By on January 25, 2017

2016 Ford Mustang GT

The Ford Mustang just crashed headlong into a wall of bad European PR.

After landing on the continent in early 2015, the newly right-hand-drive Mustang proved wildly popular, with tens of thousands of buyers cramming waiting lists for a chance to get behind the wheel of a pony car icon.

Well, the sports car sales star just scored two out of five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests — a failing grade not seen on those shores since 2012. The Blue Oval did not receive a gold star.

The Belgium-based car safety assessment program did not go easy on the 2017 Mustang. After a rigorous round of crash tests and an assessment of its safety technology, the model was handed a dismal report card no parent would be proud of.

Adult occupant safety was rated at a mediocre 72 percent, while child occupant safety received a 32 percent rating. The list of flaws was numerous. The Mustang’s front airbags didn’t inflate enough in a front offset collision to spare the driver and front passenger from injuries. Adult rear seat passenger safety was rated “poor” in full-width frontal impacts, thanks to a lack of seatbelt pre-tensioners. Also, children seated in the back stand to receive serious head injuries in the event of a side impact.

On top of these issues, high-tech safety aids — which the Europeans weigh heavily — were notably absent.

Because the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) uses Euro NCAP results, the same two stars followed the Mustang Down Under. The U.S. market enjoys a higher level of standard safety equipment, as well as a significantly better safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and NHTSA. Naturally, Europeans aren’t happy about this.

“Ford did not expect Euro NCAP to test the Mustang, and chose not to fit safety technology in Europe, which is available to its American consumers, and available on several other sports cars for that matter,” said Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen in a statement. “Such an attitude to safety should trouble Ford’s customers, whether they are buying a high-powered muscle car, or a regular family car.”

The director of research at Thatcham Research, the UK’s country’s Euro NCAP center, wasn’t pleased with the results.

“What really concerns me is that Ford has made a deliberate choice,” stated Matthew Avery. “The car has been designed to score well in less wide-ranging US consumer safety tests and only minor updates have been made to meet required European (pedestrian) safety regulations.

“This has resulted in poor adult and child protection scores and the high-tech radar collision warning system that is available to US consumers, not being available here in the UK. The Two Star Euro NCAP rating is the consequence.”

As bad as the crash results are, the Mustang’s two-star reputation likely won’t last long. A refreshed model in due out for 2018, and with it comes a higher level of technology.

According to Euro NCAP, “orders placed after May will receive an updated vehicle, which will be launched later in 2017, and will be equipped with Pre Collision Assist (with Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking) and Lane Keeping Aid.”

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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127 Comments on “Europe Labels the Ford Mustang as the Unsafest New Vehicle on the Road...”


  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    So, ENCAP has more lax regulations?

    Makes my 2012 Mazda BT50 appear very safe with its 5 Star ANCAP.

    Maybe the US should adopt EU standards.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    EU: The Mustang has failed our Euro NCAP crash tests.
    Ford: The EU has completely failed the nations of Europe.

  • avatar
    ItsJustaRide

    One Ford!

    Wait – what?

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    “Ford did not expect Euro NCAP to test the Mustang, and chose not to fit safety technology in Europe,”

    This is the same Ford that didn’t provide offset protection on regular cab F150s (or on the passenger side) because they didn’t think it would be tested.

    Think about that when you drive your family around in a Ford. You better pray whatever happens to you was on the test.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      HeavyHandle,
      The by bypassing of testing can only occur if the US is a signatory of the Global ENCAP system. Even then there are around 40 nations able to accept ENCAP (most any acronym ending in CAP). These are full signatories.

      So a Japanese, Aussie, German, etc produced vehicles can be imported/exported between each other with no testing, as the testing standards are identical.

      The US and Canada are the only ones globally impeding this model to facillatate trade (more unnecessary) US protectionism).

      Nations that are not full signatories are working towards full compliance. China is one if these nations.

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      True, but that same supercab and regular cab F150 without the offset protection still did the same if not better in crash test than all current Silverado and Ram trucks.

      The only truck model with a higher crash rating was the supercrew F150s with the offset protection.

