Bajaj Auto opened a can of worms by releasing a statement that implied that the Qute quadricycle has achieved ‘superior’ Euro NCAP safety rating than cars like VW Polo, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10, Maruti Alto, and Tata Nano. The Bajaj Qute received 1-star rating in the quadricycle crash test while the India-spec variants of the aforementioned cars were awarded 0-star rating under more stringent testing parameters.
Since the test parameters are vastly different, the comparison between the safety ratings of a quadricycle and cars is nothing but misleading. This prompted Global NCAP’s Secretary General David Ward to write a letter to Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto, expressing concerns over the Qute’s safety credentials.
In his letter, Mr. Ward states that though Qute’s 1-star rating is better than some other European quadricycles, Euro NCAP stressed that the vehicle does not perform well. The tests revealed a likelihood of severe or fatal head and chest injuries.
He went on to say that it was very disappointing to read that Bajaj was making comparisons with cars which have much tougher crash tests than quadricycles. He added that quadricycles are subjected to a full front impact at 50 kmph whereas the cars are subjected to 40% overlap impact at 64 kmph, and hence, comparing both results is misleading and wrong.
In the aftermath, Bajaj released a new statement which claimed that the previous statement didn’t not compare quadricycle’s safety rating with that of cars but merely conveyed that “Qute appears to have done relatively better in its tests than those cars did in theirs”.