The European safety testing organization, Euro NCAP, has openly criticized Renault for the lack of safety standards on the updated Zoe and Dacia Spring in its latest round of safety ratings.
Giving the Zoe a no-star rating and the Spring just one star, Michiel van Ratingen, the secretary general of Euro NCAP, commented: “Renault was once synonymous with safety. The Laguna was the first car to get five stars, back in 2001. But these disappointing results for the Zoe and the Dacia Spring show that safety has now become collateral damage in the group’s transition to electric cars.”
These results—in particular for the facelifted supermini Zoe introduced in 2020—will give fleet managers concern for any of these vehicles introduced on fleet thanks to its improved range and good value over Zoe Mk1.
Euro NCAP goes on to report that despite several battery improvements introduced in 2020 on Zoe Mk2, there was no added safety. The organization points out that the seat-mounted side airbag, which previously protected head and thorax, had been replaced by a less effective thorax-only airbag, representing a degradation in occupant protection.
“The new Zoe offers poor protection in crashes overall, poor vulnerable road user protection, and lacks meaningful crash avoidance technology, disqualifying it for any stars.”
Euro NCAP was slightly more conciliatory towards the Renault budget brand Dacia, offering it one star instead of none, but remained stinging in its criticism. Here’s van Ratigen again:
“Dacia cars fail to offer any appreciable active safety as standard, but their occupant protection is also worse than any vehicle we have seen in many years. It is cynical to offer the consumer an affordable green car if it comes at the price of higher injury risk in the event of an accident. Other cars, such as the Fiat 500e, recently awarded five stars in Green NCAP, show that safety does not need to be sacrificed for environmental cleanliness.”
Fleet managers will be relieved that other new cars did extremely well, including five stars for the BMW iX, Nissan Qashqai, and Skoda Fabia, while two lower cost electric cars—the Fiat 500e, and the all-new MG Marvel R—were awarded four-star ratings.
In total seven cars were awarded the highest five-star rating by Euro NCAP.