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Old 30th August 2012, 15:47   #46
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Default Re: Compromise on basic safety features for cost cutting?

People are not aware about the importance of safety.So the manufacturers many not wish to increase the price of their product but including something which people don't care about.

When people tell me that their car(which is much lighter and doesnt have any safety rating) is much more fuel efficient than mine and I have wasted money on a inefficient used car,I always to explain to them that its much safer than a hatch and no compromise like weight reduction has been made to the car so its not efficient but bit safer.one of them gave a reply which left me speechless.He asked me why do I want to crash in the first place
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Old 23rd July 2015, 00:48   #47
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Default Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

The Indian automotive scene has now garnered a lot of traction, with more sales than many developed nations, and major global players are going all guns blazing to get a chunk of the pie.

The biggest factor we look for in a car is Value for money. Most people hence look for features, power, space, comfort, design, fuel efficiency, resale etc. when they buy a car. Important aspects such as safety are given less importance.

This attitude has also changed the outlook of the Indian Automotive Industry by major manufacturers. This list incorporates the omissions of essential components by automotive manufacturers to increase their profits and also include useless features such as keyless entry and sunroofs. Some of these omissions are downright stupid and don't make sense. Including these parts couldn't have costed the manufacturer much. This list should but doesn't include aspects such as cost cutting by removing essential structural components (ala Maruti) to save costs, reduce weight and increase FE because of limited knowledge about such instances.

1. Lets start with India's largest manufacturer, Maruti. Their largest selling car, the Alto, in its base trim doesn't come with a left Outside Rear View Mirror. This is not only valid for the Alto, but other manufacturers too. The left ORVM is an essential safety feature and can be essential in eliminating blind spots. How much could adding an ORVM hurt a company that makes Rs.1300 crore profit?

Compromise on basic safety features for cost cutting?-img_20140611_141749208.jpg



2. Datsun made a decision to add non retractable seat belts on its Go hatchback to keep a check on prices. Rear seatbelt is an essential safety equipment for any car. But, in a country like India, where people are anyway reluctant to put on their seatbelt, a non retractable one is a real turn off. As the official review rightly states, people are probably going to cut it off. A silly move.

Compromise on basic safety features for cost cutting?-datsungo07.jpg


3. Hyundai started off well with safety features in its i20 such as 6 airbags and disks all around. However, in its latest iteration, the "Elite", these components have been omitted. Similarly, the New 4S Verna has fancy new headlights instead of the 4 disk brakes it used to have.

Additionally, the new fad among manufacturers is to omit adjustable rear headrests. The new Verna and Honda city both have omitted adjustable rear headrests. It is acceptable in sub 5-lakh hatchbacks but cars costing over 1 million rupees not having them is disappointing. Head rests are essential for protecting against whiplash, and not having the ability to adjust them limits their ability to perform well.

Compromise on basic safety features for cost cutting?-hyundaiverna4s18.jpg

The new Creta by Hyundai, in its base and S trims doesn't even get a driver airbag. Yes, you get a touch screen audio system and steering mounted audio controls, but an Airbag costing under 10K to manufacturers is omitted. A car that costs close to a million not having even a driver side airbag is outrageous.


This is not a rant. I am seriously concerned as to where the auto industry is headed. Yes, there are companies such as Toyota and VW which are offering safety features on all their variants. But, offering safety features in top end variants has been a trend, and considering how much junk gets added with these safety features, these cars start going out of budget for most consumers.

I am desperately waiting for the car crash facility for Indian manufactured cars cause I am certain that many manufacturers are taking advantage of the naÔve Indian consumer by making omissions in places that are not visible. The G-NCAP tests for Indian cars was an eye opener. The tables will certainly turn after Indian cars start getting crash tested and the devil company might become the saint, and the saint the devil.

Its high time manufacturers took advantage of us being uninformed and transparency should become the main objective.

Last edited by prakhar1998 : 23rd July 2015 at 00:50.
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Old 23rd July 2015, 01:33   #48
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

They are in the business for just that, business.

And I agree with your views 100%. And most others here will, too. But those outside this forum? They find solace in the fact that their car has all nifty features and gadgets and look down with contempt and ridicule at someone who spend Rs. 50,000 extra on a balloon that is meant to save your life.

Unfortunately, people that think about safety don't form the majority in India.

In India, a car is a status symbol. So when people come to check out your brand new car, you better have some nifty gadgets to impress them with. People are more keen about showing off keyless entry, start stop buttons, touchscreen units and the like. What you touch and see is probably more worth it than something you'll hopefully never get to see in your lifetime, i.e. Airbags.

Manufacturers cash in on this. It's a business for them after all, not a charity. They do what's best for business.

If you can remove airbags and instead plonk in keyless entry and a touchscreen navigation system for the same money and if stats show this change will result in 1000 extra sales every month. Manufacturers will do just that.

For example, back in 2012, when we were on the lookout for a premium hatch, we had to choose between the Jazz and the Swift. The price difference between the base variants of the Swift and the base variant of the Jazz was quite high. Almost half a lakh. What those numbers will not tell you is that the Jazz had ABS+Airbags available across all variants, while the Swift did not. Did that result in better sales for the Jazz? Pshaw! The car was deemed overpriced and a failure.

