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Old 4th December 2021, 21:07   #1
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Default Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

Before I start with the post, I'd like to mention that this thread has not been initiated to spread hate against Tata Motors but is initiated just because I have noticed a lot of differences in Tata's strategies and what their marketing teams and hired influencers try to portray.

Now, let's start with the post-

1. What is up with the Tata Safari and the Harrier?

The Mahindra XUV7OO recently got the tag of India's safest car but it's almost been 3 years since the Harrier was launched but Tata has not been able to provide a crash test rating.
Now, I know about the whole 2.0L MJD fiasco but is Tata so incompetent that they could not fix an issue in 3 YEARS even with one of the largest R&D budget in the industry??
Also, if Tata already knew that the 2.0L MJD issue cannot be solved, why did not they go with other options? Scorpio's 2.2L unit is flawless and so is Hyundai's 2.0L Tucson engine and since they already borrowed Tucson's autobox, I do not see a reason to not go with their 2.0L unit in order to avoid the safety hazard!


2. Why is the facelifted Nexon not advertised with 5 star rating?

A few years back, the Tata Nexon was labeled as India's first 5 star rated car and Tata used to advertise the crash test ratings quite aggressively. E.g. See this post made just days before the facelift's launch by the official Tata Nexon Instagram account.

However, if you see the same account's posts after the Nexon got facelifted (22 Jan 2020), the 5 star safety has vanished from their posts and other form of ads as well. May I ask why?? Mind you it is a car from the same manufacturer who proudly showcases the unstable body rated Tiago's 4 stars. So why is the Nexon's 5 star safety not advertised? Is it not a 5 star rated car anymore? If not, what else could be the reason for the same?


3. Why is the Nexon EV not yet crash tested??

A few months ago when the Tigor EV was launched, it's crash test ratings were flashed in big screens right before the launch (even though those ratings weren't great for a car costing 13 lakhs ex-showroom!).
However, the Nexon EV, a car that was launched almost 2 years ago still does not have a crash test rating!! May I ask why?? Why is Tata so afraid of crash testing the Nexon EV? Is Tata not confident if the Nexon would score a 5 with the new front end??


4. Misleading ads! Seriously??

This has probably been highlighted before but another look doesn't hurt right?
Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?-harrier-included-safest-cars-lol.png

Well this is a screenshot from one of Tata Motors's ads on YouTube.. Now someone please tell me why the Harrier is included in this ad even though it is not yet crash tested??



Is Tata being too casual about the image they have built?

And this is not the only ad from Tata Motors that seems misleading, but there have been many of them that are published without concrete information and supporting data.

E.g. They recently published a troll ad on the Maruti Swift when the Latin American Suzuki Swift got a 0 star rating even though the rating is unrelated to the Maruti Swift.
Now, I agree that the Maruti Swift did not score well either, but when the India-spec Swift has already been awarded 2 stars in 2019, why mislead the customers into believing that the ratings have worsened to zero in three years when they actually did not!!??

Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?-3l60l7l_tatatiagotrollingmarutiswift_625x300_30_august_21.jpg


These doubts often make me think, is Tata being too casual about their image and is just using Global NCAP as a marketing gimmick at this point?? Because with these many discrepancies and ignorant behavior of the marketing team, it certainly seems so!

Last edited by theAutomaniac : 4th December 2021 at 21:13.
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Old 4th December 2021, 21:18   #2
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

The catch with the Harrier and Safari is the Fiat engine’s oil filter placement, which upon impact intrudes into the driver’s footwell in right hand drive applications. This is a fact that has been leaked out of Tata’s internal testing, and is something they seemingly can’t fix. The rating they will get with the current powertrain will not be worth advertising. By extension, this should be an issue with other applications of this engine as well: MG Hector and Jeep Compass. None of their right hand drive variants have been explicitly tested with the 2.0MJD engine.

As for Harrier and Safari, Tata knows that nothing less than a 5 star rating will do, especially since the XUV700 has achieved it. These two will be tested only when Tata is confident about achieving the desired result. My guess is that will happen only with the petrol engine, which is being designed from grounds up. Till then, your guess is as good as mine.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 4th December 2021 at 21:21.
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Old 4th December 2021, 21:36   #3
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

Honestly, no manufacturer is a saint. Itís a competitive market, and any good business will do what it takes to survive and hopefully thrive. The only reason Tata is launching 5 star rated cars is because thereís a shift towards safety. Not because they have a moral obligation to do so. We need to get rid of this fallacy that some businesses are inherently good or bad. A business is a business at the end of the day.

