In September 2000, the Fabia achieved four stars in Euro NCAP crash tests for front, roll-over, side and rear impacts making it one of the safest cars in its class. Driver’s and front passenger airbags are standard across the Fabia range. All seats have height adjustable headrests and front seat belts are also height adjustable and come with pre-tensioners.
In the event of a crash, Fabia’s body, with its three-part front subframe, is designed to de-form in a precisely engineered manner in order to channel impact energy away from the passenger compartment. The doors have double lateral reinforcing bars to add more protection to the already superior bodyshell construction. The steering column has an extra bearing for the same purpose. In the driver’s footwell, the pedals will retract away from the feet when collision pressure is detected.
Access to passengers is crucial in an accident and Skoda has addressed this problem. If the central interior light switch is set to the “door contact” position, with ignition on, the central locking system will unlock and the main light will come on automatically, following which the hazard warning lights begin to operate.
Fuel leakage is also a problem Skoda has addressed. The fuel tank is positioned in front of the rear axle and within the fuel filler neck there is a valve that prevents fuel from escaping, should the car roll over and thus reducing the risk of fire. If the impact is substantial and the car has come to a halt, a sensor will automatically shut the fuel pump off altogether.
Security standards reflect those of safety and not just Fabia but every Skoda sold in the UK is catalogued in the International Security Register (ISR). All windows are etched with a unique locator number allowing the vehicle to be traced at all times via the ISR 24-hour owner and mileage checking service. This system also provides back-up data should confidential details of key codes, radio codes and any other vital information be mislaid or lost. Skoda Auto UK provides this service free for the first three years.
Each Fabia is fitted with an engine immobiliser with random rolling code protection that responds only to the electronic keys that come with the car. It will not recognise a duplicate key.
Once the car has been locked from the outside, a deadlock system prevents the doors from being opened from the inside. The only exception to this is when the key is turned twice in sequence and when the deadlock is then disarmed, the LED signal on the driver’s door stops flashing. The ‘total closure’ feature, which is where all windows can be closed, and all doors locked, can be set with the remote central locking key. In addition to this, the driver can lock all doors from the inside by pressing a single button.
If the steering lock is forced in any way, a clutch mechanism cuts in to disengage the steering, preventing the car from being driven off. When the correct ignition key is used, the clutch automatically deactivates and the car returns to normal operation.
Warranties and ServicingThe Skoda Fabia comes with a two-year unlimited mileage factory warranty. In addition, SkodaAuto UK provides a further warranty on new vehicles supplied by them through their appointed retailer network which is valid until the vehicle has completed 60,000 miles or the end of the third year, whichever is the sooner.
The 10-year anti corrosion warranty also applies, as does a 3-year paint warranty. A three-year roadside assistance package comes as standard with every Fabia and this includes European cover; all warranties apply only to cars bought in the UK. Servicing Skoda prides itself on many things not least, servicing requirements. The Skoda Fabia requires an annual check and engine oil must be changed every 10,000 miles and that's it. Should these two fall closely together, they will be done concurrently.Published 31 May 2004