      I agree that Ford should have included it on their supercab and regular cab models, which they did the following year. But it still as safe or safer than their competition.

  • avatar
    carguy

    I always suspected that Mustangs may have a safety issue. Many are have problems just making it home from “Cars and coffee” without crashing.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      That sounds more like a user error than anything else.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, when you have more horsepower than driving skill, and you’re putting on a show for the cameras, Newtonian hilarity does tend to ensue.

      Seriously, it’s really easy to lose it in a powerful, RWD car if you don’t know what you’re doing. In the ’90s, I sold Chevys, and one day, I decided to do a little joyride in a Z28 manual. I ended up in trouble VERY quickly. Turns out that car handled just a bit differently than my ’93 Mazda Protege twincam.

      Could’ve been worse, though…this salesman did the same thing I did in a Maserati, and ended up finding himself all out of luck.

      http://www.autonews.com/article/20170118/RETAIL07/170119763/maserati-salesman-killed-in-crash-after-filming-self-on-facebook

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @carguy
      Not good. Sales of the Mustang has been plummeting here, due to quality issues. A 2 star rating is Chinese car territory

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Golf clap…

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The EU doesn’t require airbags, so they should feel fortunate that Ford provided them.

    Those among you who keep howling about the supposed benefits of harmonization (and who define it as Americans giving up their standards) ought to figure out that it would kill people.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      WTF? More bullsh!t.

      Stop living 20 or 30 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I would prefer the freedom to choose. Spend money on something that in all likelihood will never be used, or not? Chances are, no Mustang I buy would ever have anyone in the back, so paying for rear side bags doesn’t interest me in the slightest, as an example.

      I would trade higher risk of an unlikely event for a lower price/weight/increased performance/improved efficiency any day. If you want to minimize risk, those options will be available too. Buy a Volvo.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Pch101
      What have you been smoking? Ridiculous statement.

    • 0 avatar
      ArialATOMV8

      Airbags are like a double edged sword. They do save lives but, after a accident, they can be costly to replace and it can be frustrating especially when they misfire.

      Jeremy Clarkson (Old Old Top Gear on a segment called “Optional Extras” https://youtu.be/yC_B4PhfZmc?t=3m40s )once said ” If you have a crash, your head smashes into the steering wheel and you end up looking like Andrew Lloyd Webber. Now a Airbag prevents this so, its a good thing. However this Merc thing has 8 airbags. There’s one for the passenger but why what’s the passenger’s head gonna hit? Then its got them in the doors and in the roof its like a bouncy castle on wheels. You could turn off the ABS, drive like a maniac, have a crash, kids would love it! I’m guessing but if a steel spike shot out of the dash when you had a accident, you’d drive more carefully, and spend more time… looking where you were going! ”

      On a more serious note, airbags should be a choice because, some people are skeptical of the benefits. I’d rather have a true offroader where if something happens to me, I’d be hurt rather than a airbag going off in my face if I hoon around a car causing me to loose control and hit something else! Airbags are part of Massachusetts’s annual vehicle state inspection and disabling them without a doctor’s note is illegal but at least taking out the correct fuse will disable them (but make a annoying red light pop up on the dashboard.)

  • avatar
    JimZ

    ““Ford did not expect Euro NCAP to test the Mustang, and chose not to fit safety technology in Europe, which is available to its American consumers, and available on several other sports cars for that matter,” said Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen in a statement.”

    Hmm. Are “Jump To Conclusions” mats standard issue over there?

    ” “The car has been designed to score well in less wide-ranging US consumer safety”

    Huh. so where’s Euro NCAP’s small overlap test? Because that video shows the same tests we run here, NHTSA does the frontal collision, side impact, and roof crush. IIHS does moderate and small overlap (and side impact as well.) The only one we don’t do here is pedestrian impact.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      And the Mustang is already different in Europe to deal with pedestrian impacts. The GT hood available in the US isn’t available – they get the standard hood without the vents on V8 models. Not sure exactly how that’s safer, but no pedestrians in Europe will be impaled by hood-mounted turn signals, I guess.

