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Best-selling #Indian small #cars fail crash tests: 10-point cheat-sheet
The Tata Nano, billed as the world's cheapest car, and four other India's top-selling small cars have failed their first independent crash tests, a global safety group New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) revealed on Friday. Small vehicles are the biggest segment of the price-sensitive Indian car market, which is coveted by global brands and domestic manufacturers as working-class consumers upgrade from two- to four-wheelers.
HERE’S 10-POINT CHEAT-SHEET TO THIS BIG STORY:
The five entry-level vehicles -- including India's best-selling small car the Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800, as well as the Ford Figo, the Hyundai i10 and the Volkswagen Polo -- scored no stars out of five for protection. The NCAP said the five vehicles it tested accounted for about 20 percent of all new cars sold in India annually.
The tests saw the basic models, all without airbags, driven at 64 kilometres an hour (40 miles) into a block simulating a head-on collision. NCAP also tested the cars in a crash simulation according to United Nations standards -- a frontal collision at the slightly slower speed of 56 kilometres an hour -- and none of them passed.
All would leave the driver facing life-threatening injuries. (Made-in-India cars crash tested for the first time)
The NCAP tested only the basic models of the cars in question and it said the Figo and Polo would provide much better protection if fitted with airbags, which were an optional extra. But the Nano, the i10 and the Alto had "inadequate" structures that meant that even air bags would "not be effective in reducing the risk of serious injury".
The results are an indictment of the auto industry in India, which lacks adequate safety standards, said David Ward, head of the London car-safety watchdog Global NCAP, which performed the crash tests. India has some of the deadliest roads in the world. Drivers should be "educated and protected by regulation, but that's not happening in India," said Mr Ward.
The models tested were bought locally and any exports from Hyundai, Ford and Volkswagen, which have factories in India, would be subject to safety regulations in their final market.
The Tata Nano was the brainchild of the former boss of the Tata conglomerate Ratan Tata who wanted a cheap car for the masses. But it has flopped since its launch in 2009, partly due to poor marketing.
Tata has said it would like to export the Nano but has previously raised safety problems as an impediment. Today it said, "Tata Motors sees safety as a priority, and is going to closely review the results of the Global NCAP test, before drawing any conclusions vis-a-vis its product strategy. However, all its cars do meet all Indian safety regulations as mandated by the government, at this time."
As a result of the tests, Volkswagen has withdrawn its Polo model without airbags. In a statement the company said, "We have decided to have front dual airbags as standard on the Polo, as our continuing commitment to safer and better driving."
Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Ford India have also issued statements saying their cars meet Indian safety regulations.
Official Link -- http://www.globalncap.org/crash-tests-show-indias-cars-are-unsafe/
- 38 days ago via site