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Old 29th February 2008, 05:51   #16
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You probably won't get the whiplash when a vehicle hits you at 10-20 kmph from behind. It is more of concern in countries like Japan where you have vehicles travelling behind one another with considerable speed keeping a short distance in between.
it is even useful in a head on collision, if you are wearing a seat belt then you need headrests. during a head on collision yo will move forword and the seat belt will stop you banging against the front seat, which will make you move backword and if you don't have a head rest it is highly likely to get injured!!
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Old 29th February 2008, 09:20   #17
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Default What about Side Impact Beams in doors

I guess a lot of models are missing those. I guess this is one feature which can save life in if a car hit you on the door. Front has got crumple zone and there is distance from bumper to front seat, but door with just thin steel sheet???
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Old 9th November 2009, 00:00   #18
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Default Are cars tested for safety after each cost cutting or facelift?

Any car before being launched are subjected to many safety/crash tests and are sold only after they pass them.In the coming years,the auto manufacturers come up with umpteen number of cost cutting measures from reducing the sheet metal thickness to replace better plastics with cheaper plastics. For example, when alto was launched, the car was very high on quality and felt real solid, but the alto available now is definitely not of the same quality, but still being sold in the market. Do the manufacturers go through safety tests after each cost cutting measure or facelifts?

Mods, I searched the forum for similar topics and dint find any. If there are similar threads, please merge.

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Old 9th November 2009, 00:07   #19
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Any car before being launched are subjected to many safety/crash tests and are sold only after they pass them.In the coming years,the auto manufacturers come up with umpteen number of cost cutting measures from reducing the sheet metal thickness to replace better plastics with cheaper plastics. For example, when alto was launched, the car was very high on quality and felt real solid, but the alto available now is definitely not of the same quality, but still being sold in the market. Do the manufacturers go through safety tests after each cost cutting measure or facelifts?

1) The real safety equipment is not the sheet metal thickness, but the chassis in case of monocoque cars. This has nothing to do with chassis strength. There is difference between sheet metal thickness and chassis strength.

2) Forget safety tests after changes of cost cutting, the cars are not even tested when launched. There are a number of parameters that come into picture.

3) IMO, cost cutting is done by almost all manufacturers. Its evident when same cars available in developed markets feel different than their Indian counterparts.
We have a long way to go before jumping on to topic of safety testing after cost cutting.
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Old 9th November 2009, 00:13   #20
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@aaggoswami, The sheet metal was just an example for the cost cutting measures taken by various manufacturers. All I am trying to understand is if the vehicle is getting lesser road-worthy with each iteration of cost cutting? Do we have any law that requires auto manufacturers to test the vehicle again? or is there a loop hole that our manufacturers are exploiting?
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Old 9th November 2009, 00:16   #21
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^ When the sheet metal thickness is decreased the strength of the crumple zone decreases appreciable.The chassis stiffness comes into play when the impact crosses the threshold of crumple zones .At this point the energy of impact is moved away from passenger shell .
And the concept of removing atleast 1 gm from every component is very famous with Maruti/Suzuki.
And we still have to go a long way before tests are done for each facelifted model.
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Old 9th November 2009, 06:48   #22
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Do the manufacturers go through safety tests after each cost cutting measure or facelifts?
Cruiser: Yes, they do. Atleast the one Indian manufacturer who's functioning I'm quite aware of does. I would assume that they follow industry standards.
Of course, it depends on what has change been done. Since safety regulations in some export markets are more stringent than our home market, tests will be done for any changes that could affect this.

For example, nder Euro NCAP requirements, pedestrian safety is very important. One of the factors measured is headform impact. So there is a regulation on the gap between the highest point of equipment under the hood of the car to the top of the bonnet.
If anything is changed under the hood (eg. different size battery, relocation of piping etc. ), tests will be done to make sure the vehicle still conforms to regulations.

Since crash tests are very expensive, normally one will be conducted once several changes have been incorprated into the vehicle being crashed.

But yes, every change (whether cosmetic or structural) does go through a validation process. Either through a physical crash test or computer aided simulation.

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2) Forget safety tests after changes of cost cutting, the cars are not even tested when launched. There are a number of parameters that come into picture..
I'm not sure what your point of reference is, but I'll have to disagree with you here. Like I said before, my exposure to the Indian automotive industry is through one manufacturer where I worked, but I assume they follow industry norms.
Cars are tested before being launched and when major changes are made.

I can think of very interesting examples where design changes have been made because it was felt that safety could be an issue.

