Fiat 500 receives three star safety rating by NHTSA

2012 Fiat 500

Fiat recently has been working very hard to clinch the US market with what seemed like a pretty good offering: the 500 Abarth, but their efforts seem to have been slightly in vain. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just ‘awarded’ three stars to the Fiat 500 for safety, though the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the car a top safety pick.

The NHTSA is still rolling out test results of other vehicles, but thus far, the Fiat seems to have scored the worse except for the outgoing Dodge Caliber and Ford Escape. This comes as a punishing blow to a retro car which has not been enjoying the sustained sales seen by BMW’s Mini Cooper. Speaking of which, the new Mini, Honda Fit, Chevrolet Spark and Toyota Yaris have not been tested yet. The Ford Fiesta has though: four stars.

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The crash test data however is slightly more interesting: the car received four stars for rollover and frontal crash safety, but just two for side impact crash safety. The NHTSA side impact test involves hitting a pole and a wall at just under 40 miles per hour.

The Fiat comes with side curtain airbags and torso/pelvis airbags and while the front seats scored 5 stars in this simulated t-bone situation, rear seat passenger safety is rated only at two stars. The second part of the side impact test involves a 20 mph collision with a narrow pole, in this case the front seats got a score of three stars.

Chrysler’s reaction to the NHTSA test essentially pointed out the number of airbags and the aforementioned praise from the IIHS.

– By: Sawyer Sutton

Source: AutoWeek