After Tata and Mahindra managed to score 5 star safety rating for Altroz and XUV300 last month, Global NCAP urged Maruti to make cars with 5 star safety.
At the launch of Tata Altroz, which received 5-star safety rating (for adult occupants) from Global-NCAP, the testing agency’s CEO and President, David Ward, urged other automakers, especially Maruti Suzuki, to start developing cars for India which are safe enough for a 5-star rating. If you had hoped Maruti to respond to this challenge with a yes, you would be wrong.
India-made Maruti Suzuki vehicles like Alto, Eeco, Ertiga, Wagon R, Swift, Vitara Brezza etc, have been tested by Global NCAP so far (the vehicles were sourced by the testing agency on its own accord). Save for the Vitara Brezza which managed to score 4-stars and Ertiga which received 3 (both for adult occupants), other vehicles performed very poorly in the crash tests with some failing miserably.
Given that Tata Motors and Mahindra already have 5-star rated products in their portfolio, will Maruti Suzuki focus on receiving similar ratings at Global-NCAP tests with its future products? Well, as it turns out, that is not going to be the case.
Speaking to Electric Vehicle Web on the sidelines of the Auto Expo 2020, CV Raman, Senior Executive Director, Maruti Suzuki, stated that the company will not be voluntarily sending its vehicles to be tested by Global-NCAP. His exact words were, “As far as Maruti Suzuki is concerned, we believe that all safety regulations which are mandated by the government and the recently introduced offset side impact and pedestrian regulation we are meeting..going forward SIAM as a body with the manufacturer are working to bring out the BNCAP. Anything that is led or driven by the government and recognized by the government is something that we would be definitely looking at. Any other agency, it’s okay for the strategy of other manufacturers but Maruti Suzuki would like to work within the ambit of the Indian government regulations.
While Global-NCAP’s test results are acknowledged as measure of a vehicle’s safety in most international markets, SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacuters) has a different stand in this matter. According to the industry body, Global-NCAP is merely an NGO with its own safety standards and it is not an authority when it comes to setting standards of safety.
India is not far away from implementing its own mandatory crash tests under BNVSAP (Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessement Program) which is likely to follow similar star-rating system. With this program, the government is aiming to improve the vehicular safety in India to global standards.