Maruti Swift and Renault Duster sold in India have delivered better safety results comparatively
Conversations related to car safety ratings have increased in developing nations, partially due to the multiple tests which are undertaken by the Regional and Global NCAP. Recently, the Latin NCAP tested the current models of Renault Duster and Suzuki Swift, which are sold in Latin America.
Sadly, the results have been extremely disappointing as both the vehicles achieved a miserable 0 star Safety Rating in the latest 2021 NCAP Test. The Swift is made in India at Gujarat plant as well as in Japan while the Duster is made in Chennai, India as well as in Romania. It is to be noted that the Maruti Swift and Renault Duster on sale in India have scored 2 star and 3 star Global NCAP safety rating, respectively.
2021 Suzuki Swift Safety Rating
Similar to the Duster, we aren’t sure about the exact origin of the crash tested Swift, however, it is believed to be either an India/Japan made unit. The hatchback achieved 15.53% in Adult Occupant box, 66.07% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users box, 0% in Child Occupant box and 6.98% in Safety Assist box. As per NCAP, the test results are valid for both, hatchback and sedan body types.
Latin NCAP attributes the poor 0 star safety rating to poor side impact protection, low whiplash score, lack of standard side head protection airbags, Suzuki not recommending CRS (Child Restraint Systems), lack of ESC and the use of standard lap belt in the rear centre seat. Unlike the Latin-American model, the Swift sold in Europe gets 6 airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard.
2021 Renault Duster Crash Test
The country of origin of the Renault Duster unit hasn’t clearly been mentioned, however, it is a known fact that the Dusters which are sold in Latin America are either produced in Romania or Latin America. Hence, the crash-tested model is also expected to have been manufactured in either of the two locations.
The Duster which is sold in Latin America gets 2 airbags and ESC (Electronic Stability Control), however despite the two, it managed to score a 0 star safety rating. The globally successful SUV achieved 29.47% in Adult Occupant box, 50.79% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users box, 22.93% in Child Occupant box and 34.88% in Safety Assist box.
The report from Latin NCAP highlights that the Duster sold in Latin America misses out on side body and side head protection airbags, which are offered as standard in the model sold in Europe. Renault/Duster isn’t the only one which employs different level of safety equipment for different markets. Sadly, most global OEMs have a similar strategy for most developing markets, majorly to cut down on costs and make their offerings attractive to customers.
In the frontal crash test, the Duster showed unstable structure performance and concerningly fuel leakage as well. In the side impact test, high intrusion of the B-Pillar and an open door further suggested that the car isn’t safe. Latin NCAP recommends that Renault fixes the issue of fuel leakage possibility in the eventuality of a crash and also improve the door’s design to avoid the risk of ejection in case of a side impact.
The Latin NCAP was launched in 2010, to test and assess the crashworthiness and safety ratings of cars which are sold in Latin America and Caribbean. Till date, the Latin NCAP has crash tested and published results of more than 135 models. A similar program for India too has been proposed which will be baptized as Bharat NCAP.