A new crash test session from Global NCAP is exposing the worryingly low safety standards of new cars sold in India, the world’s fifth largest producer of passenger cars.
The results are all the more shocking as the cars belong to two respected global carmakers, Nissan and Suzuki.
Global NCAP tested the Datsun Go and Maruti Suzuki Swift, with both cars failing to get one star of a maximum of five stars. According to the organization, the crash tests “demonstrate a high risk of life-threatening injuries with both cars receiving zero-star safety rating for their adult occupant protection.”
Global NCAP Secretary General David Ward described the Datsun Go as having a “body structure so weak that is pointless to fit an airbag.” “It is disappointing to see a global company like Nissan launch a new car design in 2014 that so clearly falls below UN safety standards. This runs counter to the objectives of the UN Decade of Action,” Ward added.
The Datsun Go scored zero stars for adult occupant protection and just two stars for child occupant protection. The vehicle structure collapsed in the crash and was rated as unstable. Since the car is not fitted with airbags, the driver’s head makes direct contact with the steering wheel and dashboard, with the dummy readings indicating a high probability of life-threatening injuries. But even if it had an airbag, the failure of the body shell would have rendered it useless.
The Maruti Suzuki Swift also scored zero stars for adult occupant protection and just one star for child occupant protection. The vehicle structure showed signs of collapsing in the crash and was rated as unstable as well. The car’s lack of standard-fit airbags meant that the driver’s head makes direct contact with the steering wheel, with the dummy readings indicating a high probability of life threatening injuries. However, unlike the Go, fitting airbags would improve occupant protection.
While Global NCAP welcomes the Indian Government’s initiative to launch a New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), the organization believes this positive step should also be accompanied by action to apply the United Nation’s minimum regulation for frontal and side impact. Scroll down to watch the crash tests.