Alert over van

safety standards

Ford Transit and Transit Custom, 2020, Euro NCAP award winners

FOURTEEN commercial vans have qualified for an award by Euro NCAP under new criteria that prioritise crash avoidance and driver assistance systems.

Nineteen vans, covering 98 per cent of the European market last year, were tested in accordance with Euro NCAP 2018 Safety Assist protocols that include autonomous emergency braking, lane support, speed assistance and occupant state monitoring.

The new ratings, which encourage wider fitment of automated systems - known as ADAS - on commercial vans, show differences between brands in the systems' performance.

The Euro NCAP programme is designed to help fleet operator and business owners make safer choices for the benefit of commercial van drivers and all road users.

Euro NCAP wants better performance of driver assistance features on vans to match that now fitted to cars and for standardisation of safety equipment.

The safety organisation is also calling for fleet operators to take responsibility for the safety of their drivers and to demand a minimum ‘silver-level' performance in Euro NCAP's new ranking scheme when making purchasing decisions.

It also wants greater clarity from van manufacturers on their websites and in marketing material regarding the safety features available on their vehicles.

In the tests ‘gold' awards were given to the Ford Transit, the Mercedes-Benz Vito and the Volkswagen Transporter.

‘Silver' rankings went to the Ford Transit Custom, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the Vauxhall Vivaro, Peugeot Expert, and the VW Crafter while ‘bronze' status was given to the Citroen Jumper and Jumpy, the Fiat Ducato, the Iveco Daily, the Peugeot Boxer and the Toyota Proace.

At the bottom of the list are theFiat Talento, the Vauxhall Movano, Nissan NV400, the Renault Master and the Renault Trafic with Euro NCAP saying that they cannot be recommended because of their general lack of safety systems.

Euro NCAP's secretary general Michiel van Ratingen said: "The first thing that struck us was how poorly vehicles in this segment are generally equipped with safety systems.

"Technology that is now standard on passenger cars is, almost without exception, an option on vans. Not only that but there is a huge lack of clarity about what is available in individual countries, and what functionalities the systems offer.

"Manufacturers really don't make it easy for people to buy these options and we struggled hard to get hold of vans equipped with the systems we wanted to test."

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