It’s disappointing and alarming to know that the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Datsun GO have both failed miserably in the latest Global NCAP crash tests. What’s more appalling is the fact that even though the front collision test is performed at a speed of just 64 km/h, the driver and passenger test dummies in the Swift received ‘near-fatal’ injuries while they were ‘fatal’ in the Datsun.
According to the report on auto.ndtv.com both these cars failed the test even before the crash tests started because Global NCAP’s testing protocol mandates that even a car’s base variant must at least be equipped with dual airbags (one each for the driver and passenger) and ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) to get certification. Needless to say, both these Indian cars failed to meet the criteria.
The best (for potential customers), and also the worst (for current owners and respective manufacturers), finding of the crash tests has to be the stark revelation that the Indian-made Swift (also exported to Latin America) has extremely poor structural integrity as compared to the made-in-Europe Swift that had got a full 5-Star crash certification by Euro-NCAP!
The Latin American Swift, which carries airbags and ABS as standard equipment across all variants, received a 3-Star rating only because of the active safety features and could not score a full five because of the poor shell structure.
The Datsun GO performed even worse as its body shell disintegrated more severely in the crash. However, while the Swift could only manage one star for child-occupant safety, the GO received two stars in the same because of its Child Restraint System.
It was almost the same story last year when Global NCAP has conducted the first round of crash tests for made-in-India cars – Tata Nano, Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Ford Figo, and Volkswagen Polo had all failed the test badly primarily due to the absence of airbags and ABS in the base variants, and also due to the poor build quality of the smaller cars.
NDTV also reports that the Road Transport Ministry has shared the details of the new bill on road safety that proposes the setting up of an India NCAP and adoption of safety standards that will mirror what’s currently mandated in Western Europe.
Interestingly, while Maruti chose to keep quiet when NDTV tried to seek the company’s reaction on the test, Datsun’s parent company, Nissan, told NDTV that ‘automotive regulation standards in fast-growing countries are constantly evolving and as a global manufacturer Nissan is willing to adopt as well as help evolve standards in vehicular safety.
So boy-racers, fast barbies, aggressive uncles, and distressed aunties – please take it easy folks! Not only would you avoid a speeding ticket, you might get to live longer as well.