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Old 17th February 2012, 17:54   #46
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Great point for discussion, but for discussion only. If govt wants it done, it can be done. If they don't, lets discuss this to death. After all this wouldn't be the only topic, but then again, what more do we do on a forum.

I think its time we think of ways how best practices of automobile sector can be implemented (not just discussed and forgotten) in our country. Why they are not implemented is okay if we are trying to find out some suspect causes, then validate the causes to reach to a main cause, find out the root cause and then think of a corrective action plan. But are we doing that?

Pardon my frustration but lately I've observed that all sorts of topics are being discussed and all non-bhpians have been blamed for worsening the traffic condition, not following rules, not making safe cars and what not.

I think its time we educated lot think of innovative and high impacting strategies (or even small ideas) by which we don't just talk about making a difference, we go do it.

A lot of bhpians have volunteered and shared experiences on how they've made a difference, now that's a thread I'd want to be on.

There's this IFFCO chowk (intersection) in Gurgaon where if you are coming from Delhi and have to take a u-turn you are able to do it effortlessly these days (more or less). Thanks to a team of 3-4 people who stood there with tripods and handycams mounted, manned at 3 different places, and started directly traffic sensibly and made a dedicated right-lane for people taking a u-turn with all sorts of signages put well before the u-turn and ensuring that anybody who'd ignore the signage must take a u-turn and not create problems for others.

I doubt those were traffic cops because all were dressed in civilian clothes with those orange illuminating jackets and looked, you know, well behaved, educated lot unlike gurgaon traffic cops that we usually see. Sorry but I couldn't think of any other way to distinguish them. If someone tells me they were indeed traffic cops then I'd really be hoping for a better tomorrow for our country.

They aren't seen on the intersection anymore but what was IFFCO chowk 6 months back and what it is now (they were there for a month or two), ask someone who comes from Delhi side and takes a u-turn these days.

I'd be game for an effort where bhpians from Delhi plan something similar. I've put my thinking cap on too, lets go out and do it this time!!
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Old 17th February 2012, 19:44   #47
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Apart from CBUs or CKDs almost every other model sold in India can be suspected on skimping on safety.
Judging them visually, quality wise or even the safety features it comes with is a futile exercise. Metal thickness, body weight, size are not the factors that decide how safe a car is.
A very heavy car carries higher momentum, resulting in poorer braking which ultimately results in higher impact energy.

The biggest expense in making a safe car is not material costs but R&D.

How and what makes a car safer?!

Safety of a car can only be measured by crash testing them in a set environment. This must be done by a neutral body and results made public.

The most important principals in designing a safe car are;
  1. A strong passenger cell (the part of the chassis that houses the passenger seating area)
  2. Energy dissipation (how the energy absorbed from a crash is dissipated away from the passenger cell)
Things like ABS, Airbags etc. are only secondary to this.

Why Crash testing is not mandatory in India?!

Again I believe the reasons are two:

1)Public apathy towards safety:

Majority of Indians put safety as their least important concerns when buying a vehicle. It’s actually a trend in most developing Asian nations. Manufacturers cannot skimp on looks, beige interiors, fake wood, features but safety can be so so. Even the informed ones are happy if the car has Airbags and ABS although the chassis might have the rigidity of a matchbox.

Take any of the best selling cars in their respective segments south of 8-10 lacs, they wouldn’t even allow to sell them in many Western markets including the likes of M800, Alto, Bolero, Sumo etc… It will be hard to digest that India’s favourite cars are unsafe but that is the brutal fact.

Of course there will be factors like fate, higher powers, reckless drivers but buying yourself a safe car must be the bare minimum requirement. It’s as straightforward as bikers wearing a helmet. It’s a stupid reason not to wear one because others can’t drive or your ticket have been punched by so called ‘higher powers’. If the public is least bothered about safety then it doesnt really become a concern for the goverment.

2) Resistance from Indian Auto Makers:
International carmakers have found a brilliant loophole allowing them to make India specific cars.
Similar to emission norms Safety standards in western markets keep increasing. So a car that earned a safety rating of 5 stars might struggle with 3 stars a couple of years down the line. The public wouldn’t even think of buying such a new car that has a poor safety rating.

So what does a carmaker do with such an outdated or comparably a less safer platform?!
Ship it to India and make an ‘India specific’ car. Nissan has decided to base its next Indian model on a two generation old Micra platform. If the principle works for Suzuki why not anyone else?!

Even scarier is how some smaller or rather opportunistic car makers how found this as an excellent opportunity to assemble Chinese kits and flog them in the market. People will simply fall for the size, looks, abundant fake wood and ultimately the price. The Chinese can ship them cheap because most developed markets won’t accept such death traps.

