Audi dealerships accused of lying about safety figures on cars that were never tested.
Audi UK is in big trouble. It appears some of its dealerships have been lying about the safety ratings on some models. A BBC investigation uncovered the deception after a tip off.
A buyer bought an Audi R8, understanding that it had scored well in Euro NCAP crash tests. The buyer subsequently found out that the model had never been tested by the vehicle safety organisation. Getting wind of the story, researchers at the BBC phoned a few other dealerships to find out more.
Out of ten dealerships consulted, nine claimed the Audi A5 had been tested and six claimed a five-out-of-five rating. The Audi A5 has never been assessed by Euro NCAP.
Audi UK has apologised, stating, “there has not been any deliberate intent to mislead on the part of its customer-facing staff where the Euro NCAP safety test performance of the Audi model range is concerned.” It is believed the R8 buyer initially brought the “oversight” to Audi’s attention directly, but when they did not respond, he opened the car maker up to public scrutiny via the media.
Euro NCAP crash tests are officially recognised by legislative bodies. The organisation receives funding from EU governments and motoring associations. The tests have recently been changed to reflect the improvements in technology. Now, no vehicle will be awarded a five-star rating — which appears to be getting more and more common — unless fitted with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) technology.
Though the A5 and R8 have not been Euro NCAP assessed, Audi did point out that the A1, A3, A4, A6, Q3 and Q5 have all been assessed and have achieved a five-star rating.