Citroen eC3 scores 0 stars in Global NCAP crash test

Global NCAP has crash tested the Citroen eC3 electric hatchback, and it has received a rather disappointing 0-star rating in adult occupant protection and a 1-star rating for child occupant protection. The car tested was an Indian-made model, and is among the last few cars to be tested under Global NCAP’s Safer Cars for India campaign as India now has its own Bharat NCAP safety assessment programme. 

The model tested was equipped with dual-front airbags, belt load limiter and seat belt reminder for just the front two seats. It does not get ESC (even as an option), nor does it get seat belt pretensioners, side airbags, ISOFIX anchorages or seatbelt reminders for the rear seats.

Citroen eC3 adult protection score explained

The eC3 scored a total of 20.86 points out of 34 in adult occupant protection. The report noted that in the frontal impact test, the driver’s and passenger’s head and neck protection was good, but protection to the chest was rated weak and poor for the drive and passenger, respectively. Moreover, protection to the driver’s knee was marginal as it could be impacted by by dangerous structures behind the dashboard, although protection for the passenger’s knee was good.

In the side impact test, the head showed marginal protection, chest showed adequate protection, and the abdomen and pelvis showed good protection. However, Global NCAP noted that the difference between the front and side impact made the car lose one star in the overall result.

The eC3 was not subjected to a side pole impact test as it does not offer side airbags and doesn’t meet Global NCAP’s minimum availability requirement of ESC. It also does not comply with UN 127 pedestrian protection norms. However, the report noted that the footwell area and body shell was stable, and it was capable of withstanding further loads.

Citroen eC3 child protection score explained

In the child occupant protection test, the eC3 scored 10.55 points out of 49. The child seat for the 3-year-old was installed facing forward using the adult seat belt, and it could not prevent excessive forward movement and head contact with vehicle interior in the frontal crash.

The 18-month-old child seat was installed rearward-facing using the seat belt, and it was able to prevent head exposure during the frontal impact offering almost full protection. However, in the side impact, the head was exposed, which led to poor scores.

The eC3 also does not get 3-point seat belts for all five seats – there’s a lap belt for the rear middle passenger – nor does it get ISOFIX anchorages. There’s also no possibility to disconnect the passenger airbag in case a rearward facing CRS is installed in that position, all of which led to subtraction of points. The car offers only one position that’s suitable for a universal child seat.

Global NCAP’s comment

“This is an appalling result from Stellantis. PSA was once a leader on safety, but now, as part of the Stellantis group, the manufacturer appears to have taken a major backward step,” said Alejandro Furas, Global NCAP Secretary General. “We hope that this apparent negative trend is corrected globally as a matter of urgency.”

This will indeed be remedied soon enough as Citroen had announced early last month that it will introduce six airbags as standards across all its models in India from the second half of 2024. So, the eC3 will soon benefit from that, and also gain ISOFIX seat anchorages and rear seat belt reminders as standard. These scores, therefore, will certainly stand improved in a few months’ time.

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