On the other hand this lack of safety standards also mean the Indian carmakers can continue to sell their outdated models. Consider the impact on profits if models like Alto and Bolero have to be discontinued on the basis of safety. It will never be allowed!!

But Indian carmakers could easily learn from Chinese lessons. Because our neighbours skimped on safety they have a pathetic reputation in developed markets and despite trying to push exports for nearly three decades now are literally non-existent due to their reputation of being unsafe.
The likes of Tata and Mahindra can learn from this in their efforts to be global players. They are still building a global reputation, so may as well make a good one rather than going down the Chinese route.

A good case study is the Mahindra Scorpio:

I know I will be put to the slaughter house for saying this.

Mahindra have a thriving tractor business in the US and also a large sales and service network. They noticed that there is a big vacuum for small affordable diesel pickups in the US especially aimed at the farming community. Its niche but even a miniscule size of the huge US market means big numbers for Mahindra.

They appointed distributors, announcements were done, a lot of excitement on the internet.

Unfortunately despite trying hard for half a decade this never happened. The Scorpio struggled through various safety and environmental approvals, kept postponing launch, lawsuits from distributors etc. etc… Had Mahindra designed a safer Scorpio from day one they would now have had a presence in the US market, then the world’s largest.

I followed these developments closely; Mahindra announced that the safety of the Scorpio has been ‘improved’. But this hardly was the case. Australian ANCAP crash tests done on the Scorpio pick up in 07 and then 4 years later in ‘11 revealed similarly poor results i.e. 2 out of 5 stars. While a comparable Toyota Hilux came with 4 stars in ‘05.

This is despite the 2011 model coming equipped with ‘safety features’ like airbags. Actually you might be worse off in an airbag equipped Scorpio as per the test:
‘The airbag was still deploying when the driver's head contacted it. This increased the risk of serious head and neck injury.’

2011 test



2007 test


Imagine the results if the likes of M800, Altos, Sumos and Boleros were tested.

Public perception and Manufacturuer priorities towards car safety should change otherwise we will simply have to continue living with these Desi’dized models.

Last edited by shortbread : 17th February 2012 at 19:49.
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Old 17th February 2012, 22:20   #48
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?


Thanks shortbread. That was a very good and concise description of what
'exactly' makes a car safer. Completely agree that Airbags/ABS are of little help if the body does not have the correct impact/crumple zones

It definitely looks like the government/ARAI is going to take a pretty long time to start/enforce 'safety' in cars. But in the meanwhile, there are many other things that can be done which might kinda force the govt. to act.

Firstly, it can be seen that in the U.S there is the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) which is a non-profit funded by the insurance agencies and provides the ratings based on the results of its crash tests. In fact, the IIHS safety rating is valued more than the NHTSA one (which is done by the government). Many of the car manufacturers tout the IIHS safety rating more prominently than the NHTSA rating while marketing their cars.

Since the IIHS are funded by insurance companies, they definitely make sure that the tests done properly. Do note that the insurance companies have more to lose in the form of claims/litigation, etc. (than the govt.) if the cars are not 'safe' as claimed.

In India the motor insurance companies can come together and create a similar safety agency to test cars (initially and then move to semis, etc..). Now seems to be the right time to start off something like this because things are changing on India's highways (4,6,8 lanes ===> higher speed ===> less margin of error ===> any mistakes/accidents will be more fatal).

For all you know, this might force the govt./ARAI to start their own crash testing facilities.
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Old 19th February 2012, 06:54   #49
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Lovely set of points made in this thread. One submission. I do believe that vehicles such as the bolero, scorpio, sumo, safari etc could do with at least the addition of disc brakes on the rear wheels along with ABS because this will significantly up their stopping power. As of now if at all one is forced to slam ones brakes in any of these vehicles when at speed, one runs the very real risk of the brakes locking solid and a huge skid from which one may not be able to steer out! Of course, one ought not to drive at break neck speeds in vehicles such as these, but catch the majority of the users of these cars listening to the voice of caution! In addition most of our Indian vehicles don't conform to pedestrian safety! Suppose one gets knocked by a BPO wagon and hurts one's self badly, one is probably as likely to die of blood poisoning as of one's injuries because most of these vehicles are no more than sharp edged rust buckets on wheels as of the current moment.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 19th February 2012 at 06:59.
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Old 19th February 2012, 21:34   #50
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

We do have India specific crash standards that all companies selling cars in India have to comply with. Unfortunately they are at least one generation behind what exists in the US, Europe and now China. This is because the domestic car manufacturers have requested time to acquire and implement these technologies. But eventually like airbags and ABS they will become commonplace.

