Global NCAP: Crash tests of Nano, i10, Figo & Alto show India’s cars are unsafe

Global NCAP Indian cars Test results

India is certainly a very big automotive market in the world and is ranked the sixth largest auto maker. More than 50% car sold is the hatchback segment mostly under 4 metres. India’s largest selling car is the Maruti Suzuki Alto. Global NCAP conducted the first-ever independent crash tests of some of India’s most popular small cars: Tata Motors Nano, Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo which have shown a very high-risk of life threatening injuries in road crashes.

All the cars selected by Global NCAP for testing in a frontal impact at 64km/h received zero-star adult protection ratings. The cars chosen account for around 20% of all the new cars sold in India in 2013.

Max Mosley, Chairman of Global NCAP commented:

“it’s worrying to see levels of safety that are 20 years behind the five-star standards now common in Europe and North America. Poor structural integrity and the absence of airbags are putting the lives of Indian consumers at risk.”

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Tata Motors Nano and the Hyundai i10 collapsed to carrying degrees and have less robust structures which result in high risks of injuries and deaths in India. The models had a very weak structure and even fitting airbags would not be effective in reducing the risk of serious injury. The Figo & Polo structures remained stable.

All the models also failed the UN’s basic safety test with  40% offset frontal impact test at 56km/h is now widely applied by major manufacturing countries and regions, including Australia, China, European Union, Japan and Malaysia.

Ford Figo passed despite not having a driver airbag when the dummy’s head narrowly avoided hitting the steering wheel directly. Volkswagen Polo with two airbags was awarded a pass based on dummy readings from the 64km/h crash.

Automakers have been compromising heavily on the safety of cars to make the cars more affordable. Today’s cars are packed with features which are mainly cosmetic and important parameters like robust structure, ABS, airbags and other safety features are given less priority. VW have just announced the launch of Polo with airbags as standard feature on all variants starting February 1st.

Tata Motors Nano

Tata-Nano-crash-test

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.

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800

Suzuki-Maruti-Alto-crash-test

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.

Hyundai i10

Hyundai-i10-crash-test

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

Ford-Figo-crash-test

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.

Volkswagen Polo

VW-Polo-no-airbags-crash-test

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

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.

Crash test reports

[slideshare id=30674730&doc=globalncaptestresults-140131111137-phpapp02&type=d]

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