Euro NCAP: Renault Zoe awarded zero stars in latest safety tests

This is a bit surprising, but it seems the standards are getting ever tighter and means the goalposts have moved, in much the same way as A star energy ratings have. The results don’t seem to cover all EV models for 2021, so not really able to fully compare all makes/models.
However the Zoe getting zero is a very big surprise.


I read that too and it surprised me that the Euro NCAP test marks a vehicle more highly if it has Automatic Emergency Braking System (AEBS). I know the avoidance systems can be very useful, but I don’t want them to be factored in to the car’s overall safety rating.

I want to know how much physical protection is offered to the occupants, not how good the car might be at avoiding a collision, because that doesn’t help the occupants if the car is stationary when it’s hit.


It cannot be anywhere near as bad as this seems to make out.
After all it was a 5star ncap rating as per…

Renault builds the Zoe alongside its more conventional Clio stablemate in Flins, France, where the battery and electric motor technology has been rigorously tested.

Safety shouldn’t be too much of a concern. The i Iconic models feature rear parking sensors, a lane departure warning, a lane keep assist system, automatic high/low beam and traffic sign recognition, while i GT Line cars add a blind spot warning and a reversing camera.

Euro NCAP awarded the Zoe a full five-stars for safety, with an 89% score for adult occupant protection and an 80% rating for child passenger security.

An indication of customer confidence in Renault’s all-electric supermini is the Zoe’s solid finish in our 2020 Driver Power survey, where it placed 37th out of 75 cars. Renault as a brand also showed improvement, with customer feedback placing the manufacturer in 13th position out of 30 car makers - up from 19th spot in 2019.


But the issue is about impact protection, as the report says

This change represents “a degradation in occupant protection”, according to Euro NCAP, which reported that in the side-pole-impact test, the “driver’s head directly impacted the intruding pole and head injury values indicated poor protection of this part of the body”.

As for NCAP changing the rules, I would expect that, test evolves and cars should too. Renault response is a bit meh to be honest

Looks like they tested the base of base models

The only reason it gets 0/1 is because of Safety Assist and with out any Safety Packs, as they haven’t tested any…

A seatbelt reminder system is standard for all seats and the Zoe but the vehicle lacks a fatigue-detection system. Lane assistance is
available as an option and was not assessed here. The AEB system is also optional and excluded from this assessment. A driver-set
speed limiter is standard.

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Even so, those car protection number are terrible, lower then the Dacia and appalling compared to other superminis tested.

The spec stuff is marginal, the other safety stuff like airbags should be a preserve of those who can afford it

There is no way to spin it, this looks terrible, and Renault need to address the issues, which aren’t just a radar unit.

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HI everyone - Please find below our official position here at Onto in regards to the Zoe N CAP rating:

“We are aware of the latest Euro N CAP rating that has been released. We welcome the introduction of these safety protocols and understand the vital importance of these higher standards which are being implemented. The safety and wellbeing of all our customers is of paramount importance to us. The Euro N CAP tests are continuously developed for greater protection, and have been updated five times since 2013 when the Zoe was awarded 5 stars for safety. The Renault Zoe is a safe car in respect of all regulations and certifications in every market where it is sold. The Zoe has a breadth of active safety features to protect occupants and other road users. All Onto Zoe include: ESP Stability control + ASR traction control + CSV understeer control, Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Lane departure warning system , Lane keeping assistant, Slow speed pedestrian warning, plus many other safety systems fitted as standard. In addition to this, the Automatic Emergency Braking System is standard with the Zoe GT Line. With Onto, you always get the latest cars so as technology improves, you will be sure to get all the latest features, including safety innovations. We will share more information as it becomes available."


The thing i find scary is it seems that renault have actually removed safety features from the zoe over the years, if you look at the video from 2013 the zoe had curtain airbag in the drivers side (presumably) both sides. And now it does not!

I get all the lane departure etc etc, but fundamentally taking airbags out of a vehicle makes it less safe in the event of a crash surely. Just seems like very poor judgement on the part of renault, and hopefully this embarrassment will prompt them to do something about it, especially given that the only vehicles tested that have got less than 4 stars in the latest batch are all renault group.

I am due a new zoe to replace my 70 plate on the 16th, but am now nervous, and will be contacting onto about the availability of other vehicles.

