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Old 31st January 2014, 09:46   #1
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Default Indian Nano, Alto, Figo, i10 & Polo FAIL Global NCAP Safety Test

Source & Full NDTV Article

All five small cars popular on the Indian market last year, including the famous Tata Nano and the Hyundai i10, failed the crash tests performed by London car-safety watchdog Global NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme).

The cars that were tested were the Tata Nano, Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo. All cars had to be made-in-India models only, and the most basic or entry-level version available in the market was selected for testing. This meant none of them had airbags - one of the most basic prerequisites globally to pass a safety test.

There were two tests carried out on identical cars of the same make - meaning two of each car were procured by Global NCAP from Indian showrooms, and shipped to Germany for the tests. One crash test was performed at 56 kmph, the other at 64 kmph.

All five cars failed the test, landing a zero on a scale of 1-5.
Tata Nano

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800

Hyundai i10

Ford Figo

Volkswagen Polo - NO AIRBAGS

Volkswagen Polo - 2 airbags

India built Swift

Last edited by GTO : 21st March 2014 at 18:12. Reason: Adding Swift video, as per your reported post. Thanks!
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Old 31st January 2014, 10:42   #2
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Default re: Indian Nano, Alto, Figo, i10 & Polo FAIL Global NCAP Safety Test

I think on the other "crash test" thread I had stated that, cars which score below certain points should NOT be allowed to sell in India. This is the ONLY way we can expect manufacturers to put more focus in such aspects.

Just having a sticker showing the ratings alone would NOT suffice. That's just proving who is marginally better (in most cases) and NOT essentially implies a safe car.
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Old 31st January 2014, 11:49   #3
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Default re: Indian Nano, Alto, Figo, i10 & Polo FAIL Global NCAP Safety Test

Its high time that 'ALL' cars sold in India have to get a crash test rating. I just can not believe that the Govt. has been sleeping on this for so long. Let people decide on what to buy knowing the facts about the car fully well. We have all sorts of stupid tests in India but always miss out on the most important ones. Its like selling a parachute with no guarantee it will work.

Talk about Govt. making money on our own people's deaths.
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Old 31st January 2014, 12:12   #4
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Default re: Indian Nano, Alto, Figo, i10 & Polo FAIL Global NCAP Safety Test

Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
Rather surprising is that a car like the Hyundai i10 - which is only made in India for global markets, also did badly.

The made-in-India for export to Europe i10 has a good rating in its Euro NCAP test for instance, which begs the question - are the cars for Indian buyers made differently comprimising safety?
I am not surprised at all. I am sure that lower crash-worthiness is not just a flaw but purely by engineering design.

Knowing that there is no crash requirement in India, even-if the exterior were kept same as Exports, it seems hyundai's engineers purposefully took out or changed the structural elements (steel) to comply with No-Crash-Requirement-regulation in India while keeping i10's material cost down in india.

I know quite a few other models for which there are no changes in Structural parts whether it is local or Global but i10 definitely wasn't one of them...

Good they got i10-Grand out in time; not sure whether Local and export car's structural parts are same or diff for I10-Grand.

Last edited by anu21v : 31st January 2014 at 12:19.
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Old 31st January 2014, 12:40   #5
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Default re: Indian Nano, Alto, Figo, i10 & Polo FAIL Global NCAP Safety Test

The reason that made-for-India cars are built differently as I see it is, the most sought after fact of Mileage
(Kitna deti hai.... a famous tag line from a leading OE)

Being a Fiat owner, I know this car is built like a tank and hence has had low mileage mileage issues (Palio & Punto), but where they don't compromise is the safety aspect ( the solidly built structure)
Same goes for other OEs like VW, Ford, Chevy, Toyota etc.

Hence somewhere down the line I would say it is not the OEs who are at complete fault but the consumers who want a higher mileage sans safety.

An article on automotive safety vs price trade off in cars (source ET, dated 24.Oct'13) clearly mentioned the priority ranking of Indian customer accordingly.
First - The vehicle itself
Second - Frills like bluetooth and central locking
Third - safety features like airbags, ABS ( adds 8-10% to the cost of a Rs 5 lac car)

In India frontal or side impact tests are neither compulsory nor regulated and hence most OEs sell cars that are unsafe.
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Old 31st January 2014, 12:56   #6
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Default re: Indian Nano, Alto, Figo, i10 & Polo FAIL Global NCAP Safety Test

Originally Posted by pratyush6 View Post
Its high time that 'ALL' cars sold in India have to get a crash test rating.
Couldn't agree more. But besides a mandatory crash test which is already on the cards for Indian cars, I feel that there has to be more stringent homologation standards set for cars sold in India. e.g. Wiper turning on when you try to turn on the turn indicator because the manufacturer wanted to save money and use a LHD kit for a RHD car. Things like this may seem trivial but can startle an unsuspecting driver and cause accidents.

