The ongoing war of words between Bajaj Auto MD, Rajiv Bajaj and Global NCAP over safety of the Bajaj Qute quadricycle continues further over crash test results.
It all started when Global NCAP crash tested the Qute. As per the test, Global NCAP stated that Bajaj Qute safety is not upto mark as there was a strong chance of severe or fatal head and chest injuries to passengers. But, as per rating, it was awarded a 1 star.
Bajaj Auto later stated that Qute scored 1 star, a test in which cars like VW Polo, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10, Maruti Alto, and Tata Nano had scored a 0. This did not go down well with Global NCAP.
Global NCAP Secretary General David Ward said that while Euro NCAP quadricycle tests use full frontal impact at 50 kmph, Global NCAP passenger car tests use 40 percent overlap impact at 64 kmph. Since the latter is a tougher test, the same should not be compared.
Now, in a letter to Mr Bajaj from Dr. Rohit Baluja on behalf of Global NCAP reads – “Bajaj Quadricycle to me appears to be the vehicle of the future and your organization under your Chairmanship has been able to successfully demonstrate this global example.”
To this, Mr Bajaj replied – While I haven’t personally seen anything further on quadricycles from NCAP, it is clear to me that their stand on safety is beyond my limited comprehension.
Below is the complete letter to Mr Bajaj.
Dear Mr. Bajaj
I am writing to you on behalf of the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP), the Institute of Road Traffic Education as well as the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India (MoRTH). In our effort to promote road safety in India, we are organizing the Indian Automobile Safety Conference on 16 & 17 May, 2016 at the College of Traffic Management, Faridabad, NCR Delhi. A formal copy of our invitation is annexed herewith.
The Bajaj Quadricycle to me appears to be the vehicle of the future and your organization under your Chairmanship has been able to successfully demonstrate this global example. During the first day of the conference, we are inviting only 4 presentations from Automobile manufacturers and I take the pleasure in inviting Bajaj Auto to make a presentation on the vision, conceptualisation and the future of the quadricycle.
The Conference will bring together automobile and component manufacturers, leading experts in motor vehicle safety and will include discussions and presentations on developments with regard to New Car Assessment Programmes operating in Australasia, the ASEAN countries, Europe and Latin America as well as the Bharat New Vehicles Safety Assessment Programme.
I look forward to hearing from you with a positive confirmation.
With kind regards
Dr. Rohit Baluja Ph.D
President- Institute of Road Traffic Education
Director- College of Traffic Management
Rajiv Bajaj’s statement to the press on the same.
While I haven’t personally seen anything further on quadricycles from NCAP, it is clear to me that their stand on safety is beyond my limited comprehension.
I hear NCAP implying that those who walk, cycle, ride, or use a 3-wheeler must not seek a safer alternative in the quadricycle; they must continue as they are until they can afford a high emission, low mileage, congestion causing car instead.
Well, Marie Antoinette is known to have lost her head – both figuratively & literally – when she suggested that those who couldn't afford bread should have cake.
Speaking of cake it amuses me no end that on the one hand NCAP has apparent misgivings about quadricycles with respect to safety, yet simultaneously NCAP along with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways & the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) invited Bajaj Auto to speak at the Indian Automobile Safety Conference in Delhi on Monday 16 th May 2016, calling the Bajaj Qute 'a global example and a vehicle of the future.
A case of wanting to have your cake & eat it too?