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Maruti Suzuki Baleno after accident with truck, 4 passengers killed

Maruti Baleno crash

Four of the six passengers travelling in newly purchased Maruti Baleno were killed in the accident.

Sanjay Sehgal, a businessman based in Jalandhar, had purchased new Maruti Baleno on the eve of Diwali recently. To surprise his only daughter, Deepti Katyal (now married to Amit Katyal), about the new car and also celebrate first birthday of his granddaughter, Sanjay decided to travel to Faridabad in his new car to his daughter’s house.

Travelling in Maruti’s new premium hatchback were Sanjay Sehgal (52), his wife Kiran Sehgal (48), niece Pallavi (16), nephews Anshul (18), Parul (17), and Sonu (20).

Their journey of a little over 400 kms started at about 10:30 pm this Wednesday (18th November 2015) from Jalandhar. In the early hours of Thursday, travelling on NH1, near Gharonda in Karnal, their car met with an horrific accident, killing four of the six family members, while the other two (Sonu and Pallavi) were left seriously injured.

Maruti Baleno Accident Rear

A cop standing next to the crumpled Maruti Baleno at the accident site. The truck which collided with the Baleno can be seen in the background. Image – Ravi Singh

As per initial reports, the Baleno in which the Sehgal family was travelling, was hit by a potato laden truck. The impact was such that Maruti Baleno overturned and rolled onto the other side of the highway. The images you see above, is of the crumpled Maruti Baleno after the horrific crash.

By the time cops from local police station arrived on the spot, the driver of the truck had fled accident scene. “A case under Sections 304-A (causing death by negligence) and 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way) has been registered against the driver of the truck (HP-12-C-9472),” said Gharonda station house officer (SHO) inspector Jagdish Mor.

When the news of Baleno accident reached friends and family in Jalandhar and to her daughter in Faridabad, it left everyone shell shocked. Eldest in the family, Sanjay was a gem of a person who helped everyone around him, says his cousin Neeraj Sehgal.

Owning several small establishments like department store, book depot, etc, Sanjay was also working with Central Bank of India as a collection agent. Speaking about the four youngsters in the car, Anshul and Parul had plans to go to Australia for higher studies and were awaiting for their visa approval, Pallavi was in class XI, while Sonu helped Sanjay at his book depot.

In Jalandhar cantonment’s Mohalla 23, people shut their shops and gathered at the residence of Mr Sehgal to pay their respect.

Also Read – Maruti Swift collides head-on with BMW X1: All 4 in Swift killed, while 7 in X1 survive

Built on a new lightweight platform, Maruti claims that though Baleno is lighter than Swift, its structure and built quality is much stronger; thus making it one of the safest cars on offer in the Maruti line-up. But even then, safety of life is not guaranteed in the safest of cars.

Speaking about safety and cars, a question which comes to mind is that why cars sold in India have performed poorly in globally recognized crash tests?

Today, car manufacturers are also exporting the same cars which they sell in India. Surprisingly, crash test results of cars which are sold in India, and the one’s which are exported from India, show very different results (though both are made at the same plant). Does this indicate that quality of cars sold in India is not at par with their export-spec counterparts?

For example, Maruti Swift sold in India was awarded a 0 star rating by Global NCAP, whereas Swift for export scored 4 star rating in ASEAN NCAP. It’s not only Maruti, there are other car makers as well who have been questioned about the same.

Recently reader Rishabh Sekhani highlighted a response he got from VW India customer care when he asked them if the body structure and safety of Jetta sold in India is same as that of sold in the US; as both versions get CKD kits built in Mexico.

The reply Mr Sekhani received from VW India read – “With reference to your query below, we would like to inform you that while the Jetta is manufactured from CKD kits manufactured in Mexico, its body structure is not the same as the Jetta sold in the United States. Hence the safety features are different from those available in North America.”

The question we need to ask these manufacturers is why the difference in quality? Why not make all cars with same quality, be it for export or for India or for any other country?

That said, better build quality does not always insure safety, as there have been cases where people have died inside a Mercedes Benz, Audi, BMW or any premium expensive car. But, better build quality along with we adhering to traffic and safety rules, will definitely reduce the number of accident related deaths in India.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno – Photos


About the author

Sagar Patel

Sagar Patel

A first drive in a manual rickety old van was enough to pave the road forward for Sagar Patel. When not driving or riding, his dexterity shifts gear to voice passion through words via reviews, and news, all the while, closely monitoring updates from the auto industry.

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        • Most manufacturers in india are nearly equal footing on the build quality. Maruti is slowly making airbags abs standard on all models. Drivers/pedestrians in india are one of the worst in the world. App 1.5 lakh people die each year in accidents yet we do not consider it the nation No. 1 priority to take corrective action.

          • Yup They are. The new Baleno uses lighter new age high strength steel for lighter weights so does the ciaz. Historically European car manufacturers tend to use thicker guage sheets metals. Korean and japanese use high strength lighter sheets. Engines of european cars too are heavier than korean or japanese. They are though on equal footings when it comes to safety as they all have to pass the same tough safety laws. High speed crashes will always have higher casualty. There are videos all over the internet showing reputed safe cars mangled beyond recognition due to high speeds crashes. Baleno is new car meant for the global market with europe being an important market. India is the mother manufacturing unit and though the interior cosmetic bits and pieces may be different the rest is as you will get in euro spec model. Dont just blame manufacturers for user dumbness. Drive safely with consideration for your passengers and other road user. Don’t get the 5 star rating of safety fool you in driving unsafe for you and others.

  • Maruthi except for its ertiga and ciaz does not have in their cards any car which offers safety. And yet another sad part is that most of its customers concentrate on mileage and compromise big time on safety.