Also, when a car is certified roadworthy, it should also specify what conditions is the car meant for. A Tata Nano on the expressway is always a hazard, not just for the people in it but also for others on the expressway. This is irrespective of how crash-worthy the Nano is. I have seen too many Nanos driving on the rightmost last and other cars trying to overtake them by doing silly maneuvers endangering their life and the life of others around them.
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Old 31st January 2014, 14:08   #7
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Default Popular Indian Small Cars Fail Safety Tests

Global NCAP performed tests on some popular Indian hatches and the results were poor. The Nano, i10, Alto, Figo and Polo figured in these tests and only the Polo with airbags passed the crash test.
To quote from the report - "In the Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800, the Tata Nano and the Hyundai i10, the vehicle structures proved inadequate and collapsed to varying degrees, resulting in high risks of life-threatening injuries to the occupants.
The Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo had structures that remained stable – and, therefore, with airbags fitted, protection for the driver and front passenger would be much improved."
"Poor structural integrity and the absence of airbags are putting the lives of Indian consumers at risk. They have a right to know how safe their vehicles are and to expect the same basic levels of safety as standard as customers in other part of the world."

MODS - please shift this to the Euro NCAP ratings thread - I just saw it now. Apologies.

Last edited by wilful : 31st January 2014 at 14:14.
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Old 31st January 2014, 14:18   #8
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Default Re: Popular Indian Small Cars Fail Safety Tests

There is no secret here. Polo is a global model, which is sold in countries where customers rely on NCAP tests (across Europe, for example). Even if Indian Polo is stripped of some of the safety features, it's body shell still conforms to global safety standards.
I am sure Punto is also safe enough.

Figo may have been designed with developing countries in mind, but it is still based on a platform that was designed for Europe. So, no wonder it clears some safety tests.

When you come to cars developed purely for developing countries (read: countries with no NCAP tests), you can always count on manufacturers sacrificing safety reducing costs and increasing fuel efficiency.

I don't know how i10 (again, sold in Europe) fails the test though. Do some manufacturers redesign their cars for emerging markets? I remember reading about Aria RWD not being eligible for Euro NCAP unlike Aria 4WD, as the former had some structural members removed.

I also remember reading in another thread about the difference in weight of i20 in Germany and India, with same level of equipment (Indian i20 was lighter by some 20 kgs).
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Old 31st January 2014, 14:25   #9
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Default re: Indian Nano, Alto, Figo, i10 & Polo FAIL Global NCAP Safety Test

Since LONG, Indian consumers have been treated like this. Its disgusting mostly because its often the safety features that are given a miss. Be it the so called 'reputed' Toyota or Honda, the first things they cut down is the Airbags. The global standard product gets 6, we get 2. Just recently read that there are 33 deaths per day on Maharashtra highways alone!

The global/export i10, EcoSport, Duster/Terrano etc. are safer AND more feature rich because auto-makers pass on the benefit of Indian resources (cheap Land, cheap Electricity & cheap labour at SEZ's) to foreign consumers.

I've come across reports about Ford's Gujarat plant causing the govt a revenue loss of 1 Lakh per car that rolls out of the factory. Maybe thats why the production capacity is utilised mainly for exports while people in India are asked to wait 4-5 months for EcoSport!

When OUR resources are being used, why should only we be left out? I wouldn't limit my demands to crash safety. I'd want more features of global versions. Even a layman should understand why industrialists say stuff like "Gujarat is THE place to invest" & "It is stupid if you are not in Gujarat". Its because there they're benefiting massively from our country's resources. We should somehow stop automakers from shortchanging us.

Last edited by noopster : 31st January 2014 at 19:49. Reason: Refer PM
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Old 31st January 2014, 14:37   #10
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Default Crash Test Videos of Indian Cars

These are the complete crash test videos put up by Global NCAP:

The following cars have a stable body stucture:
Hyundai i10 EDIT: The report is ambiguous about the Hyundai i10's structural integrity.
Ford Figo
Volkswagen Polo

VW Polo with no airbags scored a zero star and hence, VW decided to make 2 airbags as standard on all Polos in India. The one with airbags received 4/5 stars.
The European Polo gets a 5/5 in Euro NCAP which has ESC and 6 airbags.

