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Euro NCAP calls for more standard small van safety features

Euro NCAP critiques small van manufacturers for insufficient standard safety tech; only Mercedes-Benz Citan and VW ID. Buzz Cargo achieve Platinum.


Euro NCAP has criticised small van manufacturers for failing to put enough standard crash-reduction technology in their vehicles.

The vehicle safety specialist, which has released crash avoidance ratings for eight vans in the small panel van category, said that by making customers pay for extra safety technology without promoting the benefits, ‘safety technology becomes a bargaining tool’.

Its new results reveal some strong safety performances for vehicles tested in the small panel van category, most of which have equivalent passenger versions.

The Citroën Berlingo and its twins, the Fiat Doblo, the Vauxhall Combo and the Peugeot Partner, as well as the Renault Kangoo Van and the Volkswagen Caddy Cargo van, all scored the Gold rating.

However, only the Mercedes-Benz Citan (pictured) and the VW ID. Buzz Cargo secured Euro NCAP’s top rating of Platinum. Unlike Euro NCAP’s car safety rating, the organisation’s commercial van rating focuses specifically on crash avoidance technology. This is because in van crashes, by far the most casualties are in the opponent vehicle or vulnerable road users. The latest results are particularly significant because they deliver a snapshot of the safety of small panel vans currently available before new rules on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) come into effect in the General Safety Regulations (GSR) in July.

Aled Williams, programme director at Euro NCAP, said:

Given smaller panel vans are often derived from passenger cars, when high-performing equipment is fitted, their drivers can expect an optimum level of safety. It is good news then that the results achieved in this release are predominantly Gold and Platinum. However, Euro NCAP rated vans with equipment mostly fitted as ‘optional’. What was concerning was the lack of availability of vans equipped with these crash-avoidance technologies on the market. Euro NCAP and its team struggled to source vans fitted with these options for the testing. In the case of the Platinum winners, only the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo has this safety technology fitted as standard; on the Mercedes, it is still a cost option. Van manufacturers often offer safety technologies but rarely encourage buyers to specify this vital equipment that could save lives.

He added:

There is overwhelming evidence that this safety technology reduces crashes, deaths and injuries, protecting drivers and other road users, and therefore we believe businesses ignoring these options are failing in their corporate social responsibilities (CSR).


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