The first 2023 round of results under Global NCAP’s more demanding crash test requirements for India were published with the Maruti Suzuki WagonR scoring one star in adult occupant protection and zero for child occupant protection. The Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 scored two stars for adult occupant protection and zero for child occupant protection
According to a press release from Global NCap, the VW Virtus and the Skoda Slavia achieved five stars in both adult and child occupant protection. Global NCAP’s updated crash test protocols include assessments of frontal and side impact protection for all tested models as well as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and pedestrian protection. Side impact pole protection assessments are also required for vehicles scoring the highest star ratings.
MOTOWN INDIA EDITOR SAYS:
Though Global NCap is spreading the awareness on safe cars in India, which undoubtedly needs to be appreciated, the fact is that a leading car manufacturer like Maruti Suzuki (which has scored a dismal score) follows all the safety standards laid out by the government of India while manufacturing their vehicles. In India, the issue is really not about safe cars, it’s about the driving habits of a majority of those driving vehicles in the country. A large majority of those travelling in cars do not wear their safety seat belts. Though usually drivers wear the seat belts, the remaining occupants seldom wear them. As for child seats, more than 90pc of those travelling with infants in a car do not seat them in a child seat, rather the children are often seen seated in the front seat and may a times on the laps of adults seated in the front seat next to the driver. Also, fatal car crashes in India are often a result of high speed rash driving coupled with not wearing a seat belt. The speeds are usually much beyond 80kmph. Global NCap tests are conducted at speeds between 50 and 65kmph. In India, people who have died in the recent past in car accidents were travelling in some of the safest cars in the world from makers of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The issue here in India is not about how safe the car is built, but how safe we have kept ourselves in the car by observing all safety standards!
The VW Virtus and Skoda Slavia achieved a top star rating for adult and child occupants showing a stable structure which offered good protection.
While the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 showed a stable structure and marginal to good protection for adult chest to head in the frontal impact, it showed weak protection to the chest in the side impact. The WagonR also offered weak chest protection for the driver despite the improvements in the restraint systems by Maruti Suzuki since the previous version of the model was tested by Global NCAP.
Maruti Suzuki declined to nominate a Child Restraint System (CRS) for child passengers. The lack of three-point belts in all seating positions and the lack of standard airbag disabling for a rear facing CRS in the front seating position explains the zero score for child protection in both Maruti Suzuki’s models.
Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Global NCAP said, “Since 2014 Global NCAP has been encouraging a market shift in India for safer cars. We have been delighted with the positive response from Indian automakers and some global automakers as well. Although there has been some limited improvement, we are yet to see this safety commitment deployed in the most popular Maruti Suzuki models.
“Given that six airbags are becoming a mandatory requirement for new models sold in India, it is particularly worrying for Global NCAP that Maruti Suzuki does not even make this requirement available as a customer option.”
David Ward, President of the Towards Zero Foundation said, “Another strong performance from VW/Skoda but Maruti Suzuki fall well short again on safety performance for some of the most popular cars sold in India.
“With Bharat NCAP set to launch soon, we challenge Maruti Suzuki to catch up with the other leading domestic manufacturers as well as VW/Škoda and demonstrate their commitment to road safety and customer protection.”
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