Much like in the United States, safety standards in Europe are increasingly more stringent. Just as the IIHS gave out far fewer Top Safety Pick+ awards for 2018 the Euro NCAP organization recently downgraded several models upon retesting after each received a mid-life-cycle facelift.
The most shocking of the results, is undoubtedly the Fiat Punto, which didn’t just flunk, but scored a zero en route to becoming the European automotive equivalent of the Cleveland Browns.
The Punto isn't sold in the U.S. or Canada, but it was previously sold in Mexico and is offered in nearly every other global market.
All total, Euro NCAP tested 15 models, some new, some facelifted, and assessed the safety on a five-star scale. Of those, six received five stars: the BMW 6 Series; Jaguar F-Pace; Kia’s Kona, Stinger, and Stonic; and the Toyota Yaris. One, the Toyota Aygo, received four stars, and eight received three.
In a statement about the latest round of testing, Euro NCAP Secretary General Michael Van Ratingen said, “the fact that older cars cannot compete illustrates the pace at which the vehicle industry is innovating safety and the willingness and ability of competitive manufacturers to meet the highest standards. Those who do not keep their cars up to the latest standards get left behind, as these results clearly show.”
The way NCAP’s ratings work, a vehicle must exceed a minimum points threshold in four areas tested — occupant safety, pedestrian protection, driver assistance, and crash avoidance — in order to qualify for the star ranking system. Technically, Punto would have received two stars for occupant safety and pedestrian protection, but according to Euro NCAP, its lack of driver assistance and crash avoidance systems, were enough to disqualify it from the star system.