The Indian-made Chevrolet Beat has failed the Latin NCAP frontal crash test, scoring a zero in both adult and child safety. Sold in Latin America as the Chevrolet Spark GT, it come as a shock because the car sold in the European markets has proven to be safer owing to more stringent safety regulations there. The structure of the Latin Beat though was deemed as stable. Latin NCAP didn’t conduct a side crash test as the vehicle had already failed the frontal assessment. In a crash test conducted by the European NCAP back in 2009, the six-airbags equipped Beat scored a very respectable four stars.
María Fernanda Rodríguez, the Latin NCAP president said that,”Once again we are very disillusioned by General Motors. As a global brand they offer good safety levels for other regions, they should show that all consumers, regardless of geography, are valued the same when it comes to safety”.
The Spark GT is manufactured at General Motors’ Talegaon plant in Maharashtra and is exported to parts of Latin America. Indian cars haven’t been scoring well in the NCAP tests for some time now. This comes right after the driver airbag-equipped Renault Kwid scored just one star in the Global NCAP test.
The Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) is an Indian initiative that the government plans to introduce in 2017. The BNVSAP will soon set up their own testing facility for conducting crash tests with minimum speeds of 64kmph, following the NCAP protocols, in order to achieve higher levels of safety. This will hopefully improve Indian vehicle standards in the process.
In India, Chevrolet does not offer airbags or ABS on the PS and LS variants. Instead, it offers a driver-side airbag on the LT variant, while the top of the line LTZ gets dual-airbags along with ABS. With the government making airbags and ABS standard on all cars in October 2018, inevitably, General Motors will have to make airbags and ABS a standard feature across all its cars.