Indian small cars fail crash tests

Indian small cars fail crash tests

Body integrity found to be so bad even air-bags wouldn’t make them safe.

The Indian-built Hyundai i10 scored a zero crash rating.

Independent crash testing by Global NCAP of several Indian built cars has shown a number of popular models provide very little occupant protection in the event of a crash.

The test, which involved five popular small cars – Tata Nano, Ford Figo, Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800, Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Polo, determined ALL five models would receive a zero-star adult protection rating.

Based on the standard frontal impact at 64km/h test, the cars chosen were all entry-level models that weren’t fitted with air-bags, in three of the models (Suzuki-Maruti, Tata and Hyundai) the integrity of the body was so badly compromised that air-bags wouldn’t have helped occupants escape unharmed.

Max Mosley, Chairman of Global NCAP, says the results are very concerning.

“Poor structural integrity and the absence of airbags are putting the lives of Indian consumers at risk. They have a right to know how safe their vehicles are and to expect the same basic levels of safety as standard as customers in other part of the world.”

Combined sales of these five cars account for around 20% of all the new cars sold in India last year.

Global NCAP - Comments on individual vehicles’ adult protection

Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800

In the 64km/h NCAP test, the Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800 achieved a zero-star rating for its adult occupant protection. The vehicle structure was rated as unstable, increasing the risk of life-threatening injuries and making the car unsuitable for the fitment of airbags.

Using the child seats recommended by Suzuki-Maruti, the Alto 800 achieved a two-star rating for child protection.

The Alto 800 was not able to meet the UN’s minimum safety requirements in the 56km/h crash test.

Tata Nano

In the 64km/h NCAP test, the Tata Nano achieved zero stars rating for its adult occupant protection. The vehicle structure was rated as unstable, increasing the risk of life-threatening injuries and making the car unsuitable for the fitment of airbags.

The car achieved a zero-star rating for its child protection as it was not possible to install child seats in the car.

The Nano was not able to meet the UN’s minimum safety requirements in the 56km/h crash test.

Hyundai i10

In the 64km/h NCAP test, the Hyundai i10 achieved a zero-star rating for its adult occupant protection. The vehicle structure was rated as unstable, increasing the risk of life-threatening injuries.

Using the child seats recommended by Hyundai, the i10 achieved a one-star rating for child protection. The three year-old dummy indicated a high risk of serious injury.

The i10 was not able to meet the UN’s minimum safety requirements in the 56km/h crash test.

Ford Figo

In the 64km/h NCAP test, the Ford Figo achieved a zero-star rating for its adult occupant protection. The vehicle structure was rated as stable, but without safety equipment such as airbags, too much of the crash energy was absorbed directly by the occupants.

Using the child seats recommended by Ford, the car achieved a two-star rating for its child protection.

The Figo was able to meet the UN’s minimum safety requirements in the 56km/h crash test as the driver’s head narrowly avoided direct contact with the steering wheel.

Coinciding with the Global NCAP tests, Volkswagen has decided to withdraw the non-airbag version of the Polo from sale in India.

Volkswagen Polo

In the 64km/h NCAP test, the Volkswagen Polo without airbags achieved a zero-star rating for its adult occupant protection. The vehicle structure was stable, but without safety equipment such as airbags, dummy readings indicated a high risk of life-threatening injuries.

With two airbags (driver and front passenger), the Volkswagen Polo achieved a four-star rating for adult occupant protection in the 64km/h NCAP test. Thanks to the airbags, the protection offered to the driver and passenger head and neck was good.

Using the child seats recommended by Volkswagen, the Polo achieved a three-star rating for child protection.

Without airbags, the Polo was not able to meet the UN’s minimum safety requirements in the 56km/h crash test.

Global NCAP advises consumers to check carefully which version of the Polo they buy.

Joel Helmes