      Incidentally, I pulled up my window sticker. 5 stars all around, except for rear seat passengers in a side crash, which gets 4 stars.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “The only one we don’t do here is pedestrian impact.”

      Welllllllll… we COULD, but I guarantee some special interest group would most likely complain. Perhaps condemned prisoners?

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Jim Z
      “The only one we don’t do here is pedestrian impact.”
      They get pretty upset about that in Europe. Many pedestrians use the mall like European city centres.

    • 0 avatar
      CH1

      “Huh. so where’s Euro NCAP’s small overlap test? Because that video shows the same tests we run here, NHTSA does the frontal collision, side impact, and roof crush. IIHS does moderate and small overlap (and side impact as well.) The only one we don’t do here is pedestrian impact.”

      Euro NCAP has more tests and also has more assessments within tests that are nominally the same as the ones performed by the NHTSA or IIHS. For example:

      – The two simple IIHS AEB tests are a small subset of the Euro NCAP FCW/AEB tests from which the IIHS AEB tests are derived. Euro NCAP does multiple tests for each of a number of scenarios – stationary, slower moving and braking lead vehicle; and adult/child pedestrians.

      – Child protection (6 and 10 year-old) is partially assessed within both the frontal offset and side barrier crash tests.

      The Mustang scored 72%, 32%, 64% and 16% for adult(40%), child(20%), pedestrian(20%) protection and safety assist(20%), respectively. The percents in parentheses are the weights used in computing the star rating. Interestingly, the pedestrian protection rating is the only one close to average.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Euro NCAP doesn’t have a small overlap test at all.

        Until recently, Euro NCAP did not have a test that was comparable to the NHTSA front end test (straight into a wall at 35 mph.) The Euro NCAP test is performed at a somewhat lower 50 km/h (31 mph).

        • 0 avatar
          CH1

          That’s all true, Pch101. On the other hand, the NHTSA doesn’t have an offset frontal test and the IIHS doesn’t have a full frontal test.

          1. Neither the NHTSA nor IIHS assesses rear passenger protection in frontal crashes.

          2. The NHTSA does not assess child safety in its 5-star rating and the IIHS only does basic LATCH/Isofix ease of use testing.

          3. The NHTSA rating does not include assessments of FCW/AEB and other assistance systems and the IIHS only does two tests of AEB, both against stationary vehicles.

          Euro NCAP does a lot more assessments in each of the above three areas, which are incorporated in the overall star rating, and that’s mainly where the Mustang come up short.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There is no reason for NHTSA and IIHS to perform duplicate tests. The two testing regimes are intended to complement each other.

            NHTSA has a rollover test and IIHS has a roof strength test. Euro NCAP has no equivalent.

            Euro NCAP penalizes vehicles that don’t have automated braking. The US will be mandating automated braking, so there is no reason to bother with incorporating it into the score. (The purpose for including that in the Euro points system is to encourage automakers to “voluntarily” provide it even though it isn’t mandatory.)

            As I noted elsewhere, one of the issues with the Euro-spec Mustang was with the airbags. That isn’t surprising in light of US airbag regulations.

          • 0 avatar
            CH1

            @pch101

            “Euro NCAP penalizes vehicles that don’t have automated braking. The US will be mandating automated braking, so there is no reason to bother with incorporating it into the score. (The purpose for including that in the Euro points system is to encourage automakers to “voluntarily” provide it even though it isn’t mandatory.)”

            Just to be clear, Euro NCAP is neither an inter-governmental nor regulatory body. It’s an association whose members (some of which of government agencies) are interested in vehicle safety.

            The NHTSA does not include FCW/AEB in the 5-star rating system, but it lists FCW as a recommended technology alongside the ratings. A FCW system has to meet certain minimum performance requirements based on NHTSA testing to qualify for listing as available.

            Mandatory FCW and AEB does not preclude their inclusion in the NHTSA NCAP program. FCW and AEB vary a lot in performance. There will will be big performance differences across systems that meet the mandated minimum requirements. It will be like crash worthiness where all cars have to meet the Federal standards, but the NHTSA NCAP program includes crash testing to inform consumers and encourage manufacturers to continually improve safety.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            IIHS and NHTSA use their scoring systems in order to report crash test results.

