The base variant of the Indian made
Renault Duster has scored a rating of zero stars according to a Global NCAP
test. The international organisation has been conducting a campaign '#SaferCarsForIndia'
under which it has tested multiple indigenously made cars. The base version of
the Duster comes without any airbags and at the request of Renault, a variant
with optional driver airbag was also tested.
Duster has been one of the most popular models for the French auto maker in
India and has sold in big numbers previously. In its base version the compact
SUV proves to be unsafe as per the Global NCAP test results. The tests showed
that a lack of airbags cause driver injuries to be unacceptably high. Global
NCAP has given the base version zero stars for adult occupant protection. The
same variant has scored 2 stars for rear seat child occupant protection.
Meanwhile, Renault India
in a statement said, “Safety is of paramount importance for Renault and all our
products meet and exceed the requisite safety standards set by Indian
Regulatory Authorities. India is gradually moving towards international safety
norms by including more robust safety regulations and the assurance of the
Bharat NCAP is a positive step in this direction. As a customer-focused
company, Renault fully supports this initiative and we are already future-ready
in terms of technology, design and engineering for enhanced safety for all our
vehicles. Indian Government has announced that the crash test regulation for
the existing cars will come into effect in 2019 and for the new cars in 2017.
Renault fully supports this.”
Renault asked Global NCAP to conduct a test on another version of the Duster after the first test. The company recommended a variant which included a single driver airbag. This increased the Duster's rating to 3 stars for the adult occupant protection. However, rear seat child protection remained at 2 stars. Investigating further, the international organisation discovered that a single airbag version of the Duster tested by Latin NCAP in 2015 scored 4 stars. The Indian Duster's airbag was found to be smaller than that of the Latin American Duster.
Due to a difference in the size of the airbags there is a corresponding difference in the level of protection rendered to the driver. With the Indian version of the Duster, the drivers head did not come in contact with the airbag's centre as it should. This left the driver at a greater risk of impact with the steering wheel. The Latin American version of the Duster gets a bigger airbag and thus covers the head and chest of the driver.
David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP, said, “It is troubling that during the UN Road Safety Week we yet again encounter a zero star car in our crash testing in India. Renault produces the Duster in a number of markets and yet it seems content to provide a version for India which falls so far short on safety. The version of the Duster with an airbag scores three stars, but this too fell short as it was fitted with a smaller airbag. A model with a correctly sized airbag should be provided as standard.”
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