In their report, Global NCAP states that these five cars constituted for around 20% of new cars sold in India in 2013. All cars that were tested for impact at speeds of 64 kmph. All cars were base variants, and thus none of them came with airbags, which is the major reason for such a poor result.
Max Mosley, Chairman of Global NCAP, said: “India is now a major global market and production centre for small cars, so it’s worrying to see levels of safety that are 20 years behind the five-star standards now common in Europe and North America. Poor structural integrity and the absence of airbags are putting the lives of Indian consumers at risk. They have a right to know how safe their vehicles are and to expect the same basic levels of safety as standard as customers in other part of the world.”
Speaking about the Nano, Alto 800 and i10, Global NCAP reveals that these cars structures proved inadequate and collapsed to varying degrees, resulting in high risks of life-threatening injuries to the occupants. They go on to say that the extent of weakness was such that even if you added airbags to these cars, it would not be effective in reducing the risk of serious injury. The other two, Figo and Polo, Global NCAP says had much better structures, which remained stable during the crash test. If airbags are fitted to these, they will help in reducing injuries in a big way.
Just last week Volkswagen, one of the largest car manufacturer in the world, revealed that they will now sell their Polo hatchback in India with airbags as standard, this coincides with the report from Global NCAP. This is why, an airbag version of Polo, which now comes as standard for year 2014, was also tested. Test result of Polo with airbags for India revealed, “The protection proved much better and this airbag-equipped model received a four-star rating for adult occupant protection.” Other manufacturers, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Ford, and Hyundai had the same opportunity as Volkswagen, says Global NCAP. Scan through the image gallery and videos of crash test below.