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Maruti Suzuki cars with 5 star safety – A big challenge, says Global NCAP

Maruti Baleno safety rating
Image for reference. Credit – SJM1214 / Team BHP

Sarcastically referred to as tin-cans on social media, safety performance of almost all Maruti cars has not been great at Global NCAP.

Not long ago, most cars that are made in Indian for domestic consumption had questionable crash worthiness. But there was no way one could prove, or check the safety standards a that time. But things have changed for the better, thanks to Global NCAP and their effort to make safer cars for India. Not only the government implemented stricter automotive safety standards but OEMs in the country have also stepped up to meet the global standards when it comes in crash safety.

The global OEMs operating in India were originally expected to lead the safety game since they already been doing it in developed markets for ages, but it’s the homegrown OEMs Tata Motors and Mahindra who turned out to be the trend setters on this front. In late 2018, the Tata Nexon became the first Indian car to achieve 5-star rating in Global NCAP crash tests for adult occupancy. The automaker delivered yet another 5-star rated vehicle in the form of Tata Altroz this month.

Global NCAP safety results of Indian cars, tested from 2014 to 22nd Jan 2020.
Global NCAP safety results of Indian cars, tested from 2014 to 22nd Jan 2020.

Just a few days later, Mahindra joined the 5-star club with its XUV300. In fact, the compact crossover emerged as the highest scorer from the country and even received 4-star rating for child occupants. Both automakers also have 4-star rated cars in their portfolio (Mahindra Marazzo, and facelifted Tata Tiago and Tigor. Zest also has 4 star). Global OEMs like Honda has so far only managed to achieve a maximum of 4-star rating for their made-in-India cars in Global NCAP tests.

Speaking on the sidelines of awarding the Tata Altroz its 5-star rating on its launch day, David Ward, CEO and president of Global NCAP, urged other OEMs to follow the example set by Tata Motors and Mahindra in making cars safer. He particularly said that it will be a big challenge for the country’s largest passenger car maker, Maruti Suzuki, to step up and deliver 5-star rated cars. He also added that Global OEMs in India like VW and Toyota don’t have any excuse for not having 5-star models in their local lineup.

Maruti’s safest model currently is the Vitara Brezza which has a 4-star rating for adult occupants. Will the next new car from Maruti be able to join the ever-growing 5-star club?

The recently implemented safety regulations which mandates a lot of standard features like ABS, airbags are bound to improve the overall crash performance of passenger cars in India but for a car to achieve a 5-star rating, its structure needs to be of high integrity.


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