Global NCAP Crash-Tests Ertiga, Santro, WagonR And Redigo
In 2014, Global NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) activated a campaign called ‘Safer Cars For India’. Since then, it has released nearly 30 crash test results for models sold on our shores. Now, it is back with the results of four more assessments. They are for the Hyundai Santro, Datsun Redigo and two Maruti Suzuki models – Ertiga and WagonR.
Let’s start with the top performer of the lot – the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. The seven-seat MPV scored three stars each for adult and child occupant protection in the event of a crash at 64kmph. The safety features in the variant tested included dual airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners for the driver, ISOFIX anchorages, a four-channel ABS and seatbelt reminder for front occupants. Global NCAP deduced that India’s bestselling MPV had unstable bodyshell integrity, and the seatbelt pretensioner for the front occupant did not work during the crash test. The Ertiga does not come with 3-point seatbelts for all, and that impacted the safety score negatively.
Next up, the Maruti Suzuki WagonR. When put through the same testing conditions as the Ertiga, the hatchback scored two safety stars each in adult and child occupant protection. The derivative tested had the following safety features – an airbag for the driver, seatbelt reminder for front occupants and a four-channel ABS. The car crash-testing agency says that the WagonR had unstable bodyshell integrity, including the footwell area. The absence of seatbelt pretensioners, an airbag for the front passenger and no ISOFIX anchorages did not help the overall safety score.
The WagonR’s arch-rival, the Hyundai Santro, was awarded two safety stars each for adult and child occupant protection. Although that seems like the same result as that of the WagonR, a closer inspection of numbers reveal that the Hyundai product is slightly less safe. The crash-tested mule had all the same safety gizmos as the WagonR, except for one – the seatbelt reminder in the Santro was only for the driver. The rest of the observations, including the unavailability of necessary safety gizmos, were the same.
The least expensive model tested came out with the least impressive safety score. Datsun’s Redigo scored a dismal one and two stars for adult and child occupant safety, respectively. The only set of safety gizmos which were part of the test mule were an airbag for the driver and a four-channel ABS. Like all others above, the Redigo’s bodyshell received ‘unstable’ rating. Global NCAP has highlighted that at the time of this study, the Redigo did not have seatbelt reminders in its package. That feature is part of the AIS-145 safety norms which were implemented in July this year.
With these results in place, you would question carmakers about their claims for passenger safety in their respective products. Where do you rank passenger safety when shortlisting a car?