What concerns me is that most users do not seem to care about simple safety rules like driving on the wrong side of a four lane highway or using seat belts. The best airbag technology is of no use if the occupants do not wear seatbelts!!
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Old 20th February 2012, 12:55   #51
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

It is like the 2 sides of a coin in India now. On one side, we have cars that are affordable and easy to live with, but on the compromise of safety. If we look at the accidents on Indian roads thread in here, we could see that almost every entry and mid level hatchbacks, compact sedans and sedans are seriously not worthy enough to be on the road. I would leave all the cars that has a European variant as when they tested there atleast they came out with a decent score. A Hyundai i10 scored 4 stars!!! That is quite an achievement if you look at what a 1998 Hyundai Accent (Hyundai Accent Viva in India) got. It got a shocking 2 stars!!.

I think it is high time the government should revamp what existed in the 50's and 60's. Rather than making the length or displacement of a car as a factor to cut down on taxes, it makes much more sense in ever possible way, if safety has a bear share in it. Now that is because, you may be having a car that is only 800CC and you'd be thinking, "how fast can I possible go in this thing to get myself killed anyway?" Mind you, you have started to kill yourself already then.

It is also high time we change our perception about cars too. Back in 2007 when I got my car which is a Baleno Vxi which I still use, I actually went to buy the esteem and came home with a baleno for the simple reason, it had a much more stronger chassis than the esteem and the power, which doesn't need any explanation. Well that is what I assumed atleast. Until I saw what it got for the Euro NCAP, it faired worse than the 1998 Hyundai Accent.

Safety by far has to be dealt with utmost priority. Well living without it can make the government rich, but the loss you would incur personally can never be valuated.
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Old 20th February 2012, 18:29   #52
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

The old warhorse FIAT PALIO was a very safe car. It was heavy because of safety features but returned a FE around 9 kmpl in city rides and hence failed to sell in the market.

I have seen some amazing crashes of the Palio but the drivers and passengers got away clean due great safety features built into this car.

The Indian consumer is not so concerned about safety features.
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Old 20th February 2012, 20:03   #53
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
. Metal thickness, body weight, size are not the factors that decide how safe a car is.
A very heavy car carries higher momentum, resulting in poorer braking which ultimately results in higher impact energy.

The biggest expense in making a safe car is not material costs but R&D.
[
Thank you for this enlightening post.

There is a general perception amongst car buyers that a heavier car with a thicker gauge of metal is safer. Many folks complain about newer generation cars 'disintegrating' even in moderate speed crashes without considering the fact that these cars are designed to 'disintegrate' to absorb & dissipate the force away from occupants.

Our forum is rife with opinions regarding solidly built SUVs & cars when the fact of the matter is that it is essentially the same solidity (minus proper design considerations) which actually ends up killing or maiming occupants
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Old 21st February 2012, 14:30   #54
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

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Originally Posted by tatsago View Post
We do have India specific crash standards that all companies selling cars in India have to comply with.
Quite wrong..

India's crash regulations are only in draft stage (refer here:https://www.araiindia.com/downloads.aspx?catg=pub ) stds 96,98,99,100. They are yet to be notified for implementation. Even if the gazette notification comes, it will take more than 3 years to implement. Also existing models (all that are launched even one day in advance to the actual implementation date) will get further 3 years to comply with the norms.

The proposed NATRIP facility where these testings will be done is still two years away.

EuroNCAP is an independent organisation formed by various groups (insurance companies, automotive majors, country national highway associations, etc.).

If there need to be an Indian equivalent, then we might face a scenario of corrupt babus & greedy agents / companies + politicians = total disaster.

IMHO, driving a car fully aware that it is not so safe is better than driving one that is certified 5* wrongly.

Last edited by rajess_in : 21st February 2012 at 14:32. Reason: missed link
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Old 22nd February 2012, 00:42   #55
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajess_in View Post
Quite wrong..

India's crash regulations are only in draft stage (refer here:https://www.araiindia.com/downloads.aspx?catg=pub ) stds 96,98,99,100. They are yet to be notified for implementation. Even if the gazette notification comes, it will take more than 3 years to implement. Also existing models (all that are launched even one day in advance to the actual implementation date) will get further 3 years to comply with the norms.

The proposed NATRIP facility where these testings will be done is still two years away.

EuroNCAP is an independent organisation formed by various groups (insurance companies, automotive majors, country national highway associations, etc.).

If there need to be an Indian equivalent, then we might face a scenario of corrupt babus & greedy agents / companies + politicians = total disaster.

IMHO, driving a car fully aware that it is not so safe is better than driving one that is certified 5* wrongly.
It might take NATRIP 3 years to setup this facility but it might take much longer for a company to redesign their vehicle platforms to comply with these regulations.

