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Maruti Suzuki’s popular hatchback Swift and Nissan’s Datsun Go, which is a relatively newer offering in the Indian market, have failed the independent crash tests carried out by Global NCAP, the umbrella body of consumer car safety testing bodies.
“Crash tests of Nissan’s Datsun Go and Maruti Suzuki’s Swift demonstrate a high risk of life-threatening injuries with both cars receiving zero-star safety rating for their adult occupant protection,” Global NCAP said in a statement.
These risks would be significantly reduced if the cars had to comply with the UN test regulation for frontal and side impact, it added.
Both cars got zero stars for adult occupant protection in the test conducted at a speed of 64 km/hr. While Swift received one star for child occupant protection, Datsun Go got two stars.
The vehicle structure for both models showed sign of collapsing in the crash and were rated as unstable. The cars’ lack of standard-fit airbags, Global NCAP said, meant that the driver’s head makes direct contact with the steering wheel and the dashboard — “the dummy readings indicate a high probability of life threatening injuries.”
For majority of cars sold in India, air bags remain optional. Additionally no vehicle is required to be tested for its ability to withstand a frontal collision.
While in case of Swift, the car safety watchdog states that fitting airbags would improve occupant protection, for Datsun Go, it said, “The failure of the body shell makes it redundant to fit an airbag.”
Reacting to the report, Maruti Suzuki said, “The cars manufactured and sold by Maruti Suzuki in India fully conform to all the regulations that are presently applicable in India. On similar lines, cars manufactured for export to international markets fully conform to all the regulations of the respective importing country.’’ The company has given a choice to the customers to select variants having air-bags & ABS.
Nissan also in a statement said, “Datsun GO meets the required local vehicle regulations in India. It was developed with a strong intention to deliver the best adapted solutions to the local conditions, from best in class braking and good visibility to durability, seat comfort and reduced motion sickness — all being taken as a package aim to decrease potential risk of road accidents,” Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations.
From: The Hindu