2013 Audi A5

Car salesmen don't exactly have a reputation for being in the most truthful profession, and it appears that several Audi showrooms in the UK are playing into that stereotype. A BBC investigation found that multiple dealers told buyers that the company's models scored well in Euro NCAP crash tests. No big deal, right? The problem was that the vehicles were never actually evaluated.

The report began after an R8 buyer sent in a tip that his UK dealer claimed the sports car had received top Euro NCAP scores. However, it has never been tested by the organization. The BBC called 10 dealers inquiring about the A5 (pictured above), which also wasn't assessed. Nine said the coupe had been checked out, and six claimed it had a five-star rating – the best available.

Euro NCAP is funded by governments and motoring bodies, like the ADAC in Germany and the FIA. According to its website, the organization selects some of the most popular new models each year to crash test, and, the BBC claims, automakers can also pay to evaluate their cars. The last Audi tested was the A3 in 2012. The A6, Q3, A1, A4 and Q5 have also been tested since 2009, and they all received five-star ratings. However, the A5, A7, A8 and R8 have not been tested.

Audi UK responded to Autoblog's questions by emailing a prepared statement, saying that there was no "deliberate intent to mislead." The company is now reviewing its training procedures. This case demonstrates that it's probably best to double-check anything salespeople tell you, regardless of what they are selling. Scroll down to read the full response.
Show full PR text
Response to BBC Watchdog / Euro NCAP Safety Testing

"Audi UK wishes to emphasise that 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.

Significant and sustained investment in active and passive safety technology across the Audi range has resulted in safety standards that do not call for embellishment or exaggeration by our customer-facing teams.

Audi vehicles are engineered to exceed international motor vehicle safety standards. The company fully supports Euro NCAP's efforts to improve vehicle safety.

Since 2009, six models from the twelve model line Audi range have been tested by Euro NCAP. The A1, A3, A4, A6, Q3 and Q5 have all achieved an overall five star rating. In addition, the A3 received four "Euro NCAP advanced" awards for its active safety systems.

Audi UK accepts that this investigation has brought to light a shortfall in its communication procedures where the NCAP safety ratings of its range are concerned. We also acknowledge that we did not adequately address this shortfall when it was brought to our attention by Mr Jenkins, and on both counts we apologise unreservedly.

We are now aware that our sales and customer service staff must be more conversant with the Euro NCAP safety test register and specifically the Audi models included on it.

We have already begun a comprehensive and far-reaching review of all of our communications and training procedures to ensure accuracy of information on test data provided to our customers.

Updates to all relevant areas of our internal product communication and information systems are already in progress, and our sales force training materials are being modified to ensure that the Euro NCAP testing programme and our involvement in it are given far greater prominence.

We must stress, however, that we believe there to be no errors relating to Euro NCAP performance in any current customer-facing or training texts published by Audi UK.