EuroNCAP numbers etc are just ratings that only help classify a product. If we really have to improve safety on Indian roads there has to be a lot more things to be done. For example I might be sitting in a car with a 5* EuroNCAP rating but might still not come out in one piece after crashing into a tractor coming the wrong direction on an expressway. In fact there was a crash a few weeks ago, on the Mumbai Pune Expressway, when a WagonR crashed into a construction truck trying to make an unmarked u-turn.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 10:14   #56
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tatsago View Post
EuroNCAP numbers etc are just ratings that only help classify a product. If we really have to improve safety on Indian roads there has to be a lot more things to be done.
Point taken.

Every car sold in Europe or US has to pass the bare minimum in crash worthiness testing to be legally sold.

EuroNCAP or other NCAPs' for the matter are differentiators of the cars safety mechanisms. They keep updating their regulations each year or quite often. This is done because if all cars become 5* then, which one is safe?

The NCAP scores apply only for the current year of test. As the economy of testing a car is huge, manufacturers do not repeat it for the next year.

The chances that a car rated 5* in 2010 will even get 4* in 2012 is very remote. Such is the methods adopted by the organizations.

Indian OEMs are equally good with their euro / jap / us counterparts in terms of safety. But adopting them would mean an increase in cost penalty which would strike down their VFM tags among the public.

Final thing is the general public; do they look for safety? Answer is a big no. Do they follow traffic rules? Again a no! Then giving even the latest safety equipments like ESP (mandatory from 2012 April in US & Europe), LDW (Lane Departure Warning), AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking - will come by 2015 in Europe), etc. are just cost additions and bear no meaning towards safety.

Remember, as long as we the public don't change our behavior and become disciplined in traffic, no matter what a OEM gives, you would still be hurt fatally.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 11:46   #57
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tatsago View Post
...EuroNCAP numbers etc are just ratings that only help classify a product. If we really have to improve safety on Indian roads there has to be a lot more things to be done. For example I might be sitting in a car with a 5* EuroNCAP rating but might still not come out in one piece after crashing into a tractor coming the wrong direction on an expressway. In fact there was a crash a few weeks ago, on the Mumbai Pune Expressway, when a WagonR crashed into a construction truck trying to make an unmarked u-turn.
Very true. I wonder wether NCAP ratings are of any practical use in India. If you look at the most serious fatal accidents in India the almost always involve a lorry/bus. With Indian trucks/busses so high, cars tend to go underneath the truck with the impact being taken by flimsy A pillars. The crumple zones in the bonnet will not be of much of help with the truck bumpers going straight into the occupants face/upper body
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Old 22nd February 2012, 12:33   #58
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tatsago View Post
EuroNCAP numbers etc are just ratings that only help classify a product. If we really have to improve safety on Indian roads there has to be a lot more things to be done. For example I might be sitting in a car with a 5* EuroNCAP rating but might still not come out in one piece after crashing into a tractor coming the wrong direction on an expressway. In fact there was a crash a few weeks ago, on the Mumbai Pune Expressway, when a WagonR crashed into a construction truck trying to make an unmarked u-turn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JediKnight View Post
Very true. I wonder wether NCAP ratings are of any practical use in India. If you look at the most serious fatal accidents in India the almost always involve a lorry/bus. With Indian trucks/busses so high, cars tend to go underneath the truck with the impact being taken by flimsy A pillars. The crumple zones in the bonnet will not be of much of help with the truck bumpers going straight into the occupants face/upper body
Well, NCAP ratings can be definitely used as an indicator right? Atleast you will have the comfort to know that the car your car offers protection in standard conditions.
The features are basically safety aids, and the best safety parameter in an automobile is the driver and his/her skills and presence of mind.

A recent illustration of car with good structural integrity is this thread (Nissan Micra Head On Crash with Truck.)
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Old 22nd February 2012, 13:00   #59
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

The manufacturers alone are not to be blamed here. They are just reacting to market reality. Why else do you think a massive majority of Maruti's sales are Altos and Omni vans that have zilch for safety? And this is our market's No.1 manufacturer in sales volume. People cannot afford safety. They don't see the need due to decade old ignorance about road safety and a cynical self-devaluation of Indian lives in their hands.

Let us not mention instances of Mercedes/BMW accidents that resulted from 200+ kmph speeds or run over by 4 feet GC trucks because those are different questions: driving safety and pedestrian safety in Indian trucks respectively.

To those finding fault with manufacturers: What is stopping us customers from buying only those cars that offer complete safety?

Well if you cannot afford, there is always mass transit.
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Old 26th April 2013, 15:44   #60
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Default Etios Liva Crash Test Result

I was looking for crash test data on India/Asia/Developing market specific vehicles like Etios and Brio and have found the crash test result for Etios Liva. Happy to see that Liva did well.

Posting here for interested parties.


More details at: http://www.latinncap.com/

If anybody have any crash test rating of Brio/Amaze from independent facility please post it here.
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