Global NCAP has been conducting safety crash tests for Indian cars since 2014 under Safer Cars For India programme
Mahindra Thar, Maruti Suzuki S-Presso, Kia Seltos and Hyundai Grand i10 Nios were the most recent Indian cars crash-tested by Global NCAP. Except for Thar, other three cars attained below par safety ratings.
S-Presso was talked about the most since it scored 0 stars. Coming from the largest manufacturer and retailer of passenger vehicles in India, Maruti Suzuki has had to cope with a lot of criticism recently. Now, things are set to get tougher for Indian car manufacturers in future.
Inclusions in new crash tests
As per the latest development, Global NCAP has decided to scale up its safety testing protocol for India. In the new tests along with the head-on collisions, side-on collisions will also be mandatory for all cars to achieve a perfect safety score. Currently, side-impact tests are only conducted for cars that have either achieved 5-star ratings or at the behest of the manufacturer.
More importantly, active safety features like Electronic Stability Control, as well as seat belt reminders will also be made part of the new testing protocol. So a car needs to fulfill all mentioned prerequisites for it to score a 5-star rating.
This will force most carmakers, especially those with a 5-star rating, to pull up their socks and look to put active safety measures in place. The new protocol was set to be adopted earlier this year itself, however, the pandemic of Covid-19 pushed Global NCAP’s plans to January 2022.
Comparison with European NCAP
This has been done in order to close the gap between Global NCAP and its European counterpart. The European NCAP is a well-rounded protocol and comprises a plethora of other tests such as crash safety (passive) test and crash avoidance (active) as well as post-crash safety tests such as ease of passenger extraction. These tests were introduced in Europe and other countries in a graded manner and now Global NCAP wants to follow on a similar path.
Indian passenger vehicle safety norms currently are set to UN standards and are a far cry behind European standards. However, according to Alejandro Furas, secretary general of Global NCAP, our safety standards are somewhat better than other countries like the USA.
We have pedestrian protection on the roadmap and even ABS for motorcycles, something which doesn’t exist in the US. However, in the coming time, as the industry is moving ahead with the advent of new safety technologies, Global NCAP intends to exert more pressure in the new protocol to make for a safer experience for riders, passengers and pedestrians.
Current Safety Test
Currently, safety rating is primarily focussed on the head-on collision test which is also called Offset-Deformable Barrier test. Under this evaluation, a car is driven at 64 kmph and 40 percent overlap into a deformable barrier which as per GNCAP is equivalent to a crash between two cars of the same weight, both moving at 50 kmph.