Despite being a staple of American muscle car culture, the Ford Mustang has become remarkably popular in European markets in recent years. With Mustang sales surging across the pond, the Belgium-based European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) decided it was time to put the car through the organization’s rigorous battery of crash tests.
In America, the 2017 Mustang scored “good” in all but one category in tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In Euro NCAP’s tests, however, the Mustang received just two out of five stars, prompting the organization to issue a scathing critique of the car’s apparent safety issues.
In the frontal offset test, Euro NCAP found that the driver and passenger-side airbags did not inflate enough to properly restrain occupants. In another test, a lack of seat belt pre-tensioners and load-limiters allowed the passenger dummy to slip under the seat belt. This type of scenario would increase the risk of abdominal injuries in real-world accidents.
In addition to these concerns, the Euro NCAP report also noted that Ford had actually removed standard safety features such as the forward collision warning system in the European variant of the Mustang.
“Ford did not expect Euro NCAP to test the Mustang and chose not to fit safety technology in Europe which is available to its American consumers, and available on several other sports cars for that matter,” said Euro NCAP in a company press release. “Such an attitude to safety should trouble Ford’s customers, whether they are buying a high-powered muscle car or a regular family car.”
Ouch. Ford has since issued a statement reassuring Euro NCAP that the 2018 Mustang will have forward collision warnings and lane keep assist as standard safety features, regardless of what country the car is sold in.
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