Global NCAP India Results

This is rather shocking. Global NCAP today released the latest crash test results of five new Indian-market cars, and all have been rated as zero star. The not so fantastic five are the Renault Kwid, Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon.

“The latest SaferCarsforIndia results show how important it is for cars to have a body shell that can remain stable in a crash. This is an absolutely crucial pre-requisite for occupant safety together with fitment at least of front airbags,” said David Ward, secretary general of Global NCAP.

He singled out Renault for criticism, and the message was direct. “It is very surprising that a manufacturer like Renault introduced the Kwid initially lacking this essential feature (airbags). Global NCAP strongly believes that no manufacturer anywhere in the world should be developing new models that are so clearly sub-standard. Car makers must ensure that their new models pass the United Nations’ minimum crash test regulations, and support use of an airbag.”

From L-R: The Renault Kwid as initially tested; the updated Kwid with driver’s airbag. Both scored zero stars

Global NCAP tested the standard version of the small, budget crossover (from RM15,469) without airbags. It scored zero stars in adult occupant protection (AOP) and two stars in child occupant protection (COP). The collapse of the structure in the passenger compartment and the lack of airbags explained the poor result.

Following safety improvements, Renault proposed that Global NCAP test an updated evolution of the Kwid in production from early April 2016. The car was tested with and without an airbag. Without an airbag, it scored zero stars in AOP and two stars in COP. The structure did not collapse, however it was rated as unstable and that it could not withstand further loadings. Testers found structural reinforcements, but only on the driver side.

The version with one (driver’s) airbag had the same AOP and COP scores. Same updated structure but a high compression in the dummy chest area explains the low score. The French carmaker has confirmed that it will implement further improvements to the Kwid.

“We welcome Renault’s efforts to correct this and we look forward to testing another improved version with airbags. Renault has a strong record of achievement in safety in Europe and it should offer the same commitment to its customers in India,” Ward said.

The other four cars didn’t fare any better, and each one had bodyshell integrity that was rated as unstable, including the big Mahindra Scorpio in the video above. “The bodyshell was rated as unstable and can not withstand further loadings,” Global NCAP commented on each of the five cars. All were made in India for the domestic market.

Change is on the horizon. Speaking at the Indian Automobile Safety Conference, Ward said: “The results highlight the importance of the Indian government’s decision to mandate front and side impact crash tests from October 2017. Legislative action is needed to ensure that the minimum levels of occupant protection recommended by the UN are guaranteed for Indian consumers. But manufacturers don’t have to wait for legislation and we urge them to act to eliminate all zero star cars from production as soon as possible.”

“Global NCAP also welcomes the forthcoming launch of a Bharat New Car Assessment Programme which can help build a market for safer cars in India,” he added.

Last month, Global NCAP wrote a letter to GM CEO Mary Barra after the Chevrolet Sail failed to get any stars in the Latin NCAP crash test.