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"Ford did not expect Euro NCAP to test the Mustang and chose not to fit safety technology in Europe which is available to its American consumers, and available on several other sports cars for that matter," said a Euro NCAP official.

The Ford Mustang has received a poor two-star rating in the European New Car Assessment Program.Scores for both the front driver and passenger were affected by "bottoming out" on the steering wheel and dashboard, respectively, due to insufficient inflation of the airabgs and inadequate restrait for the passenger seatbelt load-limiter.

In one test, the rear passenger dummy 'submarined' under the lap portion of the seatbelt and consequently received a low score for potential knee, femur and pelvis injuries.

The Mustang coupe received a five-star overall rating for the US NCAP, though the EU has different standards. It was also praised as the closest pony car to winning a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safey.

Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen has provided a clue to the discrepancies, claiming that Ford "did not expect Euro NCAP to test the Mustang" and chose not to sell the Euro-spec model with safety technology that is available to American customers.

"Such an attitude to safety should trouble Ford's customers, whether they are buying a high-powered muscle car or a regular family car," he opined.

Ford is said to be launching its facelifted Mustang in Europe with additional safet features including pre-collision assist and lane-keeping assist. Euro NCAP will assess the updated model when it becomes available.