Thursday, November 26, 2009

Toyota Urban Cruiser Fails Euro NCAP Test, Toyota PR Responds

The Toyota Urban Cruiser, the European version of the Scion xD, received a poor overall rating of 3 stars from the European New Car Assessment Programme. The reason for the three star rating was the poor score of 58% for adult occupant protection. Of the dozen cars tested in the last release, the Chevrolet Cruze had the highest adult protection score of 96%, the second lowest score was 81% for the Chevrolet Spark. The Spark was the only other car not to get a perfect five star overall rating, it got four stars.

Full details of the dozen cars tested.
In response to this poor showing, Toyota PR replied saying that they are surprised that the Urban Cruiser got a three star rating and thought that it's side air bag system should be good enough to get a five star rating. Instead, the Urban Cruiser received zero points in the Euro NCAP pole test, "In the side pole test, the head curtain airbag failed to prevent a hard contact of the head." Toyota spokesman concluded by saying, "Once again, we remain fully convinced that Urban Cruiser is a safe car."

While that is probably true, the fact is that other cars are safer and consumers are free to pick a Toyota competitor that did better in the Euro NCAP test.

The full PR response in an Autocar article is here. Of note is this Autocar blog arguing that the ubiquity of five star ratings (aside from Urban Cruiser) creates the need for a sixth star to distinguish cars with excellent safety from those with very good safety.

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