With that, Iíll also say that while Tata may not be a saint, theyíre the only manufacturer (along with Mahindra) who has brought 4 and 5 star safety and EV tech to the mass market segments. Yes the Safari and Harrier may not do that well. Yes their budget cars are underpowered. But arguments like these take away whatever little incentive car makers have to provide safe cars.

Yes Tata is no saint. But riddle me this - which other car maker offers 4 and 5 star rated cars under 10 lakh?

Last edited by Aaron:) : 4th December 2021 at 21:38.
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Old 4th December 2021, 22:51   #4
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
The catch with the Harrier and Safari is the ....they seemingly canít fix. The rating they will get with the current powertrain will not be worth advertising.
But since Tata focuses a lot on safety, shouldn't they have used a different engine to avoid this safety hazard? I mean I guess Mahindra's 2.2L would have also made a good business case since it is basically a sister engine of Tata's old 2.2L diesel. Even Tucson's 2.0L doesn't seem like a bad deal either since they already source the AT gearbox from Hyundai (could've purchased both at a discount XD)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron:) View Post
Honestly, no manufacturer is a saint. We need to get rid of this fallacy that some businesses are inherently good or bad. A business is a business at the end of the day.
I completely agree on that. But with the amount of focus Tata puts on advertising safe cars and on mocking unsafe cars from other manufacturers, it is natural to expect them to be a little more transparent in terms of safety of their own cars.


Quote:
With that, Iíll also say that while Tata may not be a saint, theyíre the only manufacturer (along with Mahindra) who has brought 4 and 5 star safety and EV tech to the mass market segments.
I'll beg your pardon here. VW's decade old Polo and Toyota's now discontinued Etios Liva were India's first 4 star rated cars and both were not related to Tata.


Quote:
Yes Tata is no saint. But riddle me this - which other car maker offers 4 and 5 star rated cars under 10 lakh?
There are a lot of them actually! VW and Toyota provided 4 star rated hatchbacks even when safety was the least discussed thing. In the current scenario, Renault's Triber, Honda's Amaze, Nissan's Magnite, Maruti's Brezza and VW's Polo, all are 4 star rated.
In fact, there are a lot of cars like the Jazz, WR-V, Kiger among the current ones and Punto, Linea, Figo triplets, Ameo, Brio etc amongst the discontinued ones which are 4 star worthy but lack a crash test result.

What I'd say is, there are quite a few manufacturers who make safe cars, but it is only Tata who markets safety aggressively.
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Old 4th December 2021, 22:58   #5
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

Etios 4 star, Polo 0 star and later 4 star, Tata Zest 4 star after some mods - These are the cars which started scoring in crash tests early years. Tata is no saint but better than companies who modify their cars and make it unsafe to milk Indian market. Tata wanted some differentiating factor to sell their new range of products and they achieved it by some smart marketing of their safety ratings.

Last edited by Latheesh : 4th December 2021 at 23:00.
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Old 4th December 2021, 23:11   #6
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

Sounds like the start of another Tata bashing thread. No manufacturer is a saint and the job of any marketing department in any company is to take the brand USPs and spin and amplify it further.

Tata(and Mahindra) have definitely brought focus on the concept of safety and made crash rating a relevant factor for the Indian customer. Just because they don't do that for every single model or because the marketing department uses this safety USP to amplify the safety message across Tata products, I don't think it means that they are losing focus on safety. Safety is also not just about crash ratings and I don't think there are any compromises done on safety features provided in vehicles across the range.
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Old 4th December 2021, 23:12   #7
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

Tata is a saint. Yes, and saints do come with their own level of perception and understanding of it's meaning. Why I say this? Tata and Mahindra both started this safety oriented thinking and frankly Tata marketed it better than Mahindra initially. Also, this promoted people to think about safety and are asking questions to other brands. Now, if we say that only a 100% genuine saint should lead the industry, there will be no one to lead.

On other hand, we few would have respected Tata motors more if they would have issued a statement saying that they made Safari/Harrier as safe as possible, but didn't test due to intrusion issue that's not in their hands, but many outside would have not bought that car over the others in market which are even unsafe. This is why they are not sending it for tests nor issuing a statement.

