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Old 10th February 2012, 19:45   #1
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Default Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Ford Figo
Toyota Etios
Toyota Liva
Hyundai Eon
Honda Brio

The common denominator among the 5 models mentioned above is that - all are cars specifically designed by their manufacturers for the Indian market. None of the above cars are sold in Europe or USA.

Digressing a bit - quoting from Tata Aria 4x2 Official Team-BHP review -

Quote:
To save on cost and to make the vehicle lighter (thus, more fuel efficient too), some chassis members have been removed. The Aria 4x2 is unfortunately not Euro NCAP crash rating worthy, as its AWD sibling is.
So just because Aria 4x2 is being sold only in India, Tata has removed some 200 kgs of metal from the car and hence made it less safer than Aria 4x4.

Is it possible that Ford, Toyota, Hyundai & Honda have done the same for the models mentioned above? Their past record is not impressive - all the above manufacturers were/are guilty of selling cars without airbags/ABS just to keep costs low.

So when choosing between Swift & Brio or between Liva & i20 or between Figo & Punto or between Eon & A-star, should those who value safety above everything else consider this factor and generally avoid made-for-India cars?
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Old 10th February 2012, 20:08   #2
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Can't we have our own safety tests? Is it too costly or technologically difficult?
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Old 10th February 2012, 20:20   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolFire
Can't we have our own safety tests? Is it too costly or technologically difficult?
I guess not, but most manufacturers won't be happy about that. And for that reason, we'll never have our own safety tests or even our own safety standards. Sadly we're a nation that cares only about "kitna milta hai?" (Please excuse my Hindi)
Safety, emissions, power, and even styling are not priorities for most Indians, and manufacturers will always take advantage of this fact.

Last edited by one-77 : 10th February 2012 at 20:23.
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Old 10th February 2012, 20:27   #4
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

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Originally Posted by one-77 View Post
I guess not, but most manufacturers won't be happy about that. And for that reason, we'll never have our own safety tests or even our own safety standards. Sadly we're a nation that cares only about "kitna milta hai?"
Safety, emissions, power, and even styling are not priorities for most Indians, and manufacturers will always take advantage of this fact.
We are so obsessed about FE that safety / comfort are two non existent words at the lower end of the market.
And no - the car lobby shall ensure that India does not have its own crash safety tests/ratings in the future.
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Old 10th February 2012, 20:27   #5
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Forget "Made only for India" cars, how many of the Euro NCAP certified cars are sold in India without any changes? Many such cars have some safety features stripped off before being sold in India.
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Old 10th February 2012, 21:59   #6
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

These manufacturers will do what they are doing here any where else in the world if the mandatory rules aren't in place. These rules are enforced so they have to be complied with, here there aren't any so they knock off safety features. You have to enforce occupant/pedestrian safety just as you are (stage by stage) enforcing environment safety. Things will change for the better. But hope better sense prevails with the man behind the wheel/handlebar to prevent accidents. We have just come to the nascent stage where we are forced to buckle up; you may have 12 airbags but that amounts to nothing if you don't buckle up and drive sensibly.
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Old 10th February 2012, 22:07   #7
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

I always suggest my friends to buy a car with min Feature like ABS/Air Bags. Though its tough some time with their budget. I believe all the vehicle should start providing the Air Bag from the Base version only. Addition to this ABS should be optional (if customer want) for across version. I dont know how difficult it will be to add the ABS, I know there might be some ECM changes

Also all 1000 CC + car have ABS and Airbag as mandatory
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Old 10th February 2012, 22:12   #8
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

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Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
Forget "Made only for India" cars, how many of the Euro NCAP certified cars are sold in India without any changes? Many such cars have some safety features stripped off before being sold in India.
That's exactly what I thought too. In Europe or USA, basic safety features are included in the basic car, and most of the creature comforts can be customized. That's not the case here. Here we have to pay for the music system, alloys and what not, just to get the safety features.

I guess the above-mentioned cars are pretty safe if they are driven with their limitations in mind. In Europe or USA, you need ABS and airbags because the highways are designed for speed.

In India, unfortunately, highways are only designed to reduce the population. Moreover, people never keep the limitations of their cars in mind while driving. If everyone drives with a maximum speed of 100 kmph or 120 kmph (that's the limit in most parts of the world), I am sure most of the accidents can be avoided.

Note: not even EuroNCAP rating of 5 can save the occupants of a car colliding at 140 kmph into a truck, so no point in discussing that.
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Old 10th February 2012, 22:43   #9
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Among the cars mentioned here is my opinion.

Ford Figo - Sold in Europe as previous generation Fiesta. The version with Airbag, ABS must be relatively safer and confirm to those norms.

Honda Brio - Its sold in Japan and has undergone crash tests there. Brochure mentions it clearly and lays a lot of stress on safety.

Other cars I am not aware because neither the marketing material mentions anything about crash tests.

