There can be no denying that the darling of the new car market last year (and so far this year as well) was the all-new, first-time-in-RHD Ford Mustang, with feverish excitement and record sales greeting its release on local shores, with more than 1,000 selling in New Zealand and more than 6,000 across the ditch in Australia.
It is unfortunate then that the just released ANCAP safety rating on the fastback GT V8 is an absolutely appalling 2 Star effort…
Ford were reportedly unwilling to test the Mustang locally, with reports from Australia saying that the independent crash testing agency was urging the company to supply a car, but having little luck.
According to the Automobile Association (AA) the Mustang was finally tested late last year and fell well below the 5 Star maximum, a rating that the vast majority of new cars achieve.
“The Mustang Fastback’s 2 star safety rating is extremely disappointing,” said Stella Stocks, AA Motoring Services General Manager.
“It’s not what we’d expect from Ford or any major vehicle manufacturer today, especially when ANCAP testing protocols are well known by all car makers.”
According to the AA, the Mustang Fastback performed poorly across three of the four areas of assessment. Both adult and child occupant assessments didn’t reach the 5 star mark, but the poorest area was the lack of safety assist technology, which ultimately assured the 2 star safety rating.
Ms Stocks says it’s important to note the Mustang sold in Australasian markets and Europe is a different specification from the vehicles available in the United States. The US models include forward collision warning for example, which is not available in New Zealand.
“Ford recently unveiled its newest models in the United States which appear to have more safety assist and crash prevention technology on board but they’re not expected in New Zealand until the end of the next year. Also, we won’t know what will be included on the New Zealand models yet.
“While Ford has done a good job at capturing the imagination of enthusiasts around the world with the latest Mustang, it’s missed the mark on safety.”
The Mustang, along with its main rivals, the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, were all tested by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) last year, with the Mustang coming under fire for its poor performance in the “small overlap test” and the fact it could only achieve an “acceptable” rating. For the record, the Camaro received a “good” rating, while the Challenger was “marginal”.
Introduced in 2012, the small overlap test replicates what happens when a vehicle runs off the road and hits a tree or pole or clips another vehicle that has crossed the centre line. In the IIHS’s test 25 percent of the total width of the vehicle strikes the 5-foot-tall rigid barrier on the driver side at 40mph (64km/h).
We have reached out to Ford for comment on the Mustang’s poor performance in the ANCAP test, but have yet to hear back. We will update you on anything they have to say.