Europe safety-testing in question
Suspicions are high after a number of crash test vehicles in Europe have been found with questionable labels.
European safety body Euro NCAP, along with Thatcham Research, discovered the unusual labels on airbags, seat paddings and ISOFIX points, but have left the vehicle un-named.
Matthew Avery, head of research at Thatcham, says the markings have been found over several car brands.
“Sometimes we’ve tested a vehicle and we will see on the back of a module it says ‘Euro NCAP test’. Airbag modules are quite common. That feels very, very suspicious to us,” says Avery.
The companies have since approached car brands for an explanation.
“There are lots of excuses. We’re told ‘well no, that’s a genuine component, that’s an early version’. They’re not stamping it, they’re writing it in marker pen; it marked crudely… Alarm bells ring when we see that.”
According to British publication Auto Express, Euro NCAP says its audits have “never shown a deliberate attempt to ‘cheat’ our tests” and that it has not come across a marked part in “the last year or two”.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers, says marked parts are a normal part of the production process.
“All vehicles undergo strict regulatory safety tests before they can be approved for sale and manufacturers can also choose to undertake additional voluntary Euro NCAP testing for consumer information,” says Hawes.
Avery says while these instances still occur, it’s not as prevalent as it used to be.
“Many [companies] have learned that we’re very hot on this… it’s keeping manufacturers on notice that I think is the important thing.”