Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Tata Nano, and Hyundai i10 fail Global NCAP UN basic safety test

Yesterday’s Global NCAP UN’s basic crash test results are based on entry-level versions of Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800, Tata Nano, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Polo, and as a result none were fitted with airbags as standard.

Volkswagen has rectified the shortcoming and risk to life immediately with the inclusion of dual front airbags to be standard fitment on all variants of the Volkswagen Polo from 1st February 2014, which affects input costs and exchange rate movement. As a result, Volkswagen has hike prices by 2.7% on Polo wef 1st February 2014.

Global NCAP UN’s basic crash test

Combined sales of these five cars accounted for around 20% of all new cars sold in India in 2013. The results highlight major differences in the structural integrity of the vehicles tested, and once again highlights the exclusion of airbags as standard for all cars.

UN’s basic crash test, a 40% offset frontal impact test at 56km/h is used in major manufacturing countries and regions, which include Australia, China, European Union, Japan and Malaysia. UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety’s global plan recommends that all Member States apply this standard. However it is not yet applied in India. Only 1 of the cars tested passed this minimum standard.

Ford Figo passed despite not having a driver airbag as the dummy’s head narrowly missed hitting the steering wheel directly. Volkswagen Polo with 2 airbags was passed based on dummy readings from the 64km/h crash.

Taken together the results points to an important combination of both sound structural integrity and airbags as standard equipment. This ensures auto manufacturers can exceed the minimum UN crash test standard at 56km/h. They also offer adequate levels of protection in a higher speed crash at 64km/h, the speed most commonly used by independent consumer crash test programmes.