Euro NCAP is changing its child safety tests in an effort to make them more accurate and improve rear seatbelt technology.
Current Euro NCAP tests see two child dummy sizes, one 18 months old and the other three years old, strapped into child seats locked into ISOFIX anchor points when a car is crash-tested, leaving the rear seatbelts untested.
Euro NCAP has now decided to scrap the younger dummies in favour of dummies the size of six- and 10-year-olds, as the older, larger children use booster seats, which rely on the rear seatbelts.
Euro NCAP technical manager Richard Schram said, “We have seen really advanced seatbelt systems in the front and this technology is not being transferred to the rear at the moment. By using older child dummies, we will start to encourage the car makers to do that.”
Manufacturers with rear seatbelts not up to scratch by the 2015 introduction of the new dummies can expect lower scores in the child protection section of the Euro NCAP crash test, risking a lower overall star rating.