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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
3) IMO, cost cutting is done by almost all manufacturers. Its evident when same cars available in developed markets feel different than their Indian counterparts.
We have a long way to go before jumping on to topic of safety testing after cost cutting.
yes, cost cutting is done by all manufacturers - its the only way to stay competitive.
Usually the difference in feel between cars in 'developed' markets and in india boils down to supplier part quality.

Again, not sure what your frame of reference is, but I have personally seen the tear down of two vehicles of the same model - one manufactured in India and another in a 'developed' market. There were certainly no structural changes. The only changes were in the suspension height and some cosmetic trims. And I'm talking about a hatch back in the 5 lakh range.
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Old 9th November 2009, 10:32   #23
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1) For example, nder Euro NCAP requirements, pedestrian safety is very important. One of the factors measured is headform impact. So there is a regulation on the gap between the highest point of equipment under the hood of the car to the top of the bonnet.

2) I'm not sure what your point of reference is, but I'll have to disagree with you here. Like I said before, my exposure to the Indian automotive industry is through one manufacturer where I worked, but I assume they follow industry norms.
Cars are tested before being launched and when major changes are made.

3) I can think of very interesting examples where design changes have been made because it was felt that safety could be an issue.

4) yes, cost cutting is done by all manufacturers - its the only way to stay competitive.
Usually the difference in feel between cars in 'developed' markets and in india boils down to supplier part quality.

Again, not sure what your frame of reference is, but I have personally seen the tear down of two vehicles of the same model - one manufactured in India and another in a 'developed' market. There were certainly no structural changes. The only changes were in the suspension height and some cosmetic trims. And I'm talking about a hatch back in the 5 lakh range.
1) Correct. IIRC, the current regulation says that the the cars must have a 10cm gap.

2) My main point was nothing but crash testing. I doubt if Indian manufacturers do any sort of crash testing. Also I am not aware of the current laws for crash test passing in India. The test I do believe in is ENCAP. They have very tough testing procedure. 40% offset 64 kmph test is quite tough a test.
I dont think that we have similar tough testing in India.

Its a different thing that for India these ratings are not of so much use because we have high set CV, where the actual crumple zones are not even coming into picture, the straight hit is mostly taken by A pillar.

3) Can you please give a few examples ? After trying repeatedly to get to proper news on internet about how indian cars are crash tested, what are regulations, I found out that the news is insufficient. It will be helpful if you throw some light on Indian regulations.

4) My cousin from US came to India and after driving Accord in India, he clearly stated that the car does not feel as tough as the Accord he drives in US. He has 2.4 version in US. I doubt that the cars sold in India are of the same quality sold in developed markets ( mainly US ). But again I am not very experienced here. All I have done is driven an imported LHD car once on SG road for 300-400 mtrs. The car was Toyota SUV mostly the earlier generation Prado.
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Old 10th November 2009, 03:10   #24
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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
1) Correct. IIRC, the current regulation says that the the cars must have a 10cm gap.
I honestly dont remember the exact figure, but that sounds about right. Again, depending on the actual stiffness of the bonnet, more margin could be built in

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
2) My main point was nothing but crash testing. I doubt if Indian manufacturers do any sort of crash testing. Also I am not aware of the current laws for crash test passing in India. The test I do believe in is ENCAP. They have very tough testing procedure. 40% offset 64 kmph test is quite tough a test.
I dont think that we have similar tough testing in India.

Its a different thing that for India these ratings are not of so much use because we have high set CV, where the actual crumple zones are not even coming into picture, the straight hit is mostly taken by A pillar.
Yes they do. Case in point - TML has a state of the art crash test facility at the ERC in Pune. Not only can they crash test cars, but also have rigs for seating bucks, to test for whiplash etc. on cash test dummies.

They also outsource some of their cash testing to agencies such as MIRA in the UK. Testing is done here for Euro NCAP ratings.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
3) Can you please give a few examples ? After trying repeatedly to get to proper news on internet about how indian cars are crash tested, what are regulations, I found out that the news is insufficient. It will be helpful if you throw some light on Indian regulations.
Try and search on the ARAI website, dont know f they have their regulations inthe public domain, but it is very well documented and yes, they do exist :-) I dont remember any off hand, nor do I have ay documentation, else I would have shared it with you.

Examples - OK here's on that I can think of, which was more subjective than the result of failing a regulatory test.

The slot for the USB drive on the Vista (anniversary edition and manza) was moved from the actual head unit to the bottom of the central console (in front of the gear lever). This was because there was a threat of a USB drive becoming a projectile in the case of impact and harming the driver.

