IAB Report – Figo, Alto 800, Nano, i10, Polo receive Zero-star in global NCAP tests


Karthik H,

A bit of a car freak and a bike nut, and a fan of trucks and technology too. Expect sharp stories that focus on those four fronts. As always, stay tuned to IndianAutosBlog.com for quick and unassuming updates from across the world.

In a not-so-shocking revelation, the first-ever independent crash test ratings of some of India’s most popular hatchbacks have received 0-star adult protection ratings when subjected to frontal impact tests at 64 kph. All but one of the five models tested also failed the UN’s basic safety test. The global plan for UN’s decade of action for road safety recommends that all member states apply this test, but India hasn’t, yet.

Global NCAP Ford Figo crash test press shot
The Ford Figo got a ‘Stable’ rating for its structure and two-star rating for child protection.

The cars tested include Maruti Alto 800, Ford Figo, VW Polo, Hyundai i10 and Tata Nano. These cars were chosen because they account for over 20 percent of all car sales in India. Max Mosley, former president of FIA and current chairman of Global NCAP says, “It is worrying to see levels of safety that are 20 years behind the five-star standards now common in Europe and North America”.

Global NCAP Hyundai i10 crash test press shot
The Hyundai’s i10’s structure was rated ‘Unstable’ and it received a one-star rating for child protection.

A report released by Global NCAP, the independent agency that conducted the tests, has been made available to IndianAutosBlog and suffice to say that the report makes for dismal reading. For instance, one of the conclusions in the report is that a combination of sound structural integrity and airbags as standard equipment is a sure way to exceed the minimum UN crash test standard at 56 kph. They also offer adequate levels of protection in a higher crash speed of 64 kph, the report concludes.

Global NCAP Maruti Alto 800 crash test press shot
The Maruti Alto 800’s structure was rated ‘Unstable’ making it unfit for fitting airbags and it got a two-star rating for child protection.

All cars were purchased by Global NCAP in dealerships in India and exported to Germany where it was tested at ADAC, the country’s largest motoring organisation. Manufacturers were invited to view the tests which were carried out by experts.

Global NCAP VW Polo crash test press shot
The VW Polo got a ‘Stable’ structure rating, but zero-stars for the version without airbags and a four-star rating for a version with.

The damning report goes on to say that the Alto 800, i10 and Nano had such structural weaknesses that even fitting airbags would not be effective in reducing the risk of serious injury. The structures in these three cars, the report says, proved inadequate and collapsed to various degrees.

Global NCAP Tata Nano crash test press shot
The Tata Nano failed miserably on all counts, getting an ‘Unstable’ rating for its structure and proving to be impossible to fit child seats.

All cars had frontal crash tests conducted at 64 kph to test for adult protection rating. The UN’s test was conducted at 54 kph. All cars except the Ford Figo failed this UN test. Following are the report’s comments on individual models:

Maruti Alto 800

The Alto 800 received a zero-star rating for its adult protection. The vehicle’s structure was rated unstable making it unsuitable for fitting air bags.

[Can’t view the video? Head to Youtube]

Using the child-protection seat recommended by the OEM gets the Alto 800 a two-star rating for child protection.

Tata Nano

The Tata Nano received a zero-star rating for its adult protection and it was impossible to install child seats in the car, giving it a zero-star rating for child protection as well.

[Can’t view the video? Head to Youtube]

An unstable vehicle structure left no way to fit airbags.

Hyundai i10

The Hyundai i10 also received a zero-star rating for adult protection and its structure was rated unstable.

[Can’t view the video? Head to Youtube]

Use of the child seats recommended by Hyundai resulted in a one-star rating for child protection and the three-year old dummy indicated a high risk of serious injury.

Ford Figo

The Ford Figo too received zero-star rating for adult protection. However, its structure was rated as stable, but without fitting airbags, too much of the crash energy was absorbed directly by the dummies.

[Can’t view the video? Head to Youtube]

Using Ford recommended child seats gave it a two-star rating for child protection.

VW Polo

Without any air bags, the VW Polo received a zero-star rating despite its structure rated stable.

[Can’t view the video? Head to Youtube]

With two airbags (Driver and front passenger), the Polo managed a four-star rating. Using VW recommended child seats got the Polo a three-star rating for child protection.

[Can’t view the video? Head to Youtube]

It is to be noted that VW has withdrawn the sales of Polo without airbags in India, offering it as standard across the Polo range.

Full Global NCAP report

[Can’t see the pdf? Head to SlideShare]

[Can’t see the file? Head to SlideShare]

Global NCAP Q&A report

[Can’t see the file? Head to SlideShare]

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