            Euro NCAP uses its scoring system in order to report crash test results AND to penalize automakers that don’t “voluntarily” install safety equipment that isn’t mandatory.

            The US has a tendency to force automakers to install safety equipment. Airbags are one example of this.

            The EU takes a somewhat different approach. It does not require airbags; however, it is impossible to get a five-star safety rating without airbags. Since consumers in Europe care about safety, you can bet that a new car sold in the EU has airbags even though they aren’t mandatory.

            Euro NCAP used to account for stability control in the star system. But now that stability control is required, it’s gone from the scoring because there is no need to use the score in order to motivate automaker behavior.

            In other words, Euro NCAP results cannot directly compared to NHTSA or IIHS because the Euro NCAP score is used to cajole automakers into adding gear that they don’t legally have to add. The score isn’t just a crash test result.

          • 0 avatar
            CH1

            “IIHS and NHTSA use their scoring systems in order to report crash test results.

            Euro NCAP uses its scoring system in order to report crash test results AND to penalize automakers that don’t “voluntarily” install safety equipment that isn’t mandatory.”

            All three organizations use their testing programs to inform consumers and to push manufacturers to improve safety. Here is a quote from an NHTSA paper:

            “The first goal of NCAP was to give consumers a
            measure of the relative safety potential of automobiles.
            The second goal was to establish market forces to
            encourage vehicle manufacturers to design higher
            levels of safety into their vehicles.”
            https://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-01/Esv/esv17/Proceed/00245.pdf

            The IIHS is very aggressive on the second goal. For example, it was a major reason the small overlap test was introduced:

            “”These are severe crashes, and our new test reflects that,” Lund says. “Most automakers design their vehicles to ace our moderate overlap frontal test and NHTSA’s full-width frontal test, but the problem of small overlap crashes hasn’t been addressed. We hope our new rating program will change that.”
            http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/47/6/1

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The fact remains that Euro NCAP is used in part to compel automakers to install equipment that they aren’t legally required to provide.

            In the US, we get automakers to install airbags by using a federal law to make them do it. We will be doing the same with automatic braking.

            The EU doesn’t require those. However, it uses Euro NCAP scoring to make sure that most automakers won’t want to deal with the consequences of not “voluntarily” doing it. The US largely prefers to have a system of mandates for safety equipment, while the EU relies instead on pressure tactics.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Pch, give it up mate. How can you be so arrogant.

          All of the “CAP” system along with vehicle harmonisation is to facilitate trade. There are currently 40+ plus nations involved in this and many (over 100) aiming to be full signatories.

          Like the metric system a common system for all.

          As has been told to you many times by CH1 the Star system is to inform the public and have a set of identical tests between nations. Each nation does have variations, ie, Australia lead (initial mandatory testing) the push with side impacts. But Australia also met and completed ALL testing required to be a full signatory.

          The US is on its own here with the Canadians with its testing model. So, any “CAP” nation is obliged to retest (the Mustang) the vehicle to meet the more stringent testing of the CAP system. Hence Australia had no need to retest the Mustang if it has been carried out by a full signatory of the “CAP” system.

          Australia having a free market allowed the lower standard tested Mustangs in. Luckily the EU sussed out Ford’s slimy dealings.

          Ford IS fully aware on how this works. First it is a large manufacturer in the global market and second Ford ASKED the US government to adopt the very system.

          Maybe the US should look at why many other nations have much lower road fatalities and all these nation use the “CAP” system along with vehicle harmonisation to facilitate trade. This would be an easy way to improve US vehicle safety, in the interest of the public, like a decent health system.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    …and Mustang owners in Europe are too busy impressing the ladies to care…

    (Seriously, isn’t the basic Mustang platform still the same basic one used back in 2005? Might have something to do with it. But as long as mine is in Competition Orange, I’ll brave the dangers of Mustang ownership any day.)

  • avatar
    deanst

    If Ford can make a right-hand-drive vehicle wildly popular in Europe, it doesn’t need a new brand officer.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Unsafest?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    So Ford pulled a VW stunt.

