Toyota is disputing the test methods of safety organisation Euro NCAP after the Urban Cruiser was given a disappointing three-star rating.
The Toyota Urban Cruiser was particularly criticised by Euro NCAP for its Adult Occupant Protection capabilities, for which it scored just 58 per cent.
Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP's secretary general said, "The result from Toyota is disappointing. Consumers should always check when looking to buy new car and not make presumptions about a vehicle's safety performance due to the brand it carries."
However, Toyota is disputing Euro NCAP's test methods. A spokesman said, "Toyota gives priority to building cars that are as safe as possible.
"In 2009, we received a five-star rating for all three new cars that were evaluated by Euro NCAP (iQ, Avensis and Prius).
"We are therefore very surprised that the Urban Cruiser received only a three-star rating from Euro NCAP. As with any other Toyota vehicle, we had submitted the Urban Cruiser to rigorous in-house tests, which indicated that it would secure a five-star rating.
"We are currently investigating the Euro NCAP result in detail, in order to understand why there is a difference between our Toyota assessment and Euro NCAP's rating.
"Together with other car makers, we are also discussing with Euro NCAP certain aspects of their evaluation methodology, which might also explain why the rating is lower than we expected.
"The three-star rating for the Urban Cruiser has been triggered by the "pole side impact" test. During this assessment, the dummy head area deceleration slightly exceeded the demand value of Euro NCAP.
"There is a difference of opinion between us and Euro NCAP on a technical matter, namely peak acceleration of the head area in the Pole Side Impact test.
"Our in-house tests, which are designed to meet the highest safety requirements, indicated that the protection provided by the head curtain airbag would be in line with a five-star Euro NCAP rating.
"Once again, we remain fully convinced that Urban Cruiser is a safe car."
Euro NCAP released results for 10 cars in total. The results were:
BMW X1 – Five stars
Chevrolet Cruze – Five stars
Chevrolet Spark – Four stars
Citroen DS – Five stars
Infiniti FX – Five stars
Mazda 3 – Five stars
Mercedes-Benz E-Class – Five stars
Vauxhall Astra – Five stars
Peugeot 5008 – Five stars
Toyota Urban Cruiser – Three stars
Volkswagen Scirocco – Five stars