Maruti Swift tested by Global NCAP: Do you think it’s safe?
Earlier this year Global NCAP had shocked Indian car buyers when they revealed crash test results of India’s highest selling cars, Maruti Alto 800, Ford Figo, Tata Nano, Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Polo. All these cars failed in the test and scored a zero. Now, the UK based agency is back with another test. This time they are testing the Maruti Swift hatchback, which has been featured in the list of top 5 best selling cars in India.
While ZXi variant has passed testing, it is the LXi and VXi variants which are more popular in India. It is important to note that these two variants are minus any safety equipment and also not upto the mark where braking is concerned. Surprisingly, Global NCAP too has tested the ZXi variant, which features dual airbags, and not the base variant, like in the case of previous test featuring Indian cars. Test results for Maruti Swift will be revealed in May 2014.
While India ranks as one of the fastest growing auto markets, it is its safety standards which are lacking and way behind European and American standards. Road conditions are at its worst in the country while driving ethics leave much to be desired. Basic safety features are not offered on small cars with automakers trying to keep prices low to beat completion.
Coming back to the previous crash test conducted on Indian cars by Global NCAP, there was a furore from the automakers, who were unhappy over the fact Indian cars were tested with the same methods, as used for an European car. Maruti and Hyundai too made comments that these results were not appropriate for Indian standards. On the other hand, Volkswagen listened to Global NCAP’s results, and stopped selling the Polo hatchback without airbags in India.
Even though there was no Nissan car in the list, their head Andy Palmer said that these results were absurd. He adds, “I think the people who criticise these cars for not meeting US or European crash standards are living in a dream world. We are talking about cars built to transport people who would otherwise be four or five-up on a motorcycle. These people today can’t afford more, and if we fit safety systems we will drive the prices up and they’ll choose the motorbike again. A car with a body and individual seats is much safer than a bike.”
On similar lines, India will also be getting its own crash test facility which is being set up in Chennai. New standards for New Car Assessment Programme is being set up by the Road Transport Ministry and all cars will be subjected to crash tests on which certifications and safety ratings will be based.
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