    Ford is fully aware how testing works.

    It was 4 years ago Ford tried in vain to get the US government to adopt the Global Vehicle Harmonisation to reduce costs of production.

    20% of the global market uses NHSTA standards and the rest of the world a different standard.

    Makes sense. Not.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      …and I can guarantee that among potential Mustang buyers, I can count the number of f*cks given as: zero.

      Mustangs are NOT unsafe cars. The biggest safety issue they have, generally, is a driver with more horsepower than driving ability.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        If you are not in the EU I can understand your position.

        If you are in the EU, then I would be concerned. This will not help Ford sell Mustangs on the global stage.

        It would be interesting to see if Aussie Mustangs have been given the VW’esque treatment by Ford. I do believe Australia has bought more Mustangs than the EU.

        This is poor judgement on Ford’s part, very poor and unprofessional.

        No integrity.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Don’t buy a Ford, then, Al.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Big Al from Oz
          Will impress NOT drivers who now realise, they are driving something that has a safety rating of the now defunct Great Wall Pickup. Oh Ford what a mess

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Deathtraps.

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            @ BAFO

            Bullshit, I’m still around and I’ve recounted the tale here before about how a Civic driver tried his damnedest to wedge his civic into the driver’s side front of the S550 I had at the time.

            If he wasn’t speeding then we both connected at around 35 mph and the end result was both the passenger and I walked away with some bruising and in my case a dislocated vertebrae and some dislocated ribs.

            The driver of the Civic had to be cut from his car and carted off in an ambulance.

            Mass was certainly on my side but the car did its job.

            There is a number of wrecked GT350’s popping up where people are driving too aggressively on track and the only tragedies involved are bruised egos, emptied checking accounts and totaled cars.

            Even the older S-197 can take a hit. In one particular case I remember a car taking a hit directly at the A-pillar by a dingbat driver in a Jetta. The estimated speed for the Jetta was around 50 mph and in that case as well the driver and passenger walked away.

            Now I’m not saying they are tanks or that there aren’t safer cars (obviously dumping the current styling and making the Mustang more sedan or station wagon like would improve rear occupant safety) but I don’t see blood running in the street either from a litany of dead Mustang occupants.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            raph,
            My comments have little to do with individual experiences, my comments are directed at Ford for being so damn stupid in how thwy have managed the Mustang.

            I’ve T boned a person that ran a light. I will not use that experience here. It wasn’t done in a lab using scientific techniques.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Some f*cks will be given when the already stratospheric costs of insuring a Mustang in Europe go completely outer limits insane.

        But otherwise, I agree with you. In a world where motorcycles are still allowed to be sold, is any car really THAT unsafe?

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @krhodes1
          At least you can be flung off a motorcycle, but trapped in a rapidly collapsing car.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            And I’m sure you’ll land in a haystack instead of splattering like a tomato across the pavement.

            Reminds me of the people who believe seat belts make you safer because you can then get thrown clear of the wreck. Ejecto! Then dust yourself off and walk away.

          • 0 avatar
            baggins

            any crash with an object firm enough to collapse a mustang is going to be real bad for a guy on a bike.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    ” Adult rear seat passenger safety was rated “poor” in full-width frontal impacts, thanks to a lack of seatbelt pre-tensioners.”

    Ha ha! Who rides in the back seat of a Mustang?

    I once rode in the back seat of a 1967 Camaro, and later, a 1975 Firebird, but that was the rarity – both well over 40 years ago back when it really didn’t matter.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The backseat in F-body Camaros was good for two things: 1) stashing 8-track tape cases, and b) stashing beer.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        I’ll add a third. We found that the back seat of my buddy’s WS6 Trans Am was also pretty good for carrying home a couple of girls after closing time. They’re generally not that big, or at least they shouldn’t be. Either way, they always fit.

        He really wanted a Corvette, but my thoughts at the time were that the T/A was the better choice for that reason alone, since we were in our very early twenties and the bar scene was one of our primary sources of entertainment. He did end up buying a C6 Z06 a few years down the road to keep the F-body company in the garage.

