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Renault Clashes With Euro NCAP

By raccars Published

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Euro NCAP's latest round of safety testing has caused friction with Renault, after downgrading the Megane to three stars. The French hatchback lost a star because Euro NCAP was unimpressed that the rear seatbelt warning text was not made available in all languages.

What sounds like a minor issue was considered enough by Euro NCAP to demote the Megane to three stars, even though elsewhere the car was awarded 83% in the adult occupant protection category. However, Renault intends to remedy the problem, which should see the Megane retested within a few months.

Euro NCAP's increasing focus upon ostensibly minor details and electronic assistance systems, including speed limitation equipment, has seen it clash with some auto manufacturers. One sector which has recently come in for criticism by the safety organisation is quadricycles, including the Renault Twizy. While these meet the safety regulations demanded of their class, Euro NCAP feel these are not sufficient and should be upgraded, to bring them closer to the standards applied to traditional passenger cars in Europe.

It's also not the first time Renault and Euro NCAP have butted heads, after safety tests on the Dacia Duster saw the French firm come under fire, for apparently failing to apply the same safety standards to its budget brand that it does to cars sold under its own badge. Dacia refuted this claim and expressed confidence in the safety of its vehicles.

Euro NCAP is promoting the installation of ever more advanced safety features by all car manufacturers, such as automated braking systems and lane departure warnings. Car makers keen to continue offering a budget option to consumers fear this would not be financially viable, if they are obliged to assume costs of these extra safety features.

The same round of testing also saw the MG3 receive three stars. While the adult and child occupancy and pedestrian protection categories all scored reasonably well, the score was dragged down to 38% by a lack of safety assistance features, in which category it rated lower than the Megane at 60%. The same applied to the Citroen C-Elysee, with another three star rating and only 33% for safety assist.

The Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan fared better in the most recent tests, scoring the full five stars, including 73% in the safety assist category, thanks to the availability of a speed limitation device, autonomous braking, driver alert fatigue advisory and lane keeping assistance.

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