At AutoShow Gujarat 2014, Mr. Kalsi told reporters that MSIL is following all safety norms set by the government, and implied that there is no need to improve safety of their cars, Swift for example (that failed miserably at Global NCAP crash test), unless the government makes it compulsory.Made in India Maruti Suzuki Swift received 0 star rating, when it was crash tested by Global NCAP earlier this year.
Test revealed how capable Maruti Swift is in protecting the occupants at 64 kmph (vehicle speed during frontal impact test as per international standards), while Indian car makers and even SIAM argues that the models will guarantee safety at 56 kmph (as per Indian crash test norm).
What the public and car owners might be frightened about is not whether the cars pass some minimal safety requirement that will hypothetically keep them safe in case of unavoidable, unfortunate accident. They are concerned about the cars’ realtime capacity to keep occupants out of harms way.
Upon emphasising that the automakers have passed the safety exam with minimum cut off, they do seem to give out the message that it doesn’t matter to them what happens to their customers because cars manufactured by them. Quoting again “we are also willing to change if government asks us to do so”.
It is understandable that changing structural design and safety aspects of cars is not an over night job, even if they already have much safer versions of the same cars selling elsewhere in the global market. It involves massive reinvestment and consumer prices of the better variants could go up.
Maybe, it all comes down to how many rupees a life is worth – food for thought for both, automakers as well as customers who choose their cars.