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Old 17th November 2016, 14:01   #1
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Default Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

Tata Zest scores 4 star in Global NCAP crash test

As part of the #SaferCarsforIndia campaign, Global NCAP tested two versions of the Tata Zest. While the standard non-airbag version resulted in a disappointing zero star score for adult occupant protection and one star for child occupant protection, the Zest with two airbags achieved an impressive four-star score in adult occupant protection.

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With the zero star rating for the standard version, Global NCAP offered Tata Motors the opportunity to test another version of the Zest with more safety features as has been the case with other manufacturers. Accepting the opportunity, Tata introduced a structural improvement to the entire Zest range while Global NCAP tested the new version with optional airbags .

Quote:
The Zest with two airbags and two pretensioners showed very substantial improvements and, together with the seat belt reminder in the driver seat, the Zest achieved a four star score in adult occupant protection. Tata also selected other child restraint systems for the airbag version, improving the rear seat child occupant protection to 2 stars.

Tata have announced that the improvements made to the structure will be brought to the entire vehicle range, for both airbag and non-airbag versions
Two Airbag Variant,
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No Airbag Variant,
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Tata also selected other child restraint systems for the airbag version, improving the rear seat child occupant protection to 2 stars.




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Last edited by volkman10 : 17th November 2016 at 14:20.
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Old 17th November 2016, 14:30   #2
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

4* rating for model with airbags - That is a very good news. Hope Tata standardize dual air bags in all variants.

Comment by David Ward, Sec General, Global NCAP

"TATA has shown how the can dramatically improve the safety of the Zest. It is encouraging to see a major Indian brand improving the safety of their models. We strongly encourage Indian consumers to opt for the much safer 4* rated option. We also urge Tata to consider making the two airbag version of the Zest their basic model"

Last edited by Latheesh : 17th November 2016 at 14:38.
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Old 17th November 2016, 14:36   #3
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

From GNAP site, report http://www.globalncap.org/tata-zest-...sult-in-india/

Significant fact is that the car with no airbags was also structurally weak.

With airbags, and structure strengthened

I hope TATA, as announced, only sell the structurally sound car from now on.

Last edited by heavenlybull : 17th November 2016 at 14:38.
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Old 17th November 2016, 14:56   #4
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

This is strange.

If they have an in-house crash test facility, why couldn't they simulate these tests during the design phase itself? They could have included these changes before the first unit made it out of the factory!

What's the point of investing in in-house crash test facilities if you need to be schooled by Global NCAP test-results!?

Also, what about existing Zest customers? Should they drive a car which they know is unsafe? Would Tata be doing retrofits of these changes to existing cars, I think not, because that'd amount to a recall! What a fiasco in my opinion!

We just took delivery of a Tiago. Is it also similarly structurally weak? Will Tata make changes to it after a Global NCAP test brings out weaknesses and destroy our peace of mind? I did not see anything about crash test results in any brochure or on the website, because wait for it, nobody bothers about these things in India.

I hope the NaMo government also looks at this area in the automotive industry and makes crash test compliance a mandatory pre-requisite for homologation as per internal regulations. And if they do focus, I'm sure they'd 'just-do-it'.
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Old 17th November 2016, 15:07   #5
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

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Originally Posted by AbhisheKulkarni View Post
This is strange.
I do not think Zest variant without airbags is structurally very weak. Body shell is intact even in the model without airbags. Looks like structural changes done are minimal, and they are going to incorporate the same in future cars.

Vehicles made by other companies crumbled like cardboard boxes during GNCAP tests.

Having an in-house crash test facility does not allow them to certify their car. I have seen a crash tested Zest inside their facility, and body shell was intact.

Zest can join VW Polo and Toyota Etios if TATA make dual airbags standard - All three have GNCAP 4* rating (cars under 10L- any other?)

If your Tiago has ABS + Airbags - Nothing much to worry.

Last edited by GTO : 18th November 2016 at 12:48. Reason: Typos
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Old 17th November 2016, 15:14   #6
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

I am afraid this news might be a little too late to cherish. Nevertheless, hope it improves the dwindling sales.

I am expecting similar safety rating for Tiago as well.

And this is a big smack on the face for those who disregarded Tata vehicles for its poor build quality and niggles.

For comparison, even the Etios and Polo have a 4-star safety rating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbhisheKulkarni View Post
This is strange.
We just took delivery of a Tiago. Is it also similarly structurally weak? Will Tata make changes to it after a Global NCAP test brings out weaknesses and destroy our peace of mind? I did not see anything about crash test results in any brochure or on the website, because wait for it, nobody bothers about these things in India.
Please watch the crash test of Scorpio, Kwid etc. Those are proper examples of being structurally weak, where the A-pillar and roof is heavily affected upon the crash.

Last edited by jetsetgo08 : 17th November 2016 at 15:19.
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Old 17th November 2016, 15:17   #7
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latheesh View Post
I do not think Zest variant without airbags is structurally very weak. Body shell is intact even in the model without airbags. Looks like structural changes done are minimal, and they are going to incorporate the same in future cars.

Vehicles made by other companies crumbled like cardboard boxes during GNCAP tests.

Having an in-house crash test facility does not allow them to certify their car. I have seen a crash tested Zest inside their facility, and body shell was intact.
My only concern as a customer is why could this not have been done apriori. If proper due-diligence was done - that is - the test(s) was/were reproduced/executed in their crash test facility, these improvements could have been incorporated by design.

However now, they have to declare to the world that existing units would not be 4* NCAP compliant ones as they don't have these improvements. Which doesn't augur well for current customers in my opinion.

It may be the case that the weakness is not significant as you say, however unless this can be quantified appropriately, it serves only to create a negative perception in the mind of an existing customer.

