Over the last 37 years, 75 lakh Fiat Panda cars have been sold globally. The previous generation variant, even managed to win the prestigious European Car of the Year award back in 2004. But things are not looking any good for the Panda right now.
Regaled as being Italy’s bestselling car, the Fiat Panda has failed in crash tests by European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The Fiat Panda scored 0 stars and worst child protection score ever to be recorded in crash tests conducted by Euro NCAP.
In fact, the Panda has become only the second car ever to be awarded 0 star rating ever since Euro NCAP was founded in 1997. The Panda’s 0 star rating follows the Punto which also scored 0 stars and was taken off markets in 8 months and follows the poor performance of FCA in Euro NCAP with even Jeep Wrangler which has scored only a single star out of 5.
Fiat Panda received its poor performance in Child Occupant Protection performance scoring 16% for children seated in the rear while the average rating for new cars is 79%. Euro NCAP results showed that the Panda delivered high injury risks for 10 year olds in the rear seat during side impact tests.
Frontal offset crash tests showed poor protection for both head and neck. Fiat Panda also performed badly in whiplash protection for rear seat passengers and also where chest protection for front seat occupants is concerned.
Euro NCAP has categories for tests; which includes speed assistance, lane support, seat belt reminders and automatic emergency braking. Panda scored 9 points in every category except in seat belt reminders. The Panda seat belt reminder system is offered both for front and rear seats.
The system did not meet Euro NCAP tests where rear seat belts were concerned but only for the front seat belt system. The Panda also does not have any driver assistance system which would have gained it some rating in Euro NCAP. A surprising fact is that the same Fiat Panda with the same engineering and similar crash structures had scored 4 stars in Euro NCAP in 2011 when it made its market debut.