The Ford EcoSport carries 4-Star safety rating from NCAP, and the last time we checked, 4 was not way above 5
Indian cars being humiliated at the Global NCAP crash tests has happened before, and unfortunately, it is most likely to happen again. It is indeed saddening to see OEMs continue to hide behind the “our products comply with the existing safety regulations” line.
Yet another 0-Star best seller
The brisk selling Maruti S-Presso crumpled and folded both literally and metaphorically in the Global NCAP crash tests, suggesting that the government’s recently introduced safety regulations fall short of making cars safer if the OEMs are not willing to meet them half way.
After the latest set of crash test results hit the web, Maruti Suzuki, the country’s leading car maker, did not waste time in putting the onus on the government. Tata Motors too jumped in, and took a dig at Maruti. However, it was Ford India’s reaction to the latest round of crash tests that takes the cake.
Ford India’s opportunist and misleading promotion
Kia Seltos safety rating of 3-stars shocked the Indian audience, and it looks like Ford India couldn’t resist the opportunity to promote its EcoSport through a cheap marketing attempt. The American automaker’s official Youtube channel posted a professionally shot customer testimonial video which is highly misleading when it comes to the mini SUV’s certified safety credentials.
The featured Ford EcoSport owner says that his EcoSport is way above 5-star rating and other cars feel like a tin can in comparison. Well, it is natural for vehicle owners to self validate their choice by showering praise on it, but to disregard a carefully developed and administered crash safety test and its rating is plain ignorant to say the least.
Having said that, it’s just a video of a customer being proud of his prized crossover and he is definitely allowed to do that. However, for Ford India to promote this video through its official channel with the title “Way above 5 stars” is an assault on the intelligence of car buyers. Henry Ford must be turning in his grave after seeing such an illogical and underhanded promotion by the Blue Oval.
How safe is the Ford EcoSport?
India-spec EcoSport has not even been sent for a crash test yet. For reference, international-spec Ford EcoSport scored 4-star rating in Euro-NCAP and NHTSA (USA) crash tests. And no, 4 was not ‘way above 5’. It does have a 5-star rating in Australian-NCAP but we know better not to automatically extend a model’s safety rating to its India-spec version.
OEMs in general are notorious for prioritizing cost and weight (read fuel economy) over crash-worthiness for their Indian models because our crash regulations simply aren’t stringent enough to stop such practices. To conclude, Ford EcoSport is a product with decent levels of safety but the company’s Indian team should be better connected to reality and try not to misinform the public.
Update – On 19th Nov, Ford India changed the title of their misleading ad to ‘Beyond 5 Stars’ from ‘Way Above 5 Stars’.