Last edited by GTO : 18th November 2016 at 12:49. Reason: Quoted post edited
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Old 17th November 2016, 15:21   #8
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

Good to see Tata doing well on the global platform.
Just shows that all companies have the technical know how to design cars which are safe, but they are reluctant until they are pushed to use those features.

It's a strange things that cars that aren't very popular- Zest, Etios and Figo have the best crash ratings for any mass-market automobile sold in India.
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Old 17th November 2016, 15:36   #9
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

Could someone enlighten me if the current models being sold in India are classified as structurally weak or strong? If someone was to buy the top model of Zest, will it be a structurally strong model as shown in the second video? Is Tata making two different types of Zest in terms of structural integrity?
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Old 17th November 2016, 15:56   #10
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

Im afraid if the whole purpose of the #SaferCarsForIndia and the random tests by GNCAP is getting lost. With GNCAP allowing manufacturers to come back with "Structurally improved" cars for re-test, how can we customers be sure that we also get the improved car? How can we be sure that this is not just a temporary improvement made using which manufacturers are gaining a lot of marketing mileage??

Renault and now Tata have been given opportunities to come back with improved specimens for testing and they have shown considerable improvement compared to the initial models tested - what is to be noted is that the market is still getting the initially tested model i.e. structurally unsafe model. However, they can very well market that their GNCAP rating is so and so. GNCAP should still randomly pick cars from the dealer based on the manufacturing date to confirm if the improvements have really been made to the production model.

I still fail to understand if we are jumping the gun in appreciating Tata for what they have accomplished.
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Old 17th November 2016, 15:59   #11
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I have always been fond of the package that the Zest diesel offers. The 4* NCAP rating is an icing on the cake. I really hope TML makes this a strong point while marketing the Zest. All I see them talk about is the revotron and the driving modes. They never talked about their real USP- diesel automatic. Sigh!

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Old 17th November 2016, 16:04   #12
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

See Tata announcing that Structural improvements would be made across the range as positive.

Car models without airbags will always perform poor on these tests.

Sadly we don't have negative ratings else some other brands tested earlier would have -ve ratings.
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Old 17th November 2016, 16:04   #13
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

Just saying that a car is structurally weak or strong because of its weight (or lack thereof) and therefore it has good or bad crash test results is misleading.

Dealing with a crash is all about absorbing or dissipating the kinetic energy of the car by deforming or crushing various parts. The hard part of designing a car's structure is ensuring that the kinetic energy is absorbed in the right amount, at the right speed and the right direction. This might mean that the chassis is intentionally weak in some areas (crumple zones) and stronger in others.

People used to say that an Ambassador is stronger than Marutis. Most people realised from seeing crashed cars that this probably wasn't true. Then people said that the Etios is flimsy and unsafe until the NCAP results proved them wrong. It seems to be very hard for a many people to NOT associate weight with safety and value for money. The Baleno is currently the most ridiculed car for its light-weight build. The shell may be light and somewhat flimsy but it's strong where it counts.

The improved Zest is a welcome move by TML but it's disappointing that they had not done it before, given their engineering capabilities. Almost no Zest sold in India so far will have the improved chassis.

Edit: I just noticed that both tests are dated March 2016. I wonder when the car was originally tested and when the improved car was started to be delivered to customers locally.

Last edited by Motard_Blr : 17th November 2016 at 16:07.
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Old 17th November 2016, 16:26   #14
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

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Originally Posted by Motard_Blr View Post
Then people said that the Etios is flimsy and unsafe until the NCAP results proved them wrong. It seems to be very hard for a many people to NOT associate weight with safety and value for money. The Baleno is currently the most ridiculed car for its light-weight build. The shell may be light and somewhat flimsy but it's strong where it counts.
Just a couple of points since you spoke about Baleno and Etios -

1. The Baleno gets a 3-star safety rating (Euro NCAP) vs the 4 Star rating on the Zest. For many (not all) cars which get a good safety ratings, you will see the weight of the tested model is higher than the equivalent Indian model. Beyond a certain point, trimming weight (for cutting-costs) would adversely impact safety.

2. Thick sheet metal may not make the structure safer for passengers, but is good to keep the car exteriors in good condition. Just make a note of number of Etios and Innovas with depressions on their boots (I have one on my Innova - when some security guy perhaps tried to push-close the rear hatch). These are more prone to cosmetic injuries (if my may put it that way) than those with stronger sheet metal. This is very relevant when you have low impact collisions - a rather common scenario, given our driving environs.

Last edited by sachinayak : 17th November 2016 at 16:27.
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Old 17th November 2016, 16:27   #15
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Default re: Tata Zest's NCAP Test: 0 stars with no airbags, 4 stars with airbags & reinforcements

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Originally Posted by rdhawan15 View Post
Could someone enlighten me if the current models being sold in India are classified as structurally weak or strong? If someone was to buy the top model of Zest, will it be a structurally strong model as shown in the second video? Is Tata making two different types of Zest in terms of structural integrity?
I'm going to go a bit techie on my answer - please bear. Structure of a car by design is usually the same across all variants. It is a HUGE challenge to plan, build, store, inventorize and variant different body structures - simply because, it is a body, not a built-up vehicle. So to answer your question, yes, body structure is usually the same across all variants for a product. Some OEMs resort to extreme cost cutting wherein air-bag and non-airbag versions have slightly different body structures but with aig-bags becoming standard across all variants, this strategy is fading out.

To answer your other question that is implicit to the one you are making, by design, GNAP ratings are a default 'zero' if the variant tested does not have air-bags. Going by this logic, even a locomotive will have 'zero' star rating. simply because there are not airbags to the front occupants.

Hope this helps!
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