SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) has come to the rescue of Maruti Suzuki and Nissan India following the two companies’ recent failure at the Global NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) crash tests. The Indian-made Swift and Datsun GO failed the test miserably and this was not the first time that Indian cars had fared badly in global tests. In the previous round of crash tests, the Tata Nano, Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Ford Figo, and VW Polo had also not made the Indian companies/subsidiaries proud.

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According to a report on indiatimes.com, Vishnu Mathur, SIAM’s Director General has referred to Global NCAP’s verdict as an act of ‘scaremongering’ though he did not say ‘why’ it would do that. Mathur also said that every country has its own safety requirements and the Indian cars are meeting the safety norms set by our government.

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He added that the protocol followed by Global NCAP was not designed for India and it should have taken our average speeds into consideration, which are ‘far slower’ here. Not surprisingly, Mathur mentions that “in Europe crash test is done at a speed of 56 km/h and not at 65 km/h as done by Global NCAP.”

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Well, Mr. Mathur, allow us to correct you here: it’s the ‘European legislation’ that requires the speed to be 56 km/h for frontal impact tests, but ‘Euro NCAP’, governed by Global NCAP (umbrella body of consumer car safety testing bodies), still does the testing at 64 km/h for European cars too! Mathur apparently did not have anything to say with reference to the Swift’s weaker shell structure as compared to its made-in-Europe counterpart, which got a full five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test.

SIAM would need to understand that rather than questioning Global NCAP’s test results, it should take it as a wake-up call and push all manufacturers to start making safer products. Again, SIAM would do well to highlight Toyota’s and VW’s initiative to provide airbags and ABS as standard equipment across all variants of their cars!


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