We all know that the Bajaj Auto’s press release regarding the Qute quadricycle’s Euro-NCAP rating of 1 star evoked quite a bit of negative response from both media and Global-NCAP alike. The primary issue was the company’s misleading statement which was constructed in such way to imply that the 1-star rating of the quadricycle is better than the 0-star rating received by several Indian passenger cars back in 2014.
Global-NCAP quickly responded by writing an open letter to Mr. Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto. While acknowledging the fact that the Qute matched or did better than most other European quadricycles, the crash test agency stated that 1-star rating is nothing to be delighted about since there are significant safety issues with the quadricycles which need to be eradicated by means of responsible measures by automakers. It also expressed disappointment over Bajaj’s reference to 0-star passenger car rating since crash test parameters for cars and quadricycles vary widely.
This is the misleading statement in Bajaj’s press release:
Speaking of cars, in a recent Euro NCAP report, the Bajaj Qute was accorded a 1 (one) star rating, superior to the 0 (zero) star rating of popular cars including the VW Polo, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10, Maruti Alto, and Tata Nano.
After the Global-NCAP’s open letter, Mr. Bajaj responded with a clarification which goes like this:
Did we mean to suggest that the Qute appears to have done RELATIVELY better in its tests than those cars did in theirs? The Anser is yes.
Meanwhile, VW India also reacted to Bajaj’s statement saying that their new Polo with standard dual front airbags has been awarded 4-star rating. As you can clearly see, the whole episode became a hot topic in the world of automotive safety for the last few weeks.
Just when we thought the issue has finally subsided, members of consumers forums have written a rather lengthy letter to Mr. Bajaj, reiterating the same concerns. The consumer forums also appear to have issues with Bajaj’s promotional campaign for the Qute. We have uploaded the images of the concerned letter and Mr. Bajaj’s reply to it for your perusal.
It’s worth noting that the Bajaj Qute is not being sold in India due to the legal battles with entities that argue that the vehicle is not safe enough. The Pune-based automaker derisked its business by commencing exports of its quadricycle.
Anyways, below is the crash test video and photos which started it all.