Global NCAP recently revealed safety standards on board India’s top selling small cars, Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo, and Volkswagen Polo. These 5 cars together, accounted for 20% of car sales in 2013 in India. All featured no airbags, and scored a zero in passenger safety.
Volkswagen has since removed their Polo hatch without airbags from the line-up, and now offer airbags as standard. On the other hand, the other automakers are of the opinion that the tests are not fair as Indian conditions and requirements were not considered when these vehicles were put to a crash test.
Small cars in India are fully equipped to meet minimum standard requirements and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), who say Global NCAP is trying to scare Indian buyers with these findings. SIAM has also said Global NCAP conducted these tests based on protocols not valid in India while they have been conducted minus the use of scientific data on accident analysis in the country.
Global NCAP conducted tests in Germany on entry level models such Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Tata Motors’ Nano, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10 and VW Polo. These models were put to the test at speeds of 55 kmph to 64 kmph. These reports defy the fact that cars in India do not even cross the 45 kmph limit on average.
“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,” Max Mosley, chairman of Global NCAP said while releasing the findings last week. “Poor structural integrity and the absence of airbags are putting the lives of Indian consumers at risk,” he said.
“All our cars sold in India are absolutely safe and meet the requirements of the standards laid down by the government. These standards are based on international norms adapted to the Indian conditions of road and traffic,” said Vishnu Mathur, Director General, SIAM. (source ET)