Alto K10 scores a zero in Latin NCAP crash test, exposes its total lack of occupant protection [video]

Posted on: Aug 12, 2013 - 6:33pm IST

A prime variant of India’s best selling family car, the Suzuki Alto K10, was crash tested for the first time by a regional car safety organization, Latin NCAP. Embarrassingly and shockingly, the car did not manage to score even a single star out of five maximum stars.

[Can’t see the video above? Head to Youtube]

Latin NCAP is an independent body put in place to provide car buyers an impartial assessment of a car’s safety in the Latin American & Caribbean region. They recently bought an Alto K10 and shipped it out to a lab in Germany where the assessment was conducted.

The Alto K10’s scores have been updated on the latest lot of results. Manufactured by Maruti Suzuki and shipped to South America, the K10 crumples badly in the frontal offset test, with the A-Pillar, front door, B-Pillar, roof and floor pan buckling under the crash forces. The dashboard and steering also collapse on to the driver in this test.

Latin NCAP published that “the high forces placed on the dummies pose an unacceptably high risk of death” and terms the body shell “unstable”.

Worryingly the Alto K10, which is based off a 1990s Suzuki Alto, does not provide a provision to fit an airbag to improve its scores.

You can read the crash test report on Page 2.

Next would you like to read more about the or more about Maruti Suzuki?

31 thoughts on “Alto K10 scores a zero in Latin NCAP crash test, exposes its total lack of occupant protection [video]

  1. Amala Singh says:

    By looks and feel, the ALTO 800 must be even more unsafe as it is not as well built as the old ALTO ( Also K 10). Should I go for a EON or buy ALTO 800?

    1. Sushrut says:

      Eon will most probably be no safer than Altok10 or 800 but still could be better with the airbag option. I don’t trust Maruti and have never bought Maruti cars because they use the thinnest gauge of sheet metal. You be the best judge and then decide. I will strongly recommend to go for Eon.

    2. Aman says:

      Safety is called “Luxury” in India.
      So,u can’t really choose between alto800 and Eon.

      Nano will fail in rear crash test.The nano which passed frontal crash test was a modified nano for complaince with European crash test norms.The frame structure was modified

      Safety means good solid structural strength,ability to absorb impacts and 6-airbags,ABS,etc.

  2. Carguy says:

    Many of the made for Asia budget cars being sold in India including the Toyota Etios (930 kg), Honda Amaze/Brio etc. if subjected to the current European/US crash tests will fair poorly. Anyway the manufactures can manage to sell these contraptions with a tinny boot attached behind, in the Indian market because many people think that even any structurally compromised vehicle is great provided it is from Toyota/Honda/Maruti.

  3. Carguy says:

    When the new Ford Fiesta was introduced in the Indian market, every model was initially sold with two air bags and ABS. It has a reasonably tough body shell reinforced with boron steel in addition to impeccable ride and handling (in fact one of the best handling car in the supermini segment worldwide) and had been awarded 5 star rating in Euro NCAP. Weaknesses related to any car shows up mostly at high speeds of above 100 kmph and good handling has a great role in making a car safe for its occupants.

    In spite of all the above plus points the car didn’t sell in good numbers as it does in every other country in the world where it’s sold because pricewise it had to compete with many other entry level sedans which were sold without ABS or 2 air bags.

    Ford then introduced a slightly lower priced model with just the drive side air bag and ABS. And when they introduced the EcoSport (another good vehicle in it’s own right), they provided one model without ABS and air bags to price it as low as possible. It worked very well for them and they got good response in the market. So till the govt. of India introduces mandatory crash testing and makes ABS, airbags and child seats compulsory for vehicles, even many among the highly educated Indians are not going to be willing to pay for these.

    1. Ganesh says:

      Btw., that ford Fiesta was ridiculously priced! We’ve seen Honda plonk Airbags and ABS in all the models of City and has been doing well albeit a Petrol only heart. The point here is the manufacturers consider Safely as Luxury in countries like India which is quite unfortunate and most of the time is not affordable!!

  4. david san says:

    suzuki makes worlds most dangerous for occupants car .OMNI was made in 1983 without any safety built into the vehicle yet sold for a very high price.Suzuki does not have a crash testing facility in India nor abroad unlike Tata who make very safe car , even nano has passed strict UK safety norms

    1. Unni says:

      On the other side , Suzuki make some of the world’s safest cars also .

      ex: Kizashi ( which is Top Safety Pick + rated )

      Only accord and Kizashi got good in front small overlap test.

