Watch: Fiat Punto gets first ever zero-star Euro NCAP rating
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The final batch of Euro NCAP test results for 2017 has seen the Fiat Punto score the first ever zero-star rating in the organisations history.
The Itialian hatchback tested is a re-release of the 2005 model, which remains on sale as a new car in Europe. Brand new Fiat Puntos are no longer on sale in New Zealand.
The Fiat Punto managed to score two stars in adult and child occupant safety and pedestrian protection but the lack of updated driver assistance and crash avoidance technology resulted an unprecedented 0 per cent ‘Safety Assist’ result.
Euro NCAP said the resulting zero-star score was due to a combination of poor crash performance, combined the absence of 'key technologies' like autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane support systems (LSS).
“This is perhaps the strongest example of a manufacturer continuing to sell a product that is well past its best-before date, at the expense of the unsuspecting car buyer. said Euro NCAP Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen.
Automotive saftey experts from Thatcham Research said Euro NCAP frequently raises the bar in its testing regime, while at the same time Fiat failed to update the hathback's safety equipment.
"The FIAT Punto’s adult occupant protection score of 51 per cent is more than 30 per cent below the average for the Superminis tested in 2017,” said Matthew Avery, director of research for industry watchdog Thatcham Research.
“Yes this is essentially an old car, but that should have sharpened the focus on fitting safety technologies to counteract it’s dated crash performance.”