A recent investigation conducted by BBC Watchdog in the UK uncovered a rather startling revelation. Apparently dealers of the German luxury brand Audi falsely claimed that the entire Audi model range was Euro NCAP safety tested, which in reality is misleading. While certain models have been tested over the years, there are couple of models that have not been safety tested. Even Audi UK’s head office falsely claimed that the entire range was Euro NCAP safety tested. While Audi does make cars that meet the global safety norms, falsifying information to customers cannot be justified.
The issue was brought to light after a UK based customer after an accident in his R8 sports car was injured and wanted to find out about the car’s safety credentials. While the R8’s safety performance was not compromised, the official safety credentials as stated by 48 out of 50 dealerships in the UK was that the R8 was Euro NCAP tested and received a 5 star safety rating. A further investigation into the matter led to conclusion that dealers use the same marketing gimmick for retailing other vehicles as well, without cross verifying the actual details.
The Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) is not a regulatory body, but is considered as the highest standard rating by manufacturers for vehicle safety. The Euro NCAP safety tests are funded by various European governments and motoring bodies. Popular models are selected for the safety test by the organisation themselves, or manufacturers pay to get their models tested. However it is not mandated legally for every new car to go through the safety test.
Now, even though Audi cars are safe, not going through the actual process and claiming otherwise is simply wrong. The NCAP spokesperson alleges this to be a scheme run by the marketing department that make sure that only a part of the information is actually filtered down to the customers. Audi on the other hand states that its vehicles are engineered to exceed international motor vehicle safety standards. The company fully supports Euro NCAP’s efforts to improve vehicle safety.
After the investigation came to light, Audi did state that there was no deliberate intent to mislead customers with the safety performance of the Audi model range. The company is also working with its sales and customer service staff that it must be aware if the vehicles have been tested in the Audi’s model range and should accordingly provide the details to customers. This does raise questions as to the kind of extent manufacturers/dealers are ready to go, to just make a sale and enjoy profits.
Audi Models That Are Euro NCAP Safety Tested –
* Audi A1, A3, A4, A6, Q3 and Q5 have received an overall 5-Star rating
* Audi A3 received 4-Star Euro NCAP advanced awards for its active safety systems
* Audi Q7 and TT were tested before 2009 and received 4-Star adult safety ratings
Audi Models That Are Not Euro NCAP Safety Tested –
* Audi A5, A7, A8 and R8
Source – BBC.com