BMW i3 gets only four-star safety rating from Euro NCAP

Article by Anita Panait, on November 29, 2013

The BMW i3 has failed to get the top safety rating from Euro NCAP, scoring only four out of a possible five stars. The vehicle performed poorly in two categories -- pedestrian protection and safety assistance systems. According to Euro NCAP, the i3 scored just 57 percent in the pedestrian safety test, due to a "poor" front edge to the hood and substandard results recorded at the base of the windshield and along the "stiff" windshield pillars.

The German motoring organization ADAC remarked that these are considered deficiencies, particularly because the i3 was designed as “a modern car for big cities."  ADAC added that such vehicles should place high value on pedestrian protection. In the safety assistance systems test, the i3 scored 55 percent. Euro NCAP noted that while i3 met test requirements by offering electronic stability control as standard equipment; it lacked seat belt reminders in the rear.

Euro NCAP remarked that a system designed to control i3’s speed was not expected to reach its minimum fitment rate to qualify for assessment. BMW has high expectations for the i3, which has so far gained over 10,000 pre-orders and 100,000 requests for test drives. The Euro NCAP scores could cause some worries on the car’s safety and could discourage future buyers.

According to a BMW spokesman, the Euro NCAP results disregard steps taken by the carmaker to improve protection of pedestrians, like the i3's special brakes and sensors. He added they will first assess the test results before making a final opinion.

BMW is viewed to have spent at least EUR2 billion on developing the i subbrand, which the carmaker has trademarked through to a series number i9. The next I model to be launched will be the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar, due next spring.

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