      You get only what you paid for ..

      1. Veeru says:

        Not always, Nano passes European crash test norms, but Alto doesn’t. The point is Alto is a 20 year old platform, it doesn’t have any chance of passing crash test norms, with or without airbag, period.

  5. Deepak Chablani says:

    Great post Shrawan.

    Reminds me of a debate which happened on one of the blogs about the safety aspects of Tata Vs Maruti cars. A 30+ automobile engineer who felt that Tata cars were superior to Maruti cars in terms of safety was almost killed by the scores of Maruti fans on the blog !

    This should be quite an eye opener for the die hard blinded Maruti fans.

    Don’t go by names and brands and don’t be emotional while picking cars. Know more and get cheated lesser by the manufacturers !

  6. sandy says:

    Awaiting for this result, thank a lot. By the way, this Alto is without airbag and now they are providing airbag. So, if they have tested with airbag, than it would have gained half or 1 star.

  7. Anand says:

    Dear readers,

    Top versions of models equipped with advanced (ahem) safety such as airbags and ABS acount for less than 5% of the total mix for mainstream models.

    Why? We do not want to pay for safety.

    But, we definitely want to shout hoarse about it. Hypocrites.

    If insurance was not mandatory, most would have done with it too. Atleast the majority try to skirt it by paying for the the minimum third-party liability policy.

    Child safety seats? Most would not care about it, and continue to seat an infant in the lap.

    The concept of safety for an Indian motorist stems not for respect for other road users, but from intimidation. Hence you find all sorts of bull bars on all sorts of contraptions. Flood lamps replace head lamps and horns are never loud enough. Scarier the better.

    I will stop here, but i am certain the hypocrites on this forum know what they have bought and for what reasons. So my request is, put your money where your mouth is.

    Stop hypocrisy.


    1. Veeru says:

      Dear Anand, it’s not hypocrisy, it’s about awareness. In US/Europe you can’t sell a car without airbags, but in India we don’t have any such safety standards established. If Govt. establishes such standards, then car companies will have to produce every model with air bags & other safety standards. It’s hypocrisy on part of car companies, coz knowingly they are selling a car that is very poorly designed and is not crash worthy. I bet Nano will fare far better than this even without airbags.

      1. Anand says:

        Hi Veeru,

        It is hypocrisy when 95% people cry out aloud when mainstream cars fail/ perform miserably in crash tests, but only 5% of buyers actually put their money on models with safety features.

        Let us accept the facts that safety is not a top priority. If customers demanded it, auto makers would have jumped in to offer them.

        Price is king for the customer in India, and the brands are resorting to measures that customers are willing to stoop down to.


      2. Veeru says:

        Do not agree with you that 95% people cry out loud, fact is majority of car buyers simply are not aware of the importance of safety features. But certainly some of the people criticizing car companies for lack of safety features might be buying cars without those features. Govt. is the biggest culprit for not establishing safety/crash standards for passenger vehicles and also for not creating awareness on safety features/making them mandatory. Next in line are car manufacturers who are knowingly selling us such cars, which are not crash worthy.

      3. Anand says:

        Hi Veeru,

        Forget the 95% and 5% illustration. It was meant to serve as an illustration for the polar ends of our hypocrisy.

        Seatbelts are mandatory and so are helmets. Yet only few choose to put them on voluntarily. India has tonnes of laws for everything, yet lawlessness is the rule of the day in practie.

        Why should the govt be blamed for everything? Maybe it is typically indian to conveniently point fingers at others, but the self.

        We are keen to update ourselves with certain technologies such as bluetooth, but not keen to acquaint with safety – in theory and practice.

        We can blame the govt. for legislation, the police for execution and so on… but it will not solve the problems we face.

        Change begins with us. Let’s stop talking and start doing.

  8. Raja Ram says:

    ‘body shell unstable’ -This is really shocking. Does Maruti Suzuki even care about the people who made this best selling car of all time in India!

    Thanks for bringing this to our notice Shrawanji!


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About the Author
Shrawan Raja

I'm Shrawan, the Founder & CEO of I love teamwork and talking about cars.