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We’ve got one coming on the 17th, and whilst I get all the stuff in the onto statement, this is fundamentally an issue that Renault created by nickel and diming the car to hit a price point, then with the chip shortage, hacking out stuff from the Zoe to make sure their are enough parts for Captur and Cilo’s.

I’ll see what blow out there is from this, but I’ll be concerned if I was offered a mid 21 Zoe at any point, and hopefully the mid 22 ones are going to be better as Renault have said

The low score for Safety Assist can be put down to chip shortages etc for now. But the issues with Adult & Child Occupancy scores are likely related to the removal of airbags, which must have happened when the ZE50 was released, my current is a 71 plate and it does not have curtain airbags, but the 13 plate tested pre-facelift does.

Just seems such an odd thing to remove!

As you say the later vehicles will now have AEB etc as standard which all helps avoid crashes in the first place, i know the statement above from ONTO says that the AEB is standard with the GT line, but im sure it is only on later GT line’s mine does not have it as far as i’m aware.

I can see why many will have the same view as yourself, but in reality the Zoe’s that are on the road today (many, many thousands of them) are as safe as many if not more so than many ICE vehicles which are probably of an older nature with less sophisticated safety features on our roads.
We have a Zoe GT Line from Onto and it hasnt changed my mind that it suddenly has become less safe overnight because of a new NCAP rating. Its a small car and as such no small cars are the absolute safest vehicle on the road when you are hit by anything that is larger and much heavier.

There is much discussion on forums about the zero rating.
One of many on speakev …
Whilst these are very much Mr & Mrs Public’s view of this, I am more interested in seeing a more appropriate technical judgement comparing cars that are new to the market, rather than a 2013 design being assessed against todays standards.

Good luck with trying to get an alternative vehicle, but suspect you will be looking at Jan/Feb 2022.

Actually this is just the latest iteration of the Zoe (21.5MY) and some of these features may have been removed due to pandemic or chip shortages. Its hard to tell why for sure.

The airbag issue is a choice by Renault, and not one forced by the chip shortage, such as the radar for automatic breaking and wireless chargers.

That issue probably hurt the NCAP rating more then anything, but I’m impressed how Renault moved the story to the missing assist spec stuff.

Chips are used in everything, including airbags.
A modern car can easily have more than 3,000 chips.

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Yet there still there on the Cilo and Captur, so Renault made a choice to take them out of the Zoe

As with all manufs they are triaging between models, demand, supply and ultimately profits.
Airbag removal is not one that I have heard others have done, so it’s a bizarre choice.


That’s my point. It’s not due to chip shortages they don’t appear to have fitted curtain airbags in the current model Zoe they were fitted in the old model, but are not in the current one like the one i have on my drive.

They have front airbags and chest airbags (which i think is what the little fabric AIRBAG tab on the side of the seat is) but have removed curtain airbags.

@Sacha @Markjm58 i get that you’re both concerned - but you’re both in here talking like you have inside knowledge & are so adamant that the cars suddenly become unsafe overnight - like Renault have come overnight & picked out bits from the car.

If you were that concerned - you would have known the car didn’t have the safety features before ordering it.

Please contact Onto & swap your cars - but don’t keep going on like you have any more insight on this issue - unless you actually do… It’s just fear baiting & unhelpful



@Rucket, is the purpose of this forum not to discuss?

I have at no point stated that the vehicle is unsafe by any measure. And I’ve been perfectly happy to drive cars in the past with almost zero safety features.

What I said was it seems poor judgement that a large established vehicle manufacturer like Renault would reduce the level of occupant safety features over the lifetime of a vehicle.

I’m sure everyone will be able to use their own judgement and research to make a decision for themselves.


@Markjm58 it is indeed - I’m not saying don’t discuss - but your comments seem like you’re so adament that you know the issue & that other people are wrong.

It’s just reading the NCAP report and the commentary from the testers, who talk about how they’ve rarely seen a car have passenger safety feature removed

This from Thatcham Research, who did the tests.

‘Unfortunately, a conscious decision has been made to remove the head protection from this vital passive safety feature, by the brand that pioneered the use of it. As a result, the safety of occupants within the vehicle has been severely impacted.”

We’ve got one coming, but, it might now only be for a month, and replaced with something else when a swap becomes available