500 Madness
  • Fiat 500 - Safety


    “For the U.S. market, the new Fiat 500 will continue the brand’s pursuit and
    we fully expect we will be recognized as an industry leader with its innovative approach
    to vehicle safety.” — Laura Soave

    New 2012 Fiat 500
    – SAFETY

    State-of-the-art connectivity combined heritage of with top international safety ratings and more than 35 safety and security features keep passengers of the new 2012 Fiat 500 connected, comfortable and secure.

    “At Fiat, safety has always been a priority, and this objective has enabled the Fiat 500 to be recognized by international safety organizations for achieving new levels of crashworthiness for an A-segment car,” said Laura Soave, Head of Fiat Brand North America. “For the U.S. market, the new Fiat 500 will continue the brand’s pursuit and we fully expect we will be recognized as an industry leader with its innovative approach to vehicle safety.”

    In Europe, the Fiat 500 was the first A-segment vehicle to achieve a 5-star Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) adult occupant protection rating.

    Seven standard air bags and reactive head restraints

    The new 2012 Fiat 500 features an all-new air bag system to offer unique protection for its passengers to meet all U.S. regulatory requirements. Its seven standard air bags include: driver and front-passenger advanced multi-stage air bags, driver’s knee air bag, full-length side-curtain air bags and standard seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags, all to offer enhanced occupant protection to all occupants in the event of a collision.

    Reactive head restraints, which activate during a rear impact, are another innovation helping minimize injuries by reducing the gap between the head restraint and the passenger’s head.


    Innovative TomTom® navigation with Blue & Me™ Handsfree Communication technology

    Developed as a collaboration between Fiat and Microsoft, Blue & Me™ Handsfree Communication technology is an in-vehicle, voice-activated communication system that allows the driver to operate a Bluetooth®-compatible phone while keeping his or her hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Using a series of voice commands, the driver can place phone calls, access the phone’s address book or listen to MP3s. Blue & Me’s Handsfree Communication technology supports most mobile phones with Bluetooth technology.

    With the available TomTom® navigation with Blue & Me Handsfree Communication technology, the system integrates an innovative 4.3-inch TomTom hand-held navigation unit that docks on top of the new 2012 Fiat 500’s instrument panel. With its large touch-screen display, simple map displays with available real-time traffic, weather and more than 7 million points of interests, TomTom navigation with Blue & Me Handsfree Communication technology is intuitive for the driver to use. And with its direct integration into the Fiat 500’s interior system, the driver is able to use steering-wheel-mounted controls to make operation even easier.

    Thanks to its portable design, the TomTom navigation system allows passengers of the Fiat 500 to remove the hand-held device from the vehicle and use it as a guide for walking tours or finding their way back to the vehicle.

    Upgraded Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

    The new Fiat 500 features standard electronic stability control (ESC) for improved braking performance in wet or panic conditions.

    Behind the scenes, the ESC system is ready to intervene by integrating key chassis control systems including electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), anti-lock brake system (ABS) and traction control systems (TCS) to control all four wheels in response to yaw and steering input.

    In effect, ESC determines the driver’s intentions and adjusts the vehicle’s dynamic forces to maintain the driver’s intended course. Should the driver exceed the performance limits of the road surface – such that the vehicle starts to oversteer or understeer – ESC instantly analyzes input from the wheel sensors and corrects the pending loss of control by applying any one, several or all of the system’s brakes.

    Comments 18 Comments
    1. F500's Avatar
      F500 -
      we've had parts ordered for a Pop that was rear-ended by a Chevy 1500 at a stop light. the Pop looked surprisingly good while the Chevy.......not so. air bags deployed on the truck and it pushed the engine back towards the firewall. the bottom line is that it TOTALLED the truck, NOT the Fiat.

      good to know that the Fiat IS stronger than some may think.
    1. PFVA63's Avatar
      PFVA63 -

      Thanks for the info. So far I've been pretty impressed with some of the videos and such that I've seen on how they have engineered the car. I guess (like some others around here) I'm old enough to have owned or ridden in some older cars that probably were no where near as safe as newer cars like the Fiat. While size might be important, I know that other safety features are important too, and the fact that the 500 has 7 airbags did make an impression on me when I was deciding whether to upgrade from my old Matrix.


    1. mango500c's Avatar
      mango500c -
      An older chrysler minivan drifted from his lane in to mine (before sunrise). He hit my 2012c pop driver's side back panel and wheel. My car suffered a scuff on the panel and a few scratches to the rim, but the minivan looked like it hit a pole. It's whole right front end was caved in and messed up. I was thankful and very impressed!
    1. Tramonto's Avatar
      Tramonto -
      I may be wrong but I think people who are in a big vehicle just automatically assume that it is safe. While people in small cars are in a rolling death trap. Nothing could be further from the truth on both of these accounts. Compare the crash test results and be pleasantly surprised.
    1. smark's Avatar
      smark -
      The issue with this 8 year old 500 platform. It gets a poor rating, when it comes to the small front crossover collision test. The 500X, and 500L, received good ratings.
    1. map's Avatar
      map -
      I always get a kick out of people equating vehicle damage to safety. Modern vehicles are designed to crumple, so less energy is transferred to passengers. The 500 simply doesn't have room to crumple, so they went with a very strong cage. It's much like Jay Leno's old joke about his '58 Buick... hose the dash off and sell it to the next customer. But it is fun. The Neon got slammed from the rear; buffed out a couple scratches, while the Toyota was picking his bumper off the ground.

