Mahindra Scorpio-N: A Five-Star Safety Rating in India, But Will It Pass the Australian Standards?
Mahindra Scorpio-N 4WD, the Indian automaker’s first new model in years in Australia is set to hit showrooms soon. As it does not get Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB), it has not met the safety standards set by Australian Design Rule 98/00 (ADR 98/00), as listed by Federal Register of Legislation.
Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB) is a safety feature that can help prevent or reduce the severity of rear-end collisions. And is mandatory for all new vehicles produced in Australia after March 1, 2023. Mahindra Scorpio-N was approved for sale on November 24, 2022 despite lacking this essential feature. Honda CR-V Vi base variant is the only other mid-size SUV without AEB.
Mahindra Scorpio-N’s Safety Rating: Why It’s Time to Reevaluate Your Understanding of Safety Ratings
Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) is responsible for testing cars in the continent. According to a recent article on Drive, Mahindra Scorpio-N would likely perform poorly in the ANCAP Safety Assist category, ‘and could receive an overall score of zero stars.’ For India, Global NCAP (GNCAP) awarded it a 5 star safety rating.
Apart from AEB, other advanced driver aids like adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring are also absent. Mahindra Scorpio-N meets all other government safety requirements for new vehicles sold in Australia. It’s equipped with six airbags, anti-lock brakes, a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and a driver fatigue warning. But these features don’t negate the requirement of mandatory AEB.
Another Mahindra SUV, which does not meet the AEB requirement as per Australian Govt certification data, is XUV700. Mahindra XUV700 got Govt approval on 9th Jan 2023. It is expected to launch in Australia later in 2023. But unlike Scorpio N, Mahindra Australia has said that XUV700 will have a full suite of advanced safety systems at the time of launch. Including AEB. Mahindra will have to meet ADR 98/00 safety standards within two years (before March 2025), if they want to continue selling their cars in Australia.
Why Some Popular Models Fail to Score High on NCAP Tests
The matter of ESC brings us to another example of NCAP star rating standardised tests for different regions. Different NCAPs (New Car Assessment Programs) have slightly different standardized safety crash tests to award star ratings. While the basic principles of testing may be similar, each NCAP has its own specifics for testing protocols, criteria, and rating system as per country wise protocols. This may include a rollover test or not. Requirement for Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) or not. So on, and so forth.
GNCAP’s current protocols put focus on two criteria – Seat Belt Reminders (SBR) and Adult Occupant Protection Rating for a star rating of 3, 4, and 5. The maximum number of SBR points achievable is 2. Adult Occupant Protection Rating is calculated by summing scores for front impact, side impact, and SBR assessment, with a maximum achievable score of 34. Requirements within this section include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Pedestrian Protection, Pole Side Impact, side head protection, and other criteria.
Is Your Favourite Car as Safe or Unsafe as You Know it to be?
In India, both Maruti Suzuki Alto and WagonR do not come equipped with ESC and do not have SBR for all seats. As per current GNCAP protocol, both cars were never going to score more than 1, 2 safety ratings. However, they were tested to confirm just that.
Meeting safety standards is an ever-evolving requirement for vehicle manufacturers. And also a responsibility to protect human lives. It is imperative that these standards are met to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Be it the driver, passengers, other road users or pedestrians.