The popular Maruti Suzuki Swift missed the mark by a rather large margin in the Global NCAP crash tests. The Swift, along with the entry-level car from Datsun, the Go, scored a zero in the tests. Both the cars tested were base variants.
The testing agency, Global NCAP, requires all the cars tested to have ABS and airbags as standard. By the absence of these alone, the Go and Swift failed the tests. Maruti offers airbags and ABS only on the top variants of the Swift while Datsun doesn’t offer those even as an option. After the crash tests were conducted, Global NCAP concluded that the Swift’s structural integrity was unstable. In contrast, the European Swift got a five-star certification from Euro NCAP. The crash dummy driver in the Indian Swift underwent near fatal injuries and so did the dummy passenger. These tests were conducted at speeds of 64kmph.
The Swift’s body shell though didn’t disintegrate as badly as the Go’s. According to the testing agency, the damage to the Go’s body was so severe that both the passenger and driver dummies had fatal injuries to the head, legs and torso. Ā The NCAP has also declared that fitting an airbag in the Go will not improve its crash worthiness. NCAP secretary general David Ward says, “Prompt action like this would prevent the introduction of brand new models like the Datsun Go, which has body structure so weak that is pointless to fit an airbag.”
Datsun Go though fared a tad better than the Swift in the child protection test. The Go scored two stars while the Swift got one. Earlier this year, Ā popular car models in India including the Tata Nano, Ford Figo and Maruti Alto also failed crash tests. Following the results of these tests, manufacturers like Volkswagen and more recently, Toyota have made dual airbags standard in the Polo and Liva respectively.
Nissan India said that it is āwilling to adopt as well as help evolve standards in vehicular safety.ā Maruti hasn’t commented so far. Ā On the sidelines, Global NCAP welcomed the Indian NCAP’s decision to implement addition of ABS and airbags as standard on all cars by 2016. Global NCAP further believes that the UN’s minimum crash safety standards should form the basis for NCAP India’s regulation making.