Update 5 July 2017: Ford has taken Thatcham’s criticism of the UK Mustang to heart and has upgraded the car’s safety equipment. Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and a Lane Keeping Aid will all be standard fit on future UK-spec Mustangs.
These improvements have lifted the Mustang’s Euro NCAP safety rating to 3 stars.
For the first time in the 53-year history of the legendary Ford Mustang sports car, the US auto giant has recently started making a right-hand drive model and importing the Mustang into the UK.
Unfortunately Ford doesn’t seem to have bothered to alter the car to meet modern European standards of safety. The Mustang scored just two stars in the latest round of Euro NCAP crash safety tests.
According to Matthew Avery of Thatcham Research, the independent automotive research centre which speaks on behalf of Euro NCAP in the UK:
“We have not given a Two Star Euro NCAP rating to any of the top 10 car brands since 2008. This really bucks the trend.”
Apparently, neither front airbags nor rear seatbelts worked as effectively as you’d expect in a modern car. The front airbags failed to inflate sufficiently to restrain the driver and passenger when the car was hit at an angle.
Meanwhile, the rear seatbelts lack have neither pre-tensioners nor load limiters. As a result, the rear passenger slid under the seatbelt during the frontal impact test, implying a higher risk of abdominal industries.
Finally, in the side impact crash, the head of the 10-year dummy contacted the interior trim bottoming out the curtain airbag.
As a result of these weaknesses, Avery believes the car is “unsuitable for having rear passengers”. He’s concerned that Ford has deliberately chosen to not to update the car to meet European safety standards:
“What really concerns me is that Ford has made a deliberate choice. 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.”
Ford say that a face-lifted Mustang will be available later this year with Pre-Collision Assist and Lane Keep Assist as standard. Euro NCAP expects to test the safety of this updated model when it is available on the European market.