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Volkswagen Taos becomes first 5 star model under Latin NCAP’s latest protocols

The latest Latin NCAP results were published today with the first 5 star car under the new protocols for the Volkswagen Taos and a disappointing zero stars for the Fiat Argo/Cronos

The latest Latin NCAP results were published today with the first 5 star car under the new protocols for the Volkswagen Taos and a disappointing zero stars for the Fiat Argo/Cronos.

The Volkswagen Taos, produced in Argentina and Mexico, with 6 airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard, is the first model to achieve 5 stars under Latin NCAP latest protocols. The recently launched SUV model achieved 90.23% in Adult Occupant score, 89.80% in Child Occupant score, 60.61% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users score and 85.04% in the Safety Assist score.

The Taos was tested in frontal impact, side impact, pole impact, whiplash and pedestrian protection. Moreover ESC, ‘Moose’ and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) tests were performed. The model offers as standard equipment 6 airbags and ESC as well as ISOFIX anchorages and all of them together performed well during the tests. The Taos also offers optional AEB systems for low speed, pedestrian and high speed and it is fitted in at least 50% of the production volume meeting Latin NCAP fitment requirements. The car also offers Blind Sport Detection (BSD) however it was not validated by Latin NCAP. Latin NCAP tested Argentinean and Mexican versions and the 5 stars result is valid for both of them. This first 5 stars model under the latest Latin NCAP protocol shows the potential of local industry to offer state of the art safety to Latin American consumers in the short term.

The Fiat Argo/Cronos produced in Argentina and Brazil, with 2 frontal airbags and no standard ESC achieved zero stars under Latin NCAP latest protocols. The popular model achieved 24.37% in Adult Occupant score, 9.91% in Child Occupant score, 36.91% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users score and 6.98% in the Safety Assist score.

The Argo/Cronos was tested in frontal impact, side impact, whiplash and pedestrian protection. The model showed average to low protection in the frontal impact and poor protection in the side impact for adult safety leading to zero points for side impact protection. The lack of standard side body and side head protection airbags and the poor whiplash protection limited the car’s result in the adult protection score. Child occupant protection score was poor mainly because the marking present in the vehicle does not meet Latin NCAP requirements. As the car manufacturer improves marking the result will likely improve for child occupant protection. Pedestrian protection was the lowest since Latin NCAP started assessing pedestrian protection in 2020, the car has poor passive safety and does not have AEB pedestrian to compensate, mitigate or eventually avoid pedestrian contact. The safety assist score showed only driver SBR points as the car does not offer ESC as standard as well as other relevant technologies like BSD, AEB and Lane Support Systems (LSS). Despite this scenario, Fiat announced that they will improve this model soon and will volunteer for testing to demonstrate the improvements.

Fiat Argo/Cronos 2019 result audit test

As part of the regular procedures, Latin NCAP has performed an audit test on the Fiat Argo Cronos published in 2019. Latin NCAP tested the Cronos/Argo in 2019, manufactured in Argentina and Brazil respectively, achieving three stars for adult occupant and four stars for child occupant protection. According to the requirements of the assessment protocols, Latin NCAP has the right to audit any voluntary test at any time.

The result of the audit tests showed that in the side impact the head of the adult recorded high values exceeding the allowed limit values leading to zero points in the head (red head) and zero stars for the result of this model. Consequently, the safety rating was recalculated and it resulted in a downgraded to zero stars for adult occupant protection. Data for 2019 was updated on the Latin NCAP website.

Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Latin NCAP said:

“Taos’ 5 stars is a milestone in Latin NCAP’s latest protocols and triggers the challenge to all manufacturers to aim for a top star rating. The Taos is a locally made product that offers global standards of safety to its occupants and Vulnerable Road Users. On the other hand, the Cronos/Argo disappointed with a zero stars result but Latin NCAP welcomes and remains expectant towards the  commitment to improve the model. Latin NCAP congratulates Volkswagen for this achievement and looks forward to see these protection levels in models on sale soon. At the same time Latin NCAP encourages Fiat to improve the Argos/Cronos as soon as possible. Latin NCAP believes that consumer information known as labelling can dramatically and quickly improve the safety level of cars as a result of a voluntary action.” 

Stephan Brodziak, Latin NCAP Chairman said: 

“With these latest results from Latin NCAP, it is clear the relevance of the programme to inform consumers, road users and decision makers about the safety performance of the evaluated models. It is necessary that the countries in the region embrace Latin NCAP to comply with the right to information in agreement with the Consumer Protection Guidelines that require strong policies for the protection of these. If it would not have been tested we would not know about the low safety that the Fiat Argo/Cronos offers not only to its customers, but to all the people that coexist on the streets with this type of vehicle. Fiat adds another low-safety car to the list of cars that do not adequately protect road users. We make a call to Fiat to shift towards safer cars. On the other hand, we are pleasantly surprised with the result of the Volkswagen Taos, hopefully this level of safety is offered in all the brand’s models and, furthermore, it serves as an example for other manufacturers to raise the safety performance of the cars they sell in the region”


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