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The 2008 Wheels Car of the Year, the Honda Accord Euro, has been re-assessed as one of the safest cars according to the new independent crash testing results from Euro NCAP.
Euro NCAP has developed a new rating scheme which focuses on the vehicle’s overall safety performance and has awarded the Accord Euro 5 stars. This replaces the previous rating system, where the Accord Euro had a 5 star adult occupant, 4 star child occupant and 3 star pedestrian protection scores.
The new rating scheme uses a weighted score, combining many aspects of a car’s safety performance: adult (50%), child (20%) and pedestrian (20%) protection assessment results with the availability of safety assistance devices (10%). A minimum score of 70% overall is necessary to achieve a 5-star rating. To qualify for inclusion, the safety assistance devices (VSA for Honda) must be fitted, as standard across 85% of the EU 27 2009 model range.
The Euro NCAP 5 star Honda Accord Euro is a top performer in this new overall EuroNCAP vehicle safety rating system with an overall weighted score of 78%.
SAFETY PROFILE OF THE HONDA ACCORD EURO
In addition to the safety performance aspects rated by Euro NCAP, the Accord Euro has a range of passive safety and dynamic safety systems delivering even greater security.
Vehicle Stability Assist
VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) is standard across the range and is designed to assist the driver in maintaining control during cornering, acceleration and sudden manoeuvres by applying braking to the right or left hand wheels as necessary and modulating the engine torque output as required.
Motion Adaptive EPS
The new Accord Euro also features an innovative system in which the capabilities of both VSA and the car’s Electric Power Steering are brought to bear. Called Motion Adaptive EPS, it detects instability in slippery conditions both during cornering and under braking and automatically initiates steering inputs aimed at prompting the driver to steer in the correct direction.
The input is barely noticeable and control of the steering remains with the driver at all times. But this supporting steering torque is enough to prompt the driver to act intuitively and the driver’s reaction as a result is enough to regain stability or to shorten braking distances, allowing control to be maintained.
Passive safety features
The Accord Euro’s passive safety features include front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters, front airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, full length curtain airbags and ISOFIX fittings and tether anchor points for secure child seat fixture on all models.
To minimise whiplash injury, there are also front seat active headrests which are triggered when the occupant is pushed into the seat in the event of a rear impact, so causing a rigid plate to activate a link to the headrest which pushes it forward to support the head.
Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure
Progressively introduced throughout the Honda range, the Accord Euro’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure provides significantly enhanced occupant protection in a variety of real-world crash conditions.
A front-mounted polygonal main frame is designed to prevent cabin deformation by distributing forces through multiple major load bearing pathways – and away from the passenger compartment. This is particularly important where a frontal collision occurs between vehicles of differing heights, weights or frame construction.
To achieve top level, side impact safety, Honda’s engineers have increased the side section of the frame and chosen different material specifications to provide the desired level of stiffness and strength for critical areas, without adding unnecessary weight.
The new Accord Euro also incorporates many of the pedestrian-protection design features already familiar from recent Honda models, including windscreen wiper pivots designed to break away on impact, energy absorbing front wing mounts and bonnet hinges alongside an unobstructed area beneath the bonnet allowing greater space for deformation.
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