    • 0 avatar
      e30gator

      Many people have teenage kids on their way to and from school with their friends riding in the back of a Mustang, and young parents who bought it before having kids. The typical Mustang owner is young, maybe in high school or college and thus, unless they don’t have many friends, the back seat will get used.

    • 0 avatar
      cirats

      No kidding. I was scrolling to the bottom to post basically the same thing and saw you beat me to the punch. I was seriously considering a Mustang for my most recent purchase about 4 months ago and just need enough backseat to squeeze pre-teens/teenagers into in a pinch when it’s my turn to haul the kids somewhere and my wife’s car is not available, and I couldn’t fathom the idea of putting even my 11-year old daughter into that tiny penalty box they call a back seat. Any safety tests that relate to adults in the back seat should be totally thrown out of any analysis of the Mustang. By comparison, the backseat of a BMW 3-series coupe (one of the main things I was cross-shopping against) is actually extremely roomy and airy. A bit less so in convertible form but not at all out of the question.

      [Updated because I just saw e30gator’s post: I honestly don’t think these backseats could get more than extremely rare use. They are just way, way too small. I’m only 5’10” and I didn’t even come close to fitting. If I had a friend with a Mustang, I wouldn’t ride to lunch or even around the block back there.]

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        The day after I bought my Mustang, I took a 3 hour roadtrip with a 16 year old and a 5 year old (in a car seat) in the back seat. Neither of them had any problems (I was kind of amazed at the way the older girl was able to sprawl out). Luckily the mom in the front seat is only about 5’5″, and I’m an inch taller than you.

        Maybe we’ve just forgotten how flexible young folks really are. What would really bother you and I doesn’t affect them. When I was her age, I was riding around in the back of a CRX with another friend, and that car doesn’t even have rear seats.

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      “Ha ha! Who rides in the back seat of a Mustang?”

      Recipient of the short straw…

  • avatar
    NutellaBC

    Ford is also gaming the system by not providing proper roll over protection in the convertible, including the 2018. Even the MB W124 had pop up roll over protections back in the 90s…
    How many more decades will we have to wait until Ford wakes up ?

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Don’t care, still want a GT.

    Now I’m curious about the differences between NCAP tests and IIHS. The Mustang does well in the latter aside from the mediocre small overlap that has tripped up a number of vehicles.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I use a 15 Mustang as a DD. So EU believes my car is unsafe ? Mark me down in the” who gives a ____ ” column .

  • avatar
    mikey

    Okay …..second reading proves your right : )

  • avatar
    philadlj

    They must be testing it backwards…

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Presumably, Ford omitted the safety equipment to reduce costs, or . . . what?

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    So what *standard* US safety equipment did Ford leave out of the EU version? The article hints at a couple of things (like seatbelt pretensioners for the rear seat occupants), but doesn’t specifically list everything.

    • 0 avatar
      210delray

      Outside of Mercedes, VW/Audi, and Volvo, almost no cars sold in the US have rear seat belt pretensioners. Rear side torso airbags are rare also, found most commonly in GM and Toyota cars (not necessarily in their CUVs, SUVs, or pickups though). They are standard or optional in some Mercedes and VW/Audis.

      Almost every passenger vehicle now sold in the US has standard side curtain airbags (to protect the head) in the front and rear seats.

      The Mustang in the US has an optional forward collision warning system but no other crash avoidance features including autobrake. NHTSA and IIHS do not penalize heavily for the lack of these systems — only autobrake, some warning systems like those in Hondas (and better headlights) have been found to be effective in the real world to date.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    All I care about is the moose test. Where’s the moose test video? I’ve seen a hundred videos of Mustangs running into walls (and crowds) but I’ve never seen one run into a moose.

  • avatar
    manny_c44

    Just wanted to add an anecdote from personal experience: I saw a new model Mustang for display in Europe (I think at a mall) and it really was getting a ton of attention, it was really interesting…most of them had never seen a Mustang before.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    This is not good news for those Cars & Coffee people. Just kidding–I’m a Mustang fan and a former owner. Mustang drivers always get a bad reputation…

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    But I bet it aces the moose test.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    Would adding back in the US-spec safety content advance the NCAP rating?

