Global NCAP after awarding the Tata Nexon a 5-star rating back in December 2018 has once again crash-tested 4 of the most popular Indian cars. These include the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga MPV, the new Hyundai Santro, Maruti’s updated WagonR and the Datsun RediGo.
Safety has always been a major compromise with Indian. All car manufacturers in India only concentrate on 2 things; the price of car and how much mileage it can return. Due to this, passenger and occupant safety has always been left out. You will be surprised to know that these hot-selling Indian cars have scored terribly in the 2019 Global NCAP crash tests.
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Throwback | ASEAN-NCAP Crash Test India 2018
Reeling back to 2018. The ASEAN-NCAP crash safety test revealed some eye-opening results for some of the top-selling cars in India.
- Hyundai’s popular economy hatch Eon scored zero stars in AOP (Adult Occupation Protection) and two stars for Child Restraints.
- French carmaker Renault’s low-cost hatchback Kwid received a zero star rating
- In another series of tests conducted in 2014 by the UK based Global NCAP, 5 of the top-selling cars viz. Tata Nano, Maruti Alto 800, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo, fared miserably in the crash test and scored a zero.
What is the Global NCAP crash test?
Also known as the New Car Assessment Program, is a government car safety program tasked with evaluating new automobile designs for performance against various safety threats.
NCAP is meant to provide consumers with more information about cars and how they perform in crash and rollover tests beyond what is required by Federal law.
The European equivalent of the NCAP is known as Euro-NCAP. Similarly, New Zealand has ANCAP, Latin America with Latin NCAP, China with C-NCAP and ASEAN-NCAP for Southeast Asian countries. The Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) is being planned for India.
Global NCAP 2019 Crash Tests India | The Results
The NCAP crash test under the #SaferCarsForIndia campaign crash-tested for 4 best-selling Indian cars. These cars were; Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Hyundai Santro, Maruti Suzuki WagonR and the Datsun RediGo.
Here are the results for the 4 popular Indian cars that were tested in the latest round of the global NCAP crash test. You are in for a surprise.
Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
- The Ertiga scored a measly 3-star rating in the crash test. Just for context, Ertiga’s rival; the Mahindra Marazzo scored a decent 4-stars in a crash test.
- The Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is the most popular MPV on the Indian roads.Very recently, the Ertiga received a major facelift and was put to test by the Global NCAP. The Ertiga is equipped with safety features like dual airbags, ABS, seatbelt reminder and ISOFIX anchorages (attachment points for the child safety seats).
- The NCAP has elaborated that the Ertiga provided good protection to the head of the passengers and the driver. However, a fatal impact was registered on the chest of the driver. Moreover, the footwell of the Ertiga was found to be quite unstable.
- Talking of the child protection, Ertiga couldn’t score quite well with an 18-month-old dummy child. The Ertiga has been therefore rewarded a 3-star rating based on all these aspects.
Maruti Suzuki WagonR
- The Maruti Suzuki WagonR scored a very poor 2- star rating in the Global NCAP crash test.
- India’s favourite tallboy hatch; the WagonR recently received a facelift which generated great sale numbers for the car.
- The test was carried out on the base variant of the WagonR (LXi) equipped with a driver-side airbag as the standard feature.
- The report by Global NCAP stated that the car has a really unstable hull structure and is unsafe particularly for the chest and the legs of the adult passengers.
- The WagonR didn’t do quite well with child dummies too. Both, the 3-year-old and 18-month-old child dummies suffered a major impact.
New Hyundai Santro
- India’s favourite family car; the Hyundai Santro was put to the test and scored an appalling 2-stars in the Global NCAP India crash test.
- The new Hyundai Santro was recently launched in a new avatar in 2018 and the Indian audience showed their love. The Santro was a huge success for Hyundai in India with chart surging sales just a month after its official launch.
- According to the Global NCAP report, head protection was rated good for both the adult driver and passenger whereas chest protection was rated weak for the driver and marginal for the passenger. Santro’s footwell and body structure have also been stated unstable.
- The Santro doesn’t come equipped with an ISOFIX mount and a restraint system which is why the car was awarded a 2-star rating for child protection.
- The Datsun RediGo turned out to be quite a disappointment in the Global NCAP global crash test 2019. The RediGo scored 1-star in the crash test. The RediGo was officially declared an unsafe car by the Global NCAP.
- Upon its launch, the Datsun RediGO has been an average performer in the market. The Datsun RediGo houses an 800cc engine and is not much loaded with features. The entry-level D variant was used for the crash test which features a driver-side airbag and ABS as standard.
- After the crash test, it was assessed that the head area was judged to be good. For the child occupants, the RediGo scored a 2-star rating. The static reel seatbelts at the rear were unable to protect the child dummies kept at the rear seats.
- The heads of both the dummies suffered major injuries. However, due to the limited protection, the car provides to the chest and the legs of the adult occupants, the Datsun RediGO turned out to be a really unsafe car.
The Global NCAP 2019 crash test highlights a very serious problem with Indian cars. It is not wrong to say that, the Indian mentality and their total disregard for safety is a driving cause for this lapse.
The safety rating of a vehicle is at the bottom of the priority list for most of the Indian car buyers. Even car manufacturers care less about building safer cars for Indian consumers.
What is BNVSAP (Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program)?
The Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) is a proposed New Car Assessment Program for India. Cars sold in India will be assigned a star rating based on their safety performance. BNVSAP will be implemented in Indian in phases.
According to the plans being drawn up by ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) and the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project. The BNVSAP program is underway with high tech state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories being setup up across India.
With BNVSAP, a star rating system will be introduced based on crash safety performance features of a car. A car will be subjected to offset front crash, side-impact and rear impacts. For a vehicle to clear these tests, it must have at least the bare essential safety systems onboard like airbags, ABS (Anti-lock braking system), child restraint systems, ISOFIX mounts and seatbelt pre-tensioners.
With the implementation of BNVSAP, Indian car manufacturers will have to introduce mandatory and standardized safety features with their new cars. All existing car models sold after October 1, 2019, will have to clear the prescribed BNVSAP tests.
How will BNVSAP crash test Indian cars?
Under BNVSAP, vehicles will be crash-tested at 64 km/h for frontal impacts which is the average speed in India.
Points would be awarded to the car based on the safety features in the car like ABS, seat belt reminders, child lock, and Electronic Stability Control. The car testing protocols are defined by ARAI and are as follows:
- Frontal offset testing (64 km/h proposed)
- Side-impact testing
- Pedestrian protection testing
- Rear impact testing
- Child dummy dynamic crash testing.
Top 10 safest cars in India
According to the report by India Today, below are the top 10 safest cars of India:
- Tata Nexon
- Mahindra Marazzo
- Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
- Tata Zest
- Renault Duster
- Volkswagen Polo
- Toyota Etios Liva
- Mahindra XUV500
- Hyundai Creta
- Ford Aspire
To know more about the crash test results conducted by Global NCAP, click here.3