To show exactly how far our manufacturers have taken it, and none better than Maruti to show that, the Omni was released in a limited edition a while ago. One of the special features the car had?

A left side mirror.

Compromise on basic safety features for cost cutting?-marutisuzukiomnilimitededition.jpg

Until and unless the aam junta start looking out for more safety features instead of creature comforts, expect manufacturers to make the most of their mentality.
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Old 23rd July 2015, 01:36   #49
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

I would not blame only the automakers, we as a nation are known to accord significance to inanities like fancy lighting or stereos than life savers like airbags. I'm sure Hyundai would have deleted the rear disc brakes and provided projector lights because their customer clinics would have given them the feedback that the customer values projectors more than he values disc brakes.

It is the simple economics of supply and demand, the demand exists for cheap transport and the car makers accordingly change tack to suit that role. But change is coming and I am hoping that the newer generation of cars makes safety a standard across the range than reserving the same only for the higher variants.

But all said and done, omitting the left OVRM is a bit extreme.

And before I finish, do give a thought to also all the cars being driven with the OVRM's closed.
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Old 23rd July 2015, 07:03   #50
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

In this case all the 3 parties concerned are equally responsible.
1. Car buyers- The average car buyer always looks for comfort features rather than safety ones. They are more happy with auto folding mirrors, blinkers in ORVM, start stop button etc rather than having a Airbag or ABS. For him saving a 20 odd thousand rupees is more important than saving his life and limbs.
2. Car Manufacturer - You will always see manufacturers crying and begging for subsidies. They manufacture same car at same plant for two different countries. One Indian and other being export version. And for the misery, its better not discussed. Our biggest maker starts giving paper stickers for car badge rather than metal badges. This is nothing but misery at its best.
3. Government - When any VIP is involved in crash, everyone goes into overdrive mode. We will do this. We will do that, but what they do,every one is fully aware. A minister dies and almost we get a whole new Motor Vehicle Act. But pressure from automobile lobby is too much for government to handle and the new act keeps getting delayed and diluted.
And the biggest blunder is from Maruti and Hyundai. Both control almost 70 odd percent of market but still playing with people's lives. Going by their sales figures, if both of these two make safer vehicles, we will atleast see fatalities reduce by at least 20 or 30 percent or may be even more.

Last edited by MSC : 23rd July 2015 at 07:05.
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Old 23rd July 2015, 09:24   #51
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

100% agreed on the subject, but the primary culprit is we buyers and not the OEMs. Manufacturers only supply the market demand and our market is very much satisfied with feature rich cars than safer cars (I'm not speaking about a small bunch of people here, who prioritize Safety then other bells & whistles) If we stop buying cars that doesn't come with the safety and mandatory features, this trend should change accordingly. But do we?
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Old 23rd July 2015, 09:54   #52
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

"The business of business is business" this says everything. Enough has been said and talked about this in the past and at several occasions we have seen people talking about maximum sales of mid variant.

In India, with most of the manufacturers, mid-variant means a music system, fog lamps (yes it is a safety feature) and may be full wheel covers etc and safety takes a back seat, nothing more can be expected.


ABS - Check with perspective buyers and I bet more than 50% will not even know. We have seen many instances wherein people write Brake as Break in this forum and we find ourselves talking about safety !

Fuel average - And when you check about fuel average, I am sure almost nearly 90% of people are aware of the per liter run that the car can give

NCAP - None of our authorities have challenged HMIL putting 5 Star rating stickers on erstwhile i20 (on all models) whereas the India spec car was not safe, more so not all trim levels could even qualify for basic safety

We look for average and space, and that's the reason we talk about all these issues again and again. The authorities / statutory agencies are hand in glove with manufactures to ensure that the companies keep on making profits in India.

When we can adopt Euro norms (without reinventing them in India, simply by following standards of developed countries) what is wrong in making use of safety standards prevailing in other countries?

We buy 5 star rated electrical appliances without any subsidy / support from Government because we know the benefits out of it. Its a matter of making people aware and regulating the market / manufacturers, which unfortunately is not happening in Automobile Sector ! have you seen even one print or electronic Government advertisement (even the famous Jaago Grahak Jaago) to talk about buying safe vehicles?

Insurance companies can start giving benefits to people buying safe cars (the mechanism should not be too difficult to discuss and implement), they do not need Government support, let there be one player to work on this agenda and others will follow. Safety should be way of life - people who buy safe car in most cases practice safe driving also (this has been proven through research - do a google and one can find research articles from several developed countries), this means less claims for insurance companies, indirectly adding to their business bottom-line. Pass it on to customers why behave like RTO which links everything with the cost of car !

Last edited by i74js : 23rd July 2015 at 10:05.
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Old 23rd July 2015, 09:54   #53
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

Couple of omissions by Hyundai that is pretty much across the range which I found inexplicable.

1. Height Adjustable front seat belts. Not present in pretty much any of their cars. even the Creta gets it only in the top variant.

