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Mustang back off the police radar after two-star ANCAP

The Mustang is now ineligible for police use under government procurement rules. (image credit: Tim Robson)

Updated ANCAP rules rule Mustang out for police duties as Ford’s hero scores just two stars in shock result. 

The likelihood of the Ford Mustang ever becoming a front line police vehicle has taken a massive blow, with the two-door coupe now ineligible for selection under government procurement rules.

The Mustang has fallen foul of new regulations that tie in more closely with European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) standards, and its two-star score has sent shockwaves across the industry.

The same standards have already been applied to cars like the Holden Astra, Kia Optima and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Internal government documents at both state and federal level show that any vehicle procured for use by a government agency must be rated at the maximum of five stars by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

However, there are examples of vehicles in use that don't adhere to published standards for NSW government vehicles. As an example of the complexity of procuring vehicles, a police command in the Sydney suburb of Campsie recently took delivery of a donated LDV G10 people mover for community service duties. While the G10 is yet to be tested, its commercial equivalent, the V80, only scored two stars.

Tested in Europe against Euro NCAP’s four-scenario system, the Mustang recorded record low scores for rear passenger safety. Its front airbags also failed to deploy properly, and a door popped open during a side impact test.

The current car also lacks the so-called safety assist features required by ANCAP to achieve a good score, like auto emergency braking, lane departure control and a speed limiter. It scored just two points from a maximum of 12.

It fared better in front passenger and pedestrian protection, scoring four and fives stars respectively in those categories. However, the final score is taken from the lowest figure recorded in the test.

  • A mustang in Police livery at Bathurst. A mustang in Police livery at Bathurst.
  • A mustang in Police livery at Bathurst. A mustang in Police livery at Bathurst.

Locally, Ford is set to introduce items including AEB and lane-keep assist to the MY18 Mustang as soon as next month, but more esoteric items like rear seatbelt warning lights and chimes also figure in the ruling, and will take longer to engineer into the car. They are not fitted to the US version of the car, which the Aussie Mustang is based on.

The Mustang has been part of the NSW Police Force’s assessment fleet for nearly twelve months, with a liveried and fully equipped prototype appearing at various community events including last year’s Bathurst 1000 Supercars race.

CarsGuide snapped the two-door coupe undergoing testing at Sydney Motorsport Park last year, as the company tried to solve a transmission overheating issue that had prevented the Mustang from completing assessment tests at the police force’s Goulburn test centre.

The Mustang may not be the only vehicle to fall foul of ever-toughening crash regulations, as ANCAP and Euro NCAP forge even closer ties from 2018. ANCAP’s Sydney crash lab, for example, is booked out for this year as manufacturers rush to beat a deadline which could see cars fall from five-star to four or even three-star cars.

Does the shock score for the Ford Mustang change your thinking about safety testing? Tell us what you think in the comments below.