    Or is it because it doesn’t have the “high-tech safety aids — which the Europeans weigh heavily”, which I’m assuming is things like automatic braking systems like Eyesight?

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yeah the NCAP give high importance to “high tech” safety aids, don’t have enough of those and the car will get a dismal rating no matter how well it protects the occupants. So if the seat belt warning isn’t annoying (distracting, blinding) enough points are taken off. http://www.euroncap.com/en/vehicle-safety/the-ratings-explained/safety-assist/seatbelt-reminders/

      Pedestrian safety is another thing that they give high importance to. Injure the dummy in the middle of the street too much and again no matter how well the occupants are protected the car will get a dismal rating.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The US requires airbags, and they are supposed to discharge with enough force that they can protect unbelted occupants.

      The EU doesn’t require airbags at all, although they are the norm. But they are installed based upon the expectation that seat belts will be used. As it turns out, the weakness of the airbag discharge was one of Euro NCAP’s gripes, so a different, more powerful airbag could help the rating.

      As far as I can tell, the rear seat belts in the Euro-spec car are inferior, although I’m not certain of that. If true, then Ford just cheaped out because it could.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Frankly Scarlett……

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This Mustang has a 2 Star rating in Australia.

    Australia with its free and open market accepts US (NHSTA) vehicles.

    So what gives Ford?

    Did Ford not learn ftom others’ mistakes?

    I do hope Ford replaces this 3rd world vehicle or refund the buyers.

    It seems Ford Australia should of ran with this, not Ford US. Even our Thai built Focuses and Rangers are better than Ford’s US manufactured vehicles.

    And Trump wants to protect this 3rd world (Brazilian) approach for exports.

    Ford US has a lot of work to meet Chinese and Indian vehicle standards.

    You guys can now appreciate my constant attacks of Dearborn, Even FCA products sold here are not Chinese or Indian standard vehicles.

    Poor effort from Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – You’re confused about a few things. Except the wild popularity of the Mustang in the EU and OZ goes against everything yourself and your sidekick preach here on a daily basis. I’m sure you’re going out of your mind, and can’t think straight, but I digress. Hater gonna hate.

      Chinese and Indian cars are the absolute last place you want to find yourself in a car crash. The crash safety of EU/OZ spec Mustangs are every bit as safe as any cars in their class, (2+2 sports coupes), just a few years ago, before “lane departure”, “auto braking”, etc, became the standard, even if not actually required.

      Ford’s actions are puzzling, but let’s not talk craziness.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      *^ “Should’ve,” a contraction of “should have.”

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    How can a car deemed perfectly safe in the land of 3-ton SUVs, giant sized coffees, and essentially zero drivers’ education suddenly be deemed a deathtrap over there? I don’t get it, honestly. The different safety standards likely are little more than protectionist policies hidden under the guise of “safety,” much like California emissions standards (used to force Californians to buy only from CA dealers) and speed cameras are for revenue. It isn’t as if the roads in Europe are strewn with dead bodies any more than we are here in the U.S. Maybe we just scrape up the bodies more quickly so nobody notices?

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    let me get this straight without resorting to rhetoric or politics :). Ford, a global company, builds a Mustang, that in America, contains lots of safety gear to ensure that it meets the relevant regulations. The local agency tests said vehicle and give it a “thumbs-up”. Now they ship it around the world, but due to cost factors and other esoteric reasons, decide to decontent the vehicle. Now the import nations authority decide to test it under their regulations and find it comes up wanting, and advertise that fact. This is so that customers can make their own comparisons and choices. Nothing to do with protectionism of industries, more like “you are an intelligent person, make your own mind up”. Of course, FORD bluster and feeble excuses as to why it fell short don’t help its cause. The mustang may be “less safe” than another vehicle, but that’s freedom of choice. It’s not like the government has said that “thou shalt not buy”, just “be aware that….”. The only way FORD will change the Mustang will be when it is a sales disaster, not by the number of stars it receives.

  • avatar
    ColoradoFX4

    “Such an attitude to safety should trouble Ford’s customers, whether they are buying a high-powered muscle car, or a regular family car.”

