New Fiat Panda In UK | Part Four

Safety

Benefiting from 15,000 hours of computer aided design, 80 crash tests, 70 HyGe slide simulations and 140 tests on components and subsystems, the new Fiat Panda is one of the safest cars in its class.

Passive Safety

State-of-the-art passive safety is provided by an all-new chassis/platform designed to provide maximum torsional stiffness yet absorb impact with optimum efficiency. Moreover, the new Fiat Panda is the first car in its class to offer up to six airbags, whilst front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, three-point rear seat belts, anti-submarining seats, ISOFIX child seat attachments to the split rear seats and an FPS Fire Prevention System are all fitted as standard.

Airbags

The new Panda may be fitted with up to six airbags: driver and passenger front and side airbags, as well as two side curtain airbags providing head protection in the case of side impacts. Their operation is controlled by an electronic control unit that evaluates crash severity via a number of sensors located throughout the car.

The front passenger airbag may be deactivated manually via an ignition key switch on the fascia; a dashboard warning light indicates this condition. Though the seatbelt pretensioner remains active, a rear facing baby seat can therefore be safely fitted.

Automatic door locks

Available on selected models, automatic door locks activate on all doors as soon as the new Panda reaches 12 mph – an important safety and security feature.

ISOFIX attachments

Certain versions of the new Panda are fitted with Isofix mountings to ensure the easy and safe installation of child seats. The attachments take the form of two pairs of brackets located at the base of the rear seat squab. The bracket sizes and settings are in accordance with European standards so that the seat can be re-used on any other vehicle.

Fire Prevention System

The FPS includes a cut-off valve and an inertia switch which immediately locks the electric petrol pump. This prevents fuel loss in the case of impact, roll-over or damage to the fuel lines. The fuel tank, located in a protected position in front of the rear axle, is formed in a plastic resistant to mechanical stress and fire. The new Panda’s interior trim is also flame resistant.

Active Safety

Via 240 mm front discs and 180 mm x 30 mm drum brakes at the rear, the new Fiat Panda offers the full range of braking, traction control and stability systems on the market today: ABS anti-lock brakes, complete with electronic brakeforce distribution, ASR to limit wheelspin during acceleration, MSR to modulate brake torque while changing down, and a sophisticated ESP system (optional), to control stability through bends. Vehicles fitted with ESP also benefit from hydraulic brake assistance and a unique Hill Holder function to facilitate smooth hill starts.

continues... | Part Five
Published 12 January 2004 Melanie Carter
 

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