Carmakers promise to add airbags and other basic safety kit to Toyota Aygo, Citroën C1 and Peugeot 107
- Tristan Honeywill
- On December 19, 2012
Euro NCAP has just released new crash test results for the Toyota Aygo, Citroën C1 and Peugeot 107 city cars. The safety organisation has given them a three-star rating – on condition the manufacturers upgrade the safety equipment. Even so, these better spec models will not be available until July 2013.
First launched and tested back in 2005, the cars have recently been face-lifted and presented to buyers as “new”, sometimes using the outdated 2005 safety rating. In most European countries at least one of these cars is in the top 20 best-selling models.
Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen said: “Some manufacturers continue to offer popular cars without making the necessary updates to safety. Consumers should know that the more recent the star rating, the safer the car.”
Price competition in small, inexpensive cars is intense. It may make financial sense to keep selling an old platform without upgrading the safety, but there’s no excuse for not adding an ISOFIX mount or a seatbelt reminder. Given the attention Toyota has received on safety in recent years, why exclude such basic equipment from the Aygo’s facelift?
The companies do deserve some credit for responding as soon as they were challenged. The upgrades are a serious commitment and a huge investment for Peugeot Citroën and Toyota. They are making equipment standard on a model that doesn’t have much life left: replacements are said to be due in 2014.
Euro NCAP has bent its rules a little to give the cars three stars. Without this equipment fitted as standard, I doubt the cars would get more than one star. Why be so lenient? Toyota and Peugeot Citroën are not the only manufacturers who do this. There are a lot of old cars dressed up as new on the market: too many to test.
The Vauxhall-Opel Corsa and the Renault Twingo, for example, have also been on the market for longer than average and have been re-launched as “new” without safety updates. Personally, I think regularly re-assessing the best-selling models would help us all to see how safety is progressing and how cars compare.
Potential buyers need to be aware that until July 2013, the standard safety equipment will not be as good. It’s possible that the cars’ insurance costs and resale value could suffer as a result. If in doubt, please ask the dealer to make the sure these technologies are fitted:
- A head curtain airbag and a side thorax airbag, which come as a single package
- Electronic stability control (ESC)
- Passenger seatbelt reminder
- ISOFIX anchorages and tethers for the two outer rear seats
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