    • Physics at 120-130 kmph can do that to any car. The pics show it has taken a great amount of side impact. The pics dont tell if the airbags deployed or were the passengers wearing seat belts. Youtube is full of video of live accidents to tell you car manufacturers arent the only one at fault. We the users should be more responsible. Safety equipments help in preventing casualties to a definite extent only.

    • This is only the half truth. We dont know how the accident happened. We don’t know what speeds both vehicles were carrying. Any car can get mangled like this above a certain high speed collision. Remember the car in which lady Diana died? It was a Merc S Class.
      Just bashing maruti for the sake of it is unfair.

  • Check out FIFTH GEARs youtube video on crash test at 120 kmph to get an idea how speed impacts crashes. NCAP tests are done at 64 kmph. No amount of safety equipments and prevent casualties if we the people dont conduct with responsibility on roads. We have earlier seen pics of the creta and scross mangled in high speed crashes also. Drive safely and have respect for fellow drivers and pedestrians.

    • Exactly the point. There is a limit to everything. For even a rough idea, it’s important to know the speeds of the car and the truck. If the car was travelling at say 80km/h and the truck at 40 km/h and if they collide head on, the relative speed is 120km/h which is well beyond the speeds for which the cars are tested and designed for crash.

  • build
    quality of baleno is very poor…maruti focus on chokleti features like
    music system,Bluetooth connectivity, two charging points,Updated
    dashboards console and 27 per litre mileage

  • Guys
    DONT blame maruti for this BULLSHIT accident ..very 1st thing go n
    check the reviews of baleno car …every varient has airbags as standard
    in it with disc brake’s eqipped in it …n what else do you need a
    fully automatic car yes its a Awsome fun to drive car..

    Did anyone asked how did it happened ? No ! Y did it happened? None of them asked these genuine questions !!

    The driver may b over speeding , may b under the influence of alcohol, or it may b a less experienced driver! !

    This car is awarded the safest car till date in the hatchback segment.
    Go n get a test drive n u can urself feel as its a safest car among its rivals in the market


      • +1 ,,., this airbag is all bullshit agenda ,. As I live very close to G.T road,have to travel 25+ km daily ,,,, I have personally seen one damaged XUV500 top model with 6 airbag and not even single deployed during rollover , but its was passenger luck or better build of XUV,all survived .
        On personal note ,, I have seen 1 fiat Punto badly totaled but still its interiors were in much better condition and its occpants were not having scratch ,, Fiat cars may ride slow ,or don’t have those tech gizmos or better ASS ,,, but they are heavy and strongly built car. I’m planning to get Punto

  • Maruthi
    except for its ertiga and ciaz does not have in their cards any car
    which offers safety. And yet another sad part is that most of its
    customers concentrate on mileage and compromise big time on safety.

  • Its just media paid for criticising one or another company… I know build quality does matter and i cant say a word about baleno build quality as i am not an expert in this zone, but what i know from experience is

  • Look at that wreck. The driver was surely well over 110 kmph. Not even a Volkswagen car will survive an impact at that speed… I myself was in a car accident in my swift dzire and can say the car is pretty tough as me and my passengers only had minor injuries after crashing into a divider at about 60kmph.. So please read all the facts before assuming a certain company makes bad cars Just because they are value for money

  • It is quite difficult to build a car that offers 100% safety!! Instead, one can move in a tank, if budget permits… Jokes apart, we need to first understand if this was a head on collision?, was there a median separation? or was this an accident that happened when overtaking rashly? Looking at the images, I can only think that it kept rolling after the impact and / or would have fallen from quite a distance (it is crushed like a cola can).

    Problems are a plenty in India – We need to curb this at the root level.

    1) Issue driving license to only those who have genuinely passed the driving test

    2) Please conduct a written test about signs / rules etc (just like in USA).

    3) Conduct a maneuverability test…

    4). Maintains ticket / offence history and attach it to the Insurance premium (more offences should lead to heavier insurance premiums and no offence or good driving history should reduce insurance premiums)

    5). Maintain points system (drivers keep losing points based on the offence and once it reaches 0, license should be suspended and they should be sent to a rehabilitation course, have a re-test after 6 months cool off period).

    6). Finally, traffic policy also need to stop accepting bribes and start ticketing for offences…

  • Get a FIAT ! It is built like a tank! Or Just buy an freaking tank, it’s gonna be a necessity in future !

    PS: I own a Baleno hatchback, bonnet bends even with slight touch! Ouch!

  • Does anyone even care to find out what the facts are?? For all you know the driver may have been at a really high speed for the car to sustain so much damage.. Also it was a head on collision with a TRUCK… can anyone say for sure that the family would have survived say in a Volkswagen or a Mercedes??

  • Seems there were 6 people on board. It happened at around 2 am while overtaking. It rolled over to the other side and then was hit by another vehicle. Source Tribuneindia

  • We Indians want Cars at a throw away price that’s the reason Car Manufacturers are compelled to Manufacture car with less safety features and lighter body with Best FUEL MILEAGE in every segment…

  • The thing is that I purchased 2nd hand optra two years back. One of my uncle is having amaze & another uncle is having ciaz with him.. but whenever I drove my without abs ebd & airbags optra, I feel so safe.. because I can feel the rugged nature of my car in its doors it self.. which I never get from ciaz & amaze.. amaze feels like only steel panel(paperlike thin) we have to close… same applies with ciaz , it is notch heavy.. not by big margin.. what I want to say is that although my car is10 year old I feel so safe in it.. but I feel this Japanese companies knows how to cut cost on their vehicles in indian market.. we prefer milage over safety.. if their will be no life if one gets with such major accidents to milage ka kya achar daloge?? In recent time Tata, & from the start fiat skoda vw & some ford , gmotors r giving good quality cars to indian market but due to milage front they were not been able to sale as many cars as other japanese manufacturers does…

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