3 cars that are currently on sale have been tested for their build quality and the results have raised quite a stir. As we reported earlier, Maruti Suzuki SPresso scored a 0-star, Hyundai Grand i10 Nios scored a 2, while the compact SUV segment star, the Kia Seltos scored a mere 3-star for the adult occupancy. So how reliable is the Global NCAP crash test rating? Is it really a measure of structural integrity? Let’s find out.
How is a car tested at the Global NCAP?
There are a plethora of areas for the occupants that the Global NCAP rates the car for. But first things first, let’s see what are the basic parameters.
Cars Tested at 64 kmph
All the cars are tested at a speed of 64kmph. Do note that most of the Indian accidents happen at much higher speeds. The BNVSAP testing that is yet to begin in India is going to be conducted at a speed of 56kmph. This norm, even if followed, is not enough to be considered optimum.
Front Offset Deformable Barrier Test:
This test is conducted as the majority of accidents involve a frontal collision. The car is crashed into a deformable barrier at a speed of 60kmph with 40% of the driver side colliding into the barrier. This replicates a real-life situation where two cars collide at a speed of 50kmph.
All the cars are tested for Adult as well as the child occupancy. The front seats are tested for an average adult occupancy while the rear seats are tested for the child occupancy. The ones with the ISOFIX child seat anchorage have a better rating as compared to the ones that don’t have it.
Stable or unstable. You might have read this in the Global NCAP reports for sure. If the car’s structure is able to withstand any further loading. the shell is rated STABLE. If it is not able to withstand any further loading, the bodyshell is rated UNSTABLE.
Cars are rated for the occupancy on a scale of 5, where 5 is the maximum. Airbags deployment, A-pillar integrity, structural integrity, headrest movement, steering column displacement, and so on, these are the parameters that determine the rating.
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So, back to the question, is Global NCAP reliable?
Maruti Suzuki recently released a statement that their SPresso meets the guidelines that have been set by the Indian government for the cars. These guidelines include ABS and front-driver airbag. Do note that even ISOFIX has not been made mandatory!
So, should you rely on what the carmakers say? This totally depends upon you. Tata Motors has got two 5 stars rated and two 4 stars rated cars in its arena. Mahindra XUV300 scored the highest rating for child occupancy. Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza has scored a 4-star rating at the Global NCAP and the structure has also been deemed as STABLE. And, we have been witness to a lot of accidents, as unfortunate as it can be, and the ones with good Global NCAP rating have proven to be safe. For eg, there have been plenty of accidents involving Tata Nexon, a 5-star rated car. Tata Nexon has proved that it is safe again and again.
One such example: Tata Nexon Hits Toyota Fortuner | The Aftermath
It is safe to say that the Global NCAP crash testing is trustworthy. Carmakers do adhere to the Indian norms and there is no denying in that. But when it comes to safety, deep down, we all know that the norms have ample room for corrections. Till then, if there is an organisation that is trying to make sure that the cars selling in India are tested, we see no harm in relying on it.
What if you want to witness the testing?
This is no closed room testing being done. You can always take a look at the videos that are released which clearly shows the impact of testing on the cars. You can clearly distinguish between a structure that was able to withstand against the one which was not.
We are not in a blame game here. But it is clearly evident that the safety seems to be a much bigger concern than what it is considered at present. So, the norms need to be made more stringent. There should be a proper crash testing done at our shores so that we don’t have to rely on something else. Till then, it is an urge that carmakers strive to make the cars safe and test them at more than the “WE FOLLOW INDIAN NORMS” level.
What can you do to help #SAFERCARSFORINDIA?
Carmakers have to incur higher costs in order to provide safer cars. This is the reason that you might not find much high rated cars in the below 5 lakh budget. What you can do is increase your budget a bit and go for a safer car, as it is said, better be prepared. What do you think about the Global NCAP? Is it trustworthy? Do let us know in the comments section below.