I agree with Volkswagen that dramatising safety reminds people that driving can be dangerous (MW April 5).
Driving can be dangerous, so why try to ignore the fact? By including the EuroNCAP safety message in its Laguna TV and press ads, Renault is engaging with a real-life issue, not shying away from it.
In a market where the majority of cars can lay claim to similar levels of equipment, style and driving enjoyment, no manufacturer should be criticised for exploiting factors that differentiate its product from all the others. And if it is a benefit such as better protection from injury in an accident, surely we would be criticised for keeping this information to ourselves.
The safety message does influence customers in their buying decisions, especially in the family car market. When the Renault Espace was awarded four stars by EuroNCAP in 1999 as the safest people carrier, its sales increased appreciably. This was a direct demonstration of the worth of the EuroNCAP crash test programme to the car buyer as well as to the manufacturer.