    Statement seems a bit harsh considering every Ford vehicle tested by ENCAP since 2010 has scored 4- or 5-stars.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Sure has hit a ” home run” on negative press
    “The Mustang is the first passenger vehicle since the Chinese Chery J11 of 2011 to score a two star ANCAP rating. Euro NCAP doled out the same result to the Lancia Ypsilon in 2015.

    ANCAP boss James Goodwin was scathing of the Mustang’s performance.

    “This rating is simply shocking, particularly for an expensive, newly-designed and popular vehicle,” he told motoring.com.au.

    “The poorest performing area is safety assist; The Mustang only got two out of a possible 12 points. There is no speed assistance, there is no lane support system, there is no emergency braking, there is no forward warning, there are no [rear] seatbelts reminders.

    “But added to that concern is the structural performance… The full width frontal test showed a risk of serious head, chest and leg injuries for the rear passengers, there was insufficient inflation of both the driver and front passenger front airbags in the frontal offset test and that allowed the driver’s head to contact the steering wheel and the passenger’s head to touch the dashboard.”

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      “The poorest performing area is safety assist; The Mustang only got two out of a possible 12 points. There is no speed assistance, there is no lane support system, there is no emergency braking, there is no forward warning, there are no [rear] seatbelts reminders.

      Speed assistance is… adaptive cruise control I’m guessing? Seems odd the euro spec cars don’t have this as an option like the US along with lane departure warning and emergency braking (in the US they get this along with collision warning).

      That is a head scratcher for sure? I went over to Ford UK’s website and configured a car just to see if those options pop up and they do not.

      I don’t know why but I’ve found Ford’s marketing team to have a few screws loose lately when it comes to configuring the cars. From the zero option V6 leading to “alternative facts” on the EB Mustang to the weird optioning of the 2016 GT350 (mostly if you wanted a track capable car you had to go without the upgraded infotainment and skip the heated and cooled seats or you know upgrade to the GT350R so you could get the track pack equipment and the upgraded infotainment).

      Then again the euro spec Mustangs come more comprehensively equipped out of the gate compared to the US spec cars which I’m told wouldn’t pass muster overseas and including Adaptive cruise, lane departure, forward collision/emergency braking as standard would have driven up the price substantially or Ford would have had to take it in the gut and include them as no cost extras.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @raph
        More of a major problem, not addressed by electronic add ons
        “But added to that concern is the structural performance… The full width frontal test showed a risk of serious head, chest and leg injuries for the rear passengers, there was insufficient inflation of both the driver and front passenger front airbags in the frontal offset test and that allowed the driver’s head to contact the steering wheel and the passenger’s head to touch the dashboard.”

  • avatar
    tnk479

    With the increasing number and capability of sensors on vehicles and crash prevention software, I suspect that designing for collision is about to become an obsolete pursuit. The goal will shift much more to making collisions nearly impossible or make them occur at much lower speed. I’m not in favor of this at all but that’s what I suspect will occur.

  • avatar
    zip94513

    While they’re flying down the Autobahn at 155mph I’m pretty sure drivers don’t give a hoot about the dismal safety score.

    Boo hoo, my comment awaits moderation.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    Three things occur to me about this article:
    1. European NCAP testing has more emphasis on pedestrian safety than the US organisations because there are no pedestrians in the US. (Try walking to the mall – very difficult)
    2. I have been involved in three car accidents in India but nobody was hurt because we were all going at walking pace. They don’t need 5 stars.
    3. Mustang will be a sales success in Oz because people remember Bullitt and because they will not be able to buy Falcons.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Spike_in_Brisbane
      I would think not. Sales were already dropping, but news this bad, will kill the enthusiasm. Mustang has been panned
      on all Aussie automotive blogs. Ford is having a ” Jeep” moment.
      Europe and their mall like City Centres, have plenty of pedestrians.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Mustang sales have tanked over there, but check how long they’re sitting, gathering dust on EU/UK/OZ showrooms. They’re not.

        Some would call it “sold out”, but use whatever term suits you best.

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