The Panda’s body is strong and stable. But although the car is fitted with front belt pre-tensioners and load limiters, high loads were recorded by the passenger dummy’s chest instrumentation in the frontal impact. High loads were also recorded by the driver dummy’s chest instrumentation in the side impact. A door on the struck side opened in the side impact.
Child protection offered by the car was disappointing as was the pedestrian protection on offer.
The restraint system included a single stage tethered airbag for the driver plus front belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters.
Minimal distortion occurred in the footwell but movement of the clutch pedal in the impact compromised the protection that the Panda gave to its driver’s feet.
Hard, aggressive structures behind the steering column and the fascia also posed a risk of injury to the driver’s upper limbs.
The performance in the side impact was not very impressive. High loads were recorded by instrumentation in the dummy’s chest. The Panda was penalised further because forces were transferred in an unrealistic manner up the dummy’s spine, reducing the forces recorded by instrumentation in its chest. During the impact a door latch released, allowing the door to open.
The test car was not fitted with a passenger frontal airbag, so no warning about the risk of placing a child in a rear-facing restraint opposite an active airbag was fitted.
Both children sat forward facing in Kiddy Life restraints, which were fitted to the car using the adult belts. While loads recorded by the child dummies’ instrumentation were acceptable, the older child was exposed to risk in the frontal and side impacts.
Only the areas where an adult’s head might strike offered any protection. The area where a child’s head might strike, the bonnet’s leading edge and the bumper were particularly unfriendly towards pedestrians. A poor result.