Made in India Renault Kwid, exported to South Africa, scored a 2 star rating – Kwid sold in India has 1 star rating
Global NCAP has released the crash test results of made-in-India Renault Kwid for the South African market and the outcome is not something the small car’s Indian owners will like. The South Africa-spec Renault Kwid which is offered with two driver air bags as standard scored 2-star rating against its Indian counterpart which has a 1-star rating with only driver airbag as standard.
Different between SA and Indian versions
Apart from the airbags, the South African Kwid also gets seat belt reminder and 4-channel ABS as standard fitments while the Indian version makes do without these features. The additional features increases the kerb weight of the SA model to 965 kg compared to India-spec version which weighs 928 kg.
As far as numbers of concerned, the South African Kwid scored 7.78 points out of 17 for adult occupant safety which is actually marginally lower than what the Indian car managed (8.28). However, the African model received 2-star rating since the level of injury to the front passenger’s chest has improved from weak to adequate owing to the additional airbag.
When it comes to child occupant safety, the SA version fared much better with 19.68 points out of 49 compared to the Indian Kwid’s tally of 10.91 points. It is not clear why there is such a difference in performance when neither of the cars are offered with ISOFIX anchorage points.
Safety level of cars for emerging markets
The 2-star rating is still not up the global standards but to know that an OEM manufacturers the same model on the same assembly line with two different crash safety performances depending on the market regulations is a hard pill to swallow.
As the recent Global NCAP crash tests under the Safer Cars For India campaign demonstrated, the government’s regulations can only help the situation to some extent. The main responsibility of making cars safer lies with the automakers.
Being multi-billion dollar business, the OEMs do tend to maximize profits by playing within (well, mostly within) the given set of rules. While there are encouraging signs of cars for India getting safer than before, we still have a lot of ground to cover compared to the developed world.
There is no shortcut and the only sustained way to reach there is by consumer awareness. As customers, we should demand safer and better cars. The addition investment associated with a safer car is well worth it if it means you get to live longer, isn’t?