A fault that can leave a rear passenger unbuckled during a high-speed manouevre has been identified in the Seat Arona, Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo – three cars which are closely related under the skin.
Finnish automotive magazine Tekniikan Maailma put the cars through a lane-change test while carrying five people, and found that the resulting movement of the person in the middle rear seat was enough to release the seatbelt of the person to their left.
According to Tekniikan Maailma, this happened on numerous occasions in each identified model, plus it says it tested two Aronas in order to confirm that the issue wasn’t isolated to a particular test car.
Volkswagen has now advised that owners of affected cars do not use the middle rear seat until a recall is issued, and says that it will provide a technical solution shortly.
Meanwhile, Seat has confirmed that it has found the same issue during new tests of the Arona and Ibiza.
Tekniikan Maailma believes that the unlatching is down to a combination of the middle buckle's position – it's mounted slightly higher than the one to its left – and the release buttons being overly sensitive.
The Volkswagen T-Roc features a similar layout but buckles made by a different company, and the belts in this worked perfectly when it was put through the same test.
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Safety standards have risen dramatically, even in the last 10 years, but crash tests conducted by the independent safety assessors at Euro NCAP show that there are still sizeable differences between the best and worst performers.
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Total Euro NCAP score: 318
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Total Euro NCAP score: 318 (out of 400)
This practical, four-wheel-drive estate car earned the same Euro NCAP score as the Discovery, but it's nowhere near as impressive in other areas: it's expensive to buy, the ride is poorly controlled and the interior feels cheap.
9. Audi Q2
Total Euro NCAP score: 319
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