The Global New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), a car safety organization, announced that five popular Indian models have failed to meet safety standards after conducting crash tests.
The five models are the Renault Kwid, Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon. All of these models were manufactured in India for the Indian market, though Mahindra has made plans to export its cars to the United States.
The NCAP report shows that all five cars rated zero stars in adult occupant protections, and the vast majority received only two stars for child occupant protection (the Suzuki Eeco received one star). Some of the common reason which the NCAP cited include a lack of airbags as well as an unsafe or unstable structure which fails to protect the driver or passenger.
NCAP conducted the tests by crashing the cars head-on at a speed of 64 km/h (40 mph).
While the car companies did say that they will upgrade their cars to more stringent safety norms, they by and large dismissed the results. Maruti Suzuki claimed that its cars met Indian safety regulations and that the NCAP safety standards exceeded even the safety standards of Europe and American regulations.
Indian Drivers May Not Care About Global Safety Test
Over 2 million cars were for sale in India in 2015, and drivers have consistently shown that they are willing to pay less for cars with fewer safety features. For example, the Wall Street Journal reports that Toyota and Volkswagen AG are the only car companies in India which offer dual airbags on all models.
But this is not the first incident in which Indian cars utterly failed to meet NCAP standards, as the organization has tested Indian cars for the past three years with similar disappointing results. And in 2014, 141,526 individuals died in car accidents in India.
However, the Indian government appears to be making efforts to improve vehicle safety. All fresh launches will be required to have dual airbags in October 2017, and new cars of existing brands must have those airbags by 2019. It will also receive its own NCAP rating system known as Bharat NCAP in 2017, which will monitor cars for higher safety standards.