Considering the number of road accident deaths in our country, our Government must act proactive and include safety regulations, crash tests and mandatory equipments in all automobiles much in the lines of West controlled and governed by ARAI. It may hike up the costs of small and basic models a little but eventually economies of scale would catch up and not make much difference.
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Old 10th February 2012, 23:02   #10
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Ford Figo - 4 stars on NCAP (but the same question, as with all NCAP rated cars, remains that how much cost cutting on safety was done before launching it in India)
Source - Ford Fiesta | Euro NCAP - For safer cars crash test safety rating

Honda Brio - 94/100 for front impact and 95/100 for side impact. Untested for rear, as per UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Source - Honda Brio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Toyota Etios and Liva - Safety untested.

Hyundai Eon - Don't ask.

Last edited by DevilsCry : 10th February 2012 at 23:04. Reason: Forgot to add Eon
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Old 10th February 2012, 23:52   #11
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

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Originally Posted by DevilsCry View Post
Ford Figo - 4 stars on NCAP (but the same question, as with all NCAP rated cars, remains that how much cost cutting on safety was done before launching it in India)
If you want to get into Byomkesh Bakshi investigative mode, you can check the kerb weight of a car sold in UK (say, Suzuki Swift) and compare it with the kerb weight of the car sold in India (Maruti Swift). Weight of the cars are published under "specifications" page on all the car company websites.

So if the European Swift & Indian Swift weighs almost the same, it means Maruti hasn't removed a big heavy block of steel from the structure of the car. You can't do this check on Figo/Etios/Brio & Liva though
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Old 11th February 2012, 07:47   #12
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

I've read elsewhere in the forum, from some one who claimed to be well informed, about i20 having made some skimming of even the structure to reduce cost, yet bragging about its 5* NCAP rating.

But I have a more basic question: is it necessary to expect the same safety factors in India as it is held in Europe? The average speed of vehicles in Europe must be above 80, the same in India, I guess, should be around 40! My point is not that we can compromise on safety on account of the average speed, or traffic manners, just that the type of safety factors we concentrate on need not be the same as it is elsewhere. For instance, the structure, thickness of sheet metal used and a dual rate brake assist is far more important to me than ABS.
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Old 11th February 2012, 08:01   #13
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Maruti is the worst track on the safety part. They still sell significant part of the portfolio lacking safety features in models like M800, OMNI, Alto, Ecco etc. Even in the latest Swift they have compromised on safety features in the L & V models. Swift sells in huge numbers this super fast car on the highways. Most of the sales are in the L & V range and still Maruti thought nothing of skimping on the brakes.
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Old 11th February 2012, 10:01   #14
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

Good discussion! Thanks SmartCat.

I wonít really blame the manufacturers for selling cars without ABS/Airbags. Even in an informed forum like ours, we see members asking Ďwhy xxx manufacturer did not bring in a variant with no Airbags/ABS to make it more accessible to wider publicí. The supply is according to the demand. Otherwise I donít see a reason for a manufacturer like Honda to sell the Brio without airbags.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Ford Figo
Toyota Etios
Toyota Liva
Hyundai Eon
Honda Brio

The common denominator among the 5 models mentioned above is that - all are cars specifically designed by their manufacturers for the Indian market. None of the above cars are sold in Europe or USA.
Out of the models listed below, I personally feel the Figo will be relatively safer. Reason, even though there is no ABS/Airbags, the car gives a solid feel, and even the doors feel pretty heavy, and does not look compromised on the structural integrity. Even the Ikon (another made for India car) we had, been devoid of any safety features, but were pretty good in this aspect. And when I drove back to back the made for India Figo and the international Ritz/Splash, the Figo felt safer.

I donít know about the Eon, but the Etios really looked like a compromise when it comes to safety (again it was launched after months of market study and public preferences).

The Brio again should score better in this case and itís not really an India specific model. It was on sale in Thailand before it came to India.

To conclude, I donít think all the manufacturers really does not compromise on safety when it comes to made for India models. And if someone has to choose between the base variants of the local Figo and international Swift, or between the Brio and Ritz, I will recommend the Figo and Brio respectively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolFire View Post
Can't we have our own safety tests? Is it too costly or technologically difficult?
Technologically it may not be difficult. But it will be difficult to have a credible and manipulation-free system in place.
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Old 11th February 2012, 11:22   #15
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Default Re: Crash Safety - Are Figo, Eon, Etios, Liva & Brio Safe Enough?

On second thought, I don't think a monocoque chassis can be modified much (compared to Ladder on Frame) to reduce the weight.

Just out of curiosity, I tried checking Ford Figo's South African specifications. I could not find any info on the weight of 1.4 TDCi. Note that 1.2 petrol is sold only in India. South Africa gets 1.4 litre engine.

Anyway, although not in the topic, I checked about Suzuki Swift in South African, Australian and UK websites. In RSA and Australia, Swift gets only K14B engines, so we can't really compare. Here is a screengrab of UK's specifications (I think the 1.2 petrol in UK is slightly bigger than Indian one - 1250 cc):
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