2. Fully functional MID: Again not present even in their premium cars. We have a previous generation i20 in the family, it has auto sensing headlamps, wipers, DRL's and all other gizmos. But no way for me to know the average fuel consumption. I think even the Creta misses out on this (May be wrong).

Honda: Taking a step back and omitting airbags from their lower variants.

Telescopic Steering Adjustment: Everyone provides tilt adjustment. very few provide telescopic adjustment. A very important feature for drivers to get the best driving position.

Not providing AT variants with full range of features. Again Maruti and Hyundai are the main culprits.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 23rd July 2015 at 10:03.
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Old 23rd July 2015, 10:53   #54
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

Glaring Omission by manufacturers:

Not getting their 'made for India' cars crash tested.
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Old 23rd July 2015, 12:50   #55
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

Well the Manufacturer does offer higher priced alternative which are "safer".
So ultimately for the consumer safety is not valuable.

Now if you believe that this is not the "right way" of doing things. Fine, there are govt regulations to take care of such things.
Can the Regulators please let us know why they have made right (driver) side rear mirror mandatory, but not the left side?
Can the regulators let us know why the head restraints are not mandatory for rear passengers?
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Old 23rd July 2015, 13:35   #56
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

Spark PS used to come without left side ORVM.
Only Top End Safari (VX) comes with Airbags. Though Projector headlamps are standard across the range.
Grand i10 does not comes with Airbags/ABS even in top trip (Asta). It has all other creature comforts though. Shell out extra grands in Option Pack for life saving safety features.

Examples set by others:
1. Even base models of Liva/Polo come with airbags (driver side for Liva and both for Polo).
2. All New Honda City (2008-2011) and facelift (2012-2013) had dual front airbags and ABS as standard.
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Old 23rd July 2015, 15:09   #57
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

The left ORVM issue is of much concern to me. Not only because some manufacturers are myopic enough to devoid their entry level cars from it, but also because of people whom I refer to as 'oblivious drivers'.

First, as for the manufacturers, what's the logic behind omitting left ORVMs anyway?
That an Indian's respect for traffic rules and regulations is unparalleled and so all overtaking happens from right. Thus, you don't really need a left ORVM as far as safety is concerned. You can have one as an ''accessory'' if you care about stuff like blind spots etc..
If not, then I guess it is to shave few hundred rupees of the ex-showroom price in exchange for safety.

Also, when an entry-level car buyer which in good probability is also a first-time car buyer is not habituated to utilizing the left ORVM, what is to say he will even when he has access?

As for oblivious drivers, most BHP-ians must come across them, people for whom driving is a carefree stroll in the park. Even after having access to ORVMs on both side, he/she does not care if mirrors are folded or even choose to keep it that way (save the expensive mirror rather than avoid a crash)
So, they end up casually swaying on highways and relying on horn plonking from behind for their 'stroll'.

On a sidenote, most of you might have already read this article. If not do have a read.

RC Bhargava: More safety features in cars means less road safety

Basically, his logic is that a biker is taking risks anyway, why to free him from most risks when it can be maintained at par or only slightly lowered.

Last edited by Senna4Ever : 23rd July 2015 at 15:37. Reason: Link
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Old 23rd July 2015, 15:21   #58
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

It's a job of Insurers lobby and government regulation.

These rants can't work in practice.

It's human nature to be not be safety conscious unless death seems a clear possibility (like walking on the edge of a cliff).

We, team-bhpians are a minority.
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Old 23rd July 2015, 15:30   #59
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

The biggest omission, esp in AT cars is the lack of a dead pedal. What do you do - chop off the left leg?
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Old 23rd July 2015, 15:43   #60
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Default Re: Glaring Omissions by manufacturers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senna4Ever View Post
The left ORVM issue is of much concern to me. Not only because some manufacturers are myopic enough to devoid their entry level cars from it, but also because of people whom I refer to as 'oblivious drivers'.

As for oblivious drivers, most BHP-ians must come across them, people for whom driving is a carefree stroll in the park. Even after having access to ORVMs on both side, he/she does not care if mirrors are folded or even choose to keep it that way (save the expensive mirror rather than avoid a crash)
So, they end up casually swaying on highways and relying on horn plonking from behind for their 'stroll'.
Couldn't agree more. I personally know people who drive BMWs and are annoyed by the fact that the ORVMs automatically open up after speeds of around 40kph.
They want to keep both the ORVMs shut.

The thing is, there are some people who don't care much about safety. These people are in fact, the majority. So, as far as marketing goes, the ideology of the majority is considered more fruitful for the companies. Hence, we, the people who care about the safety suffer. Because, the market structure has changed in a way that considers our priorities last. Therefore, to get ESP on a car like Elantra or the Creta, I have to opt for the top trim with features such as cooled seats and what not. NHTSA approximates the cost of an ESP system for a car which already has ABS to be ~$100. But, because of the created differences between trim levels, I have to spend $2000 extra, and get all the useless features alongside.

Making safety features mandatory is the only way to go. For instance, Euro NCAP cuts its rating for cars which don't have features such as ESP available even in the base trim. I hope this is how our crash testing program functions as well.
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