India’s Car Of The Year, the Renault Kwid, didn’t fare very well at all in Global NCAP assessments earlier this year. At the most recent assessment this month, the latest version of the Kwid with the highest safety equipment level – a single driver’s airbag and a seatbelt pretensioner for the driver’s seat – achieved a one-star rating for adult occupant protection (AOP) and one star for child occupant protection (COP).

During testing, the higher trim level variant still showed high chest deflection ratings, hence the one-star rating for the driver. In the most basic variant of the Kwid, which does not come with airbags, it collected a zero-star rating for AOP, with the Kwid’s bodyshell integrity rated “unstable.”

Meanwhile, the Honda Mobilio was tested in two guises: a basic version, and a higher specification level unit with dual airbags. In basic form without airbags, the Mobilio was given a zero-star rating on the AOP front, and one star for child occupant protection. With the optional two airbags, the Mobilio scored three stars for adult occupant protection and two stars for COP.

“Renault has made limited progress, they should be offering their one-star car as the standard version, not an option. Honda too has shown that with two airbags they can achieve three stars. These safety systems should not be options. Renault and Honda make safe cars in other markets, they have the know how to make all their Indian cars much safer. We expect them to start doing so now,” said David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP.

“Automobile manufacturers should not enhance safety features as an option rather, safety should be an uncompromising standard,” added Rohit Baluja, President of the Institute of Road Traffic Education.