I think thats a pretty good demonstration of their commitment to customer safety - keep in mind the extra costs of designing a new centre console for that model and the extra wiring required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
4) My cousin from US came to India and after driving Accord in India, he clearly stated that the car does not feel as tough as the Accord he drives in US. He has 2.4 version in US. I doubt that the cars sold in India are of the same quality sold in developed markets ( mainly US ). But again I am not very experienced here. All I have done is driven an imported LHD car once on SG road for 300-400 mtrs. The car was Toyota SUV mostly the earlier generation Prado.
Thats subjective. I drove a friends Punto in London last week and thought that the overall quality of interiors was much better in the Indian model!

Again, I drove my aunts E 350 in the US a couple of months ago and in comparison to a friends E 280 in Mumbai didn't feel there was any difference.

And believe me, the Indica's being exported to Europe roll off the same line as our domestic product and use parts from the same suppliers!
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Old 10th November 2009, 05:59   #25
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@ Swale84
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After reading your posts, I think it makes sense for manufacturers to offer safety features at a price after all they do come at a cost.
If someone is concerned about safety they can go ahead and buy the top of the line variant (Equiped with ABS + Airbags + etc).

I mean the prime objective of business is to satisfy customer needs and if the average customer does not want to pay for the safety features then the Manufacturers have no choice but to give in to the demand.

Many cars now come with advanced safety features either as standard on their top end models or as options. As long as the company is giving the buyer an option to buy the safety at an additional cost, I really do not see any harm in it.
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On the other hand, I am appalled to see how seriously people tend to take sheet metal thickness as a sign of a cars strength / safety. (Aaggoswami, I agree with your point on sheet metal thickness)

Well folks the fact is that sheet metal thickness is not something which can be decided just like that.

The Sheet Metal is basically a Crumple Zone and Crumple Zones are meant to Crumple, the rate at which they deform is again dependent upon various factors such as the weight of the vehicle, power output, response delays, dimensions of the vehicle, loading capacity and many more.

Guys stop living in the days when the cars used to protect just themselves (Read: cars). A car needs to be equipped with both active and passive safety systems.

Car safety features / programs gradually took into account occupant safety and eventually started taking care of the other road users such as motorists and pedestrians as well.

The more the exterior of a car deforms the better it is, as long as it can prevent an in cabin intrusion the cars safety features are working just fine.
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What really matters is the chassis stiffness & strength plus electronic safety gadgetry such as ABS+EBD, Airbags, ESP, traction control, TPMS, Adaptive headlamps, EBA, CBC, Precrash systems, etc.
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Thats a long list!! and it will take its own sweet time to reach the bottom end of the market, I just hope we are alive to see this happening

Last edited by maglev : 10th November 2009 at 06:04.
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Old 10th November 2009, 06:57   #26
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I wouldn't agree that whiplash protection is required in the Indian context. How many of us ever get banged from the behind with vehicles at high speeds?
I did, and its not hard to imagine how it can happen. Why do you think this doesnt happen in india?

I learnt the hard way what the head restraints were for
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Old 10th November 2009, 07:03   #27
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Lol! I was rear-ended by an Innova when I stopped from 70 to 0 because of cow crossings

For all Hatchbacks, rear wash and wipe (even defrosters) are a must IMHO- try driving one without the rear wash and wipe when its raining cats and dogs in those few months of monsoon
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Old 10th November 2009, 07:28   #28
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yup, rear wipers should be mandatory too ( they are elsewhere)

I got it installed in my indica. Surprisingly, it set me back only 5k
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Old 10th November 2009, 08:38   #29
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for the rear wiper part. It's a must have safety feature. Just yesterday I was test driving Ritz Zxi model and it was pouring like anything. Both the ORVMs were useless because of the rain spots on them. The IRVM was the only way to see behind and rear wiper did a fantastic job.
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Old 10th November 2009, 09:24   #30
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One thing I've failed to understand is that why are only hatchbacks offered with rear windscreen wipers? What's wrong with putting them on sedans?

Another point worth noticing about the sheet metal is not the thickness but the quality of steel being used in the car. As an example, the thickness of the zinc coating in the galvanized steel bodies varies depending on the price point, which is really hard for the average consumer to figure out. Also some manufacturers like Audi use pre-galvanized steel sheets before forming and cutting the metal, whereas some other manufacturers like GM are known to dip finished bodies in the electrolyte solution for galvanizing later.

But based on common experience, the VW Jetta assembled in Mexico is known to have a much inferior fit and finish compared to the German assembled Golf based on the same platform.

Last edited by sujaylahiri : 10th November 2009 at 09:30.
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