Car News

Shock! Ford Mustang scores 2-star ANCAP rating

The all-new Ford Mustang is one of the best-selling cars on the market yet in shock news released today has scored a shocking 2-star ANCAP rating.

THE FORD MUSTANG is the best-selling sports car on the new car market, yet in a shock finding ANCAP has awarded it a 2-star rating. ANCAP boss, James Goodwin, described the result as “simply shocking”.

“This result is simply shocking for such a newly designed and popular model,” Goodwin said in a statement.

“The safety of adult occupants, child occupants and the ability to avoid a crash all form the basis of our ratings and the Mustang falls short in each of these areas,”

“There’s strong consumer expectation that a new vehicle will be 5 stars and a sports car is no different – safety should never be compromised,” he said.

“It’s disappointing speed assistance systems, lane support systems, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning and rear seat belt reminders are all missing from the Mustang,” Goodwin said.

“Of concern, the full width frontal test showed a risk of serious head, chest and leg injury for the rear passenger. There was also insufficient inflation of both the driver and front passenger airbags in the frontal offset test which allowed the driver’s head to contact the steering wheel and the passenger’s head to contact the dashboard.

The all-new Ford Mustang is one of the best-selling cars on the market, yet in shock news released today has scored a shocking 2-star ANCAP rating.

“The driver’s door opened in the pole test, and whiplash protection for rear-end collisions was marginal.

“This rating is not intended to shock or surprise – it simply presents the safety of this car against that of its contemporary competitors.

“This rating should not come as a surprise to Ford as we maintain strong relationships with vehicle brands and they are informed on the development of our protocols.

“I would encourage Ford to swiftly introduce design and production changes to improve its safety performance,” Goodwin added.

We have included a screen grab of the technical report below, but in a nutshell, the Ford Mustang V8 scored 27.66 out of 38 for adult protection, 4.67 out of 8 for the frontal test, 2.0 out of 12 for safety assistance, because all it has are seatbelt reminders, and 27 out of 42 for pedestrian protection. All up, it scored a woeful 2 star ANCAP rating.

The all-new Ford Mustang is one of the best-selling cars on the market, yet in shock news released today has scored a shocking 2-star ANCAP rating.

The results must surely have stunned Ford Australia, although one might suggest they should well have foreseen this result. And, the ANCAP rating is out of kilter with the Mustang’s five-star rating in the US by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) for the 2015 model (the 2014 model scored a four-star rating but changes were made for 2015). In the US, the tested model offers some of the features omitted from the Australian model, and which ANCAP highlighted, including blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and cross traffic alert. In the US, the Mustang was awarded five stars in all the tested categories, and in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing the Mustang was similarly awarded a Good rating, although it was criticized for its poor child seat anchor placement and ease of use and given a Basic rating for its crash prevention systems.

The all-new Ford Mustang is one of the best-selling cars on the market, yet in shock news released today has scored a shocking 2-star ANCAP rating.

Why the difference between the ratings? Well, Australian delivered cars don’t get some of the same active safety systems, but their inclusion wouldn’t have pushed the Mustang to a five-star rating, but the main differences are likely to lie in the fact that in the US cars are tested at 54km/h while here in Australia, ANCAP and EuroNCAP crash test their vehicles at 64km/h.

By way of comparison we went and looked at results for the Mazda MX-5 which scored a five-star rating with 35.20 out of 37. And the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ both get a five-star rating with a score of 34.40 out of 37. The latter don’t offer things like Autonomous Emergency Braking, but where they differ from the Mustang is that in all the crash tests the passenger rating was either acceptable or good.

On the flipside, the Mustang was criticized for things like the performance of its airbags which, per the technical report bottomed out and so points were deducted. The rear seatbelt positioning was also criticized because of the high chest load it placed and the potential for submarining. There also no rear seatbelt reminders or pretensioners.

Practical Motoring contacted Ford Australia and spoke with media spokesperson, Damion Smy who explained that while Ford Australia was disappointed in the result it was worth noting the strong performance of the Mustang in key areas, like adult occupant protection.

“The Ford Mustang is the first sports car to be tested under stringent new EuroNCAP guidelines, which pays particular attention to rear seat passenger safety as well as active safety features, but it’s worth remembering that the Mustang’s performance in adult occupant protection tests was strong,” Smy told Practical Motoring.

Speaking about active safety features, like blind spot warning and autonomous emergency braking, Smy said that the refreshed 2018 Ford Mustang would be equipped with a raft of active safety systems.

So, will Ford re-test the refreshed Mustang when it arrives in Australia? No, and that’s because of a grey area that relates to a time period between one test and another on the same vehicle. So, no matter what changes Ford make to the Mustang, it would still only score three stars.

Ford, Smy said, is a strong supporter of ANCAP and welcomes more stringent testing.

Further reading:

ANCAP safety ratings explained.

Question: Would this score put you off buying a Ford Mustang – Does modern styling but old-school safety cut it?

  • Allen

    Shocking horror really!

  • Andrew Riles

    Unbelievable, esp in light of the results for the 86 and MX5….

    • Absolutely. Of course, some are claiming that Euro NCAP and ANCAP should have waited for the facelift model. But I don’t agree. Too many of these cars have been sold and given the five-star rating they received in the US this was a vital test… cars are tested differently here and in Europe than they are in the US. Although, even in the US the crash test noted issues. There can be no denying that this is a shocking result. – Isaac

  • Coast Broker

    See below a very well worded statement by John Bowe about this.

    I’m not a spokesperson for Ford, but I do understand the business well enough to answer/respond to the question.
    So here goes.
    Firstly, testing is not mandatory. In fact, the researchers among you might like to compile a list of cars that have NOT been tested. You’ll be surprised! Expensive Euro sports cars would dominate the list. But does that mean they’re not safe?? No, not in the slightest. Generally, the more expensive the vehicle, the less likely they are to be tested.
    Getting back to the Mustang test, with the new testing regulations introduced only recently, there are 4 categories that are somewhat skewed towards family passenger/SUV cars.
    One of the categories is Driver Safety Assist. This is where the Mustang scored a 2 rating.
    In the other 3 categories Mustang scored up to 5 (out of 5). So you see, it’s dangerous to look at part of the result in isolation (or believe the news headlines only). You need to know the whole story.
    The Mustang does not have Lane Departure Warning, nor Auto Emergency Braking, two of the components on the checklist in the ‘Safety Assist’ category. Hence the rating of 2 stars for Active Safety Assist.
    The 2 star result in this category determined the overall rating. The Ford Mustang is the first car of its type (that is, it’s the first sports car) to be tested to the new regulations. There are plenty of expensive sports cars coming out of Europe that also don’t have features like Auto Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning.
    I’ve read balanced reports and also read some very unbalanced/biased reports, plus I’ve driven quite a lot of Mustangs since their release, and was even at Sandown just last Saturday with over 30 Mustang owners.
    After all of that there is no question in my mind whether the Mustang drives, stops and handles really well.
    Would I buy one based on what we all know? I most certainly would!
    If you were planning to buy one, go for it. The feedback from owners I’ve met is that the Mustang is well beyond their expectations.
    I hope that clears it up!
    Cheers JB

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.