31 Oct 2011
Lancia Thema and Fiat Freemont win a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating, with 4 awarded to the Lancia Voyager
The Lancia Thema and Fiat Freemont have won the prestigious five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Five stars is the top score that this independent consortium has been awarding since 1997 after testing vehicle safety. In the same evaluation session the Lancia Voyager achieved four stars - just verging on the potential five - which is a significant improvement compared to the model tested in 2007.
The rating is even more important considering that since 2009 Euro NCAP has adopted a new scheme composed of four areas of assessment, namely Adult Occupant, Child Occupant, Pedestrian Protection and a new area: Safety Assist. Injury avoidance and mitigation functions, such as seat belt reminder, ESP and speed limiter, are also rated. Achieving a five-star rating will become increasingly tougher year by year (2009, 2010-2011, 2012).
This major accolade yet again confirms the Fiat Group's special commitment to all aspects relating to the protection of all road users. The outstanding results achieved coincide with the adoption of the most highly advanced electronic devices (some available as standard equipment) that increase vehicle safety because they constantly help the driver reduce accident risk. They include traction control, panic braking assisted by the differentiated electronic management of the braking system, adaptive speed control, and forward collision warning that notifies the driver when the distance from the vehicle in front is insufficient for the speed at which he is travelling. And there's still more! The camera installed on the rear view mirror eliminates blind spots, a system automatically levels the front headlights, the pedal unit is adjustable to provide optimum driving position comfort and an extremely important system automatically monitors the tyre pressure.
In short, protection is total, as demonstrated by the 6 airbags supplied standard (two of which are Multistage) on the Freemont and Voyager models, and 7 on the Lancia flagship; and the three-point seat belts with double pretensioners and a double load limiter level. Without forgetting the contribution to occupant protection provided by the body, the bonnet, the doors and the dashboard crossmember, in addition to the seats and steering column.
Special attention has then been paid to pedestrian protection. All three vehicles are fitted with an innovative system that detects impact against the pedestrian's leg. In only a very few thousandths of a second it raises the bonnet to offer a surface without rigid points underneath, which minimises risks of injuries to the pedestrian's head. Moreover, all three models have front seats equipped with a mechanism that brings the headrest up against the heads of the front occupants in case of a rear impact. This considerably reduces the risk of injury caused by whiplash.
Thousands of hours of virtual simulations, tests on components and subsystems, more than 200 impact simulations on the Hyge slide shock test simulations and more than 80 crash tests (frontal impact, side impact, roll-over and shunting, taking various speeds, different types of obstacles and the need to protect occupants physically very different from one another into account) have been run for each model. These are the figures that bear witness to the care the company lavishes on building the Fiat Freemont, Lancia Thema and Lancia Voyager, all vehicles at the top of the segment in terms of safety, just like the other models the group produces.
Turin 31 October 2011