Tata Nano

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800

Hyundai i10

Ford Figo

Volkswagen Polo - NO AIRBAGS

Volkswagen Polo - 2 airbags

The complete report in PDF:

Last edited by amolbh : 31st January 2014 at 14:51.
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Old 31st January 2014, 15:04   #11
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Default re: Indian Nano, Alto, Figo, i10 & Polo FAIL Global NCAP Safety Test

It is known that Indian automobile market is a highly price sensitive market and that the consumers tend to choose features like keyless entry, bluetooth etc over safety features like ABS+EBD, SRS Airbags etc. Another point is tax on automobiles are increasing substantially as years pass by and also production costs too are increasing.

So is that the reason why automotive comapnies not standardizing safety features on all variants of various cars i.e to keep the prices low and increase sales?

I feel it is not just the fault of the automotive companies for such a thing. The consumers are equally involved who lack awareness about safety features in cars. According to me the Govt. should start an initiatve to increase the awareness of car safety, safe driving habits etc.
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Old 31st January 2014, 15:41   #12
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Default re: Indian Nano, Alto, Figo, i10 & Polo FAIL Global NCAP Safety Test

In our country, its still highly impossible to really create awareness on these tests and how it should be looked at. Simple, majority of my friends who call themselves car buffs do not even know which set of wheels are driving the machine! For majority, if you say a car has passed the crash test, it means the car is indestructible and will last for years without any problem!! I am not even talking about the cabbies and their understanding!!
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Old 31st January 2014, 16:00   #13
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Default Re: Popular Indian Small Cars Fail Safety Tests

Originally Posted by rohanjf View Post
I don't know how i10 (again, sold in Europe) fails the test though.
i10 fails the test because in this test they used the base model of an Indian manufactured i10. There are substantial differences between a UK and an Indian model of i10.

Hopefully, the Government will take a note and enforce rating of cars' safety by Indian standards. If we can achieve this over the next 2 years, it will be a welcome step on part of the Government.
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Old 31st January 2014, 16:23   #14
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Default Re: Indian Nano, Alto, Figo, i10 & Polo FAIL Global NCAP Safety Test

I really do not get this, according to their tests, the cars scored

Figo, Polo, Nano, i10, Alto 800 (All NO Airbags) - NIL Stars
Polo with Airbags - 4 Stars

So the difference of FOUR Stars for the Polo comes just from having Airbags???

Strange also considering that the European i10 scored 4 stars (granted, it was with Airbags):

And that the European Polo scored 5 Stars in 2009:

I thought that even without Airbags, the basic body structure (Crumple Zones et al.), combined with seatbelts, should provide a basic level of protection (and definitely NOT zero stars).

Does that mean that even though India was an export hub for the i10, they made the Indian cars with much less / poorer steel / different chassis structure? I really am flabbergasted.

Realistically, I expected
----- The Figo (based on 2 gen old European Fiesta Hatch), to score a 2 Star,
----- The Indian i10 to score a 3 star
----- Likewise the Polo without Airbags to score a 3 Star
----- The Alto 800 to score Zero anyways
----- The Nano to likewise score Zero

And to top this off, Maruti just launched the Celerio with ABS and Airbags only for the Top Zxi (opt) Variant.

I wonder if they test the Indian built Swift, Brio etc... would they also score a nought?
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Old 31st January 2014, 16:26   #15
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Default Re: Indian Nano, Alto, Figo, i10 & Polo FAIL Global NCAP Safety Test

The only way to get back at these irresponsible manufacturers is to DEFAME them. Here's what I'd propose. Simplest for the Government to carry these steps out overnight. Good news is, the expected (new) Government at the Center might just be more keen on increasing safety standards than the current.

- Just like Bharat-Stage emission norms were introduced, make an announcement overnight that all new cars to be sold in India will be crash-tested. If the manufacturers whine, let them whine (similar to how BS emissions were handled).

- Crash-testing according to globally accepted standards (either that of Europe or the USA).

- Safety rating out of 5 stars.

- Circulate ratings with the press. Everyone will be only too happy to share the news, whether good or bad.

- Make it mandatory that every car on sale has to have its safety rating displayed clearly (on the windscreen with a certain font size etc.).

The average car owner in India (unfortunately) prioritizes price & fuel-economy over safety. Problem is, he's also ignorant about safety standards or requirements. Manufacturers are only too happy to cash in on this situation.

The single entity which can force manufacturers to pull their socks up is the GOVERNMENT.

P.S. These Global NCAP dudes should have taken along a Mahindra Bolero or Tata Sumo in these tests, especially one fitted with a mega after-market bullbar! That would have left them speechless. Significant body injury? Check. Possibility of death to driver / passengers? Very high. Pedestrian safety? Zero. Damage to vehicle? Absolutely, unbelievably & shockingly None

Last edited by GTO : 31st January 2014 at 16:30.
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