Fiat Punto the first car ever to be awarded zero stars following Euro NCAP crash tests

The Fiat Punto has become the first car in history to be awarded a zero-star safety rating by independent crash testers Euro NCAP.

First released in 2005, the Italian hatchback was awarded a score of just 51 per cent for adult occupant protection, while child and pedestrian protection were rated at 43 per cent and 52 per cent respectively.

Thanks to a lack of key features such as autonomous emergency braking and lane support systems as standard, the Punto received a score of nought in the safety assist technology category.

Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP's general secretary, said: "This is perhaps the strongest example of a manufacturer continuing to sell a product that is well past its best-before date, at the expense of the unsuspecting car buyer.

"We would urge consumers to check our website for the latest ratings and to choose cars with the most up-to-date five-star ratings, many examples of which we have seen in 2017."

Other cars that didn't perform strongly in the latest round of Euro NCAP safety tests include the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Toyota Aygo, DS 3 and the Ford Grand C-Max and C-Max, which all received three-star ratings.

The Dacia Duster, MG ZS and Kia Stonic were also awarded lowly three-star ratings, although the Stonic qualifies for five when fitted with optional safety equipment.

There were a number of five-star ratings awarded, with the new Hyundai Kona, Kia Stinger, BMW 6 Series, Toyota Yaris and Jaguar F-Pace all receiving top marks.

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