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India’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki fared poorly on the crash test conducted by vehicle safety group Global NCAP. The vehicular safety group performed the crash tests for Maruti Suzuki’s two models—WagonR and AltoK10, Volkswagen’s Virtus and Skoda’s Slavia on Tuesday.
According to Global NCAP, while WagonR scored one rating in the adult occupant protection category, AltoK10 scored two stars in the category. Both models scored zero ratings in the child occupant protection category. Notably, Volkswagen’s Virtus and Skoda’s Slavia achieved five stars in both adult and child occupant protection. The Volkswagen’s Virtus and Skoda’s Slavia achieved a top star rating for adult and child occupants showing a stable structure, which offered good protection, the group said.
Global NCAP’s updated crash test protocols include assessments of frontal and side impact protection for all tested models as well as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and pedestrian protection. Side impact pole protection assessments are also required for vehicles scoring the highest star ratings.
According to the vehicle safety group, while the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 showed a stable structure and marginal to good protection for the adult chest to head in the frontal impact, it showed weak protection to the chest in the side impact. The WagonR also offered weak chest protection for the driver despite the improvements in the restraint systems by Maruti Suzuki since the previous version of the model was tested by Global NCAP.
Maruti Suzuki declined to nominate a Child Restraint System (CRS) for child passengers. The lack of three-point belts in all seating positions and the lack of standard airbags disabling a rear-facing CRS in the front seating position explains the zero score for child protection in both Maruti Suzuki models.
“Since 2014 Global NCAP has been encouraging a market shift in India for safer cars. We have been delighted with the positive response from Indian automakers and some global automakers as well. Although there has been some limited improvement, we are yet to see this safety commitment deployed in the most popular Maruti Suzuki models,” says Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Global NCAP.
“Given that six airbags are becoming a mandatory requirement for new models sold in India, it is particularly worrying for Global NCAP that Maruti Suzuki does not even make this requirement available as a customer option,” he adds.
In December last year, Maruti Suzuki’s three models—Swift, Ignis and S-Presso—bagged one star each in the adult occupant protection category at the Global NCAP crash tests. While Maruti’s popular hatchback model Swift secured one star for child occupant protection, Maruti Suzuki S-Presso and Ignis scored zero stars for child occupant protection.
The three Maruti Suzuki models, the Swift, S-Presso and Ignis, were tested in their basic safety specifications with two frontal airbags and anti-lock braking systems.
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