normal production standards. It is clearly important to ensure that we do not test cars which are specially prepared for us. Normally, the cars are paid for by the sponsor of the tests.
Why are some cars tested with certain safety features when others are not?
Euro NCAP tests cars with those safety features which are fitted as standard in the great majority of sales. In 2009, a safety item must be standard in 85 percent of European sales, and must be optional on all variants in a model range, in order to be fitted to the test vehicle. In 2010, the requirement will be 90 percent of sales; in 2011, 95 percent. By 2012, Euro NCAP will only be testing cars with equipment which is fitted as standard in all European sales. Whether or not a particular item is fitted to a test vehicle depends on the extent to which the manufacturer has made it standard equipment in the model range across Europe.
Some vehicles that have been crash-tested by EuroNCAP could be sold by manufacturers with lower levels of safety equipment than the standard tested. Does this not mislead the consumer?
Manufacturers may fund additional tests to demonstrate the effectiveness of items of safety equipment which do not fulfil our requirements. However, Euro NCAP’s star rating is based on the ‘base’ vehicle and no rating is given to the better equipped car.
Owing to time constraints and costs, it is impossible for Euro NCAP to test every single variant in a model range. In order to provide information relevant to the greatest number of consumers, our policy is to test the biggest-selling variant of the manufacturer's product. We try to make sure that the safety equipment tested is representative of what is fitted as standard in the great majority of sales (see above). We believe it is in the interest of manufacturers to ensure this is correct, given potential repercussions from the media and general public when we publish results.
If a certain model of car has been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, does the rating also apply to the variant models?
Strictly speaking, our rating applies only to the variant we tested, equipped with the safety equipment fitted to the test vehicle. However, we also ensure that the same safety equipment is available as an option on all variants in the model range. Consumers should check to ensure that the car they purchase has at least this level of safety equipment if they are concerned about safety.
As indicated above, our rating only applies to the variant tested with the safety equipment fitted in our tests. Euro NCAP does allow manufacturers to use the star rating in generic advertising of a car model. However, we do not allow our ratings to be used to advertise particular variants that we have not tested, such as estate variants of cars that were originally tested as saloons.