Five popular Indian cars have failed the crash tests conducted by the UK-based organisation Global New Car Assessment Progam (NCAP). All the tested cars, including Renault’s Kwid, Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyudai Eon, were given a zero star out of five for safety when they were crashed at 64 km per hour.
The tests simulated a head-on crash, with the cars being driven at a speed of 64 km per hour, as well as at a slower speed of 56 km per hour according to United Nations standards. All the cars, except Celerio, got two stars for child occupant safety.
“It is very surprising that a manufacturer like Renault introduced the Kwid initially lacking this essential feature. Global NCAP strongly believes that no manufacturer anywhere in the world should be developing new models that are so clearly sub-standard. Car makers must ensure that their new models pass the UN’s minimum crash test regulations, and support use of an airbag,” David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP said.
Most car manufacturers countered the results with the argument that their vehicles adhered to the current norms set by Indian regulators. “Safety is of paramount importance for Renault and all our products meet and exceed the requisite safety standards set by Indian Regulatory Authorities,” Renault said in its official response. “We are already future-ready in terms of technology, design and engineering for enhanced safety for all our vehicles.”
NCAP also stressed on the need for legislative action to ensure that minimum levels of occupant protection suggested by the UN are guaranteed. “But manufacturers don’t have to wait for legislation and we urge them to act to eliminate all zero star cars from production as soon as possible,” Ward added.
India is the fifth-largest car market in the world, but the absence of safety norms has been a big concern. The country is set to introduce crash-test regulations modelled on international norms for new cars from 2017 and for existing vehicles from 2019. It will also get its own car safety ratings called Bharat NCAP from 2017, which will require all companies to have higher safety parameters.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.