      The EU doesn't test small overlap. (I think it's because the vehicle will bounce sideways in real life.) The blow is on the fender, which on the 500 bypasses most of the crumple zone and the firewall takes the impact... and the only P(oor) rating, while other tests get a G(ood) rating. The 500 is deadly if you are in the rear seat.

      This is the EU testing:

      ...and the US.

    1. tvmaster's Avatar
      tvmaster -
      So if I watch the American tests, they actually made it WORSE for 2013 vs. 2012?
    1. smark's Avatar
      smark -
      Small cars, never wins. The smart car from MB is a extremely safe vehicle. It like a nut shell. When you cut the center rails out of the roof, for the Cabrio. Hit a full size Chrysler mini van. You lose. I drive nothing but small cars. This picture always on my mind.

    1. Fiat500USA's Avatar
      Fiat500USA -
      Quote Originally Posted by tvmaster View Post
      So if I watch the American tests, they actually made it WORSE for 2013 vs. 2012?
      No. The IIHS just added the small offset crash and that brought down the ratings (like most cars that year that were designed before the test). The US Fiat 500 is safer than the European car. This is discussed in detail in some of the stories listed below. The rear, in particular, is safer as the standards here are much stricter. I also discuss the differences between the US and Euro tests.

      Here are a few stories on Fiat 500 safety we've done over the years.

      The Fiat 500: Beauty Inside and Outside

      US Fiat 500 Earns Top Safety Scores

      Fiat 500 NHTSA Crash Test

      The New Fiat 500: Size and Safety (part 1)

      The New Fiat 500: Size and safety, how the Fiat 500 achieved the 5 star rating (part 2)

      The 2012 Fiat 500: Safety and Security
    1. smark's Avatar
      smark -
      Pickup a September 2019 version of Car and Driver. Article,
      “Your car wants you to live”.

      IIHS started the 40 mph side small overlap crash test after the organization identified these types of crashes as a majority contributor to the number of motor vehicle injuries and fatalities. In the test, A vehicle strikes an object that object that misses the primary crash structure. Often this pushes the suspension parts or even a wheel into the cabin. In respond to these tests, automakers have strengthened the door frame structure, added structure above the front wheels the control where components defect in a crash.

      Majority of automakers have addressed, this safety feature. In their current model line ups. Even on there small vehicles. Since the 500 is on a dated platform. Fiat hasn’t address this. The 500 is rated poor. The current 500L, and 500X pass this safety requirement. With flying colors.
    1. smark's Avatar
      smark -
    1. Tedolph's Avatar
      Tedolph -
      I really wonder if the new test is realistic.
    1. smark's Avatar
      smark -
      I was checking out the IIHS stats, on the 500L. There actual not good. The small 500 is rated better.

      The 500X passes all the modern safety standards.
    1. map's Avatar
      map -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tedolph View Post
      I really wonder if the new test is realistic.
      Unfortunately, yes. It's fairly common when a driver is distracted... a "near miss". Looking at this video, notice the bumper was not damaged. The Fiat does pretty well in keeping its integrity, but all that final energy is absorbed by a "non-movable" structure member.

      As I recall, that's where most of the NAFTA vehicles' 400 pounds comes from... extra rigidity.
    1. KellyfromVA's Avatar
      KellyfromVA -
      Map is right. For as much as we might think the overlap front was added as an unreasonable testing addition, many modern accidents on two lane back roads are due to someone crossing into your lane. Unfortunately, much of those accidents are caused by someone texting or looking at their phone.
    1. Fiat500USA's Avatar
      Fiat500USA -
      The talking heads try to make the cars sound terrible, but when you get beyond the headlines and read further there is more to it .

      The 500L was a Top Safety Pick.

      The only test the 500L ever did bad in is the small overlap, but that is not surprising because the test came out after the car.

      "Many car models are struggling through this new test. In fact, of the 32 cars tested so far, only 19 have achieved a good to acceptable score. The rest have received a poor rating. Cars like the Fiat 500L that were designed before the test are particularly vulnerable to not doing well. "


      The 500 achieved the highest marks ever in the Euro NCAP test when it came out. It also got a top safety pick by IIHS.


      It surprisingly didn't do well in one of the NHTSA tests. But there were questions raised about that.


      And , of course like nearly every car designed years before the test, it didn't do well in the IIHS small overlap. Again, that is one test in the series.

      The point is these tests are a moving target and older designs undergoing the new tests are always at a disadvantage and will pale in comparison to newer designs. The Fiats did well to very well 90+% of the time throughout the world.

    1. smark's Avatar
      smark -
      Here’s the IIHS, full safety report, on the 500L.

      One of company cars, the 2015 Honda Fit. Was retro fitted to, meet the small front cross over test. We got a notice from Honda. About the Safety campaign.

    1. Tedolph's Avatar
      Tedolph -
      How do you add a "thanks" in this new display?