Sometimes, we have to give time to a potential saint to be a saint (relatively).
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Old 4th December 2021, 23:52   #8
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

I don't get what is the issue? They are not lying about safety rating of their cars. They only claim what is proven by third party tests.
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Old 5th December 2021, 00:04   #9
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Default Re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint they pretend to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theAutomaniac View Post
What is up with the Tata Safari and the Harrier?
Nobody knows for sure. BHPian ram87pune has provided some interesting scoops but for any solid confirmation we'll have to wait for Global NCAP to select one of these models tested as part of a yearly round of results. If it's of any consolation, there is a bit of hope. Latin NCAP, for instance, tested the Volkswagen Fox themselves though Volkswagen is pretty much the Tata of Latin NCAP in my eyes (sponsors every new model, aims for a top rating and has many firsts) though Volkswagen did not sponsor the Fox for years. It barely managed a three star result (note - very different protocol) unlike other Volkswagen models. Latin NCAP said this:
Quote:
Latin NCAP starts the year with an average result, since Volkswagen has a strong strategy in terms of vehicle safety as it is offering new models with the highest ratings. This is a clear example that when talking about vehicle safety consumers should not stereotype by brand or origin of the models. The only way to know the safety performance of a car is by assessing the vehicle in order to objectively inform consumers.
Since Global NCAP and Latin NCAP have a lot in common (similar team, test labs, and financial and technical support) there is a small ray of hope that they'll pull off something similar with Tata's Harrier. Latin NCAP even did something similar with the Toyota Yaris recently (Toyota has otherwise been a very good performer in Latin NCAP tests).

However, Global NCAP's Safer Cars for India project gets far less funding than Latin NCAP does, which could mean that testing multiple relatively expensive cars in a single round without manufacturer sponsorship will be difficult.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theAutomaniac View Post
Why is the facelifted Nexon not advertised with 5 star rating?
No clue. Normally (at least for other NCAPs, I'm not quite sure what protocol Global NCAP has for this) facelifts must be reviewed and technical evidence provided for the rating to be extended. However it is surprising that Tata has not done this. I'm personally hoping Global NCAP performs an audit test on this model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theAutomaniac View Post
Why is the Nexon EV not yet crash tested?
Mysterious, given that they did sponsor a separate test on the Tigor EV. Might or might not be linked to the previous question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theAutomaniac View Post
Misleading ads! Seriously?
They did take down the Indian Tiago vs LatAm Suzuki Swift ad, presumably after action from Global NCAP (based on some limited evidence), but clearly their PR team has a bit of work to do in terms of advertising NCAP ratings. Just a few points I'd like to add (Not to target Tata or any other manufacturer specifically but I think this could also be potentially misleading).

While it's okay for consumers on forums like this to refer to a car as a five star car or a four star car, a car's safety rating under current Global NCAP protocol is a combination of its adult occupant protection and child occupant protection ratings. While even Global NCAP's PR team (and other NCAPs too, when they had separate ratings) refers to cars by their adult protection rating, manufacturers should normally advertise the adult and child protection rating together along with the test year and the appropriate star colours.

Examples of more responsible advertising include:
  • Renault Triber (missing test year, though) (Renault also got a letter from Mr Ward of Global NCAP about misleading advertising in Latin America - so they might have been extra cautious)
    Name:  Screenshot 20211204 at 10.18.18 PM.png
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  • Toyota Etios (just perfect, in my opinion)
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  • Another perfect example - the Tata Nexon (pre-facelift, as has been pointed out). What happened, Tata?
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And not this:
Name:  Screenshot 20211205 at 12.13.36 AM.png
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As for the comparison with competitors, as long as it's a valid comparison, it's fine. In fact, from a personal point of view, I'll say - bring it on! A good way to inform consumers how much that star rating means would be to show them how competitors performed in the same test. And Tata does have bragging rights in this regard, and the early mover's advantage. But it certainly shouldn't go to the extent of misleading customers. 4 stars for the Tiago vs 0 for the Swift? No, I'm sorry, that's simply wrong. The Latin NCAP protocol which the Swift was evaluated to is similar to mid-2010s Euro NCAP protocol, much ahead of their 2013-15 protocol (which Global NCAP uses). 4 stars for the Tiago vs 2 for the Swift - nothing wrong, in my opinion. Same protocol.

And another thing I'd like to point out - I think it's misleading to tout the highest rated car in a set as 'the safest car' in that set. A better way of putting it would be 'the best performer in Global NCAP tests (in that set)'. Not to complain, because this might be the wrong thread for it, but some of Tata's models do lack, for example, ESC and side airbags and head protection, which some of their competitors get as optional. It's not up to their marketing team to decide whether the 'safest' car is necessarily the one that performs best in Global NCAP tests and not one that gets other safety equipment. That's entirely up to the consumer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theAutomaniac View Post
is just using Global NCAP as a marketing gimmick at this point?
Well, honestly, I think there's nothing wrong with that. While I definitely wouldn't call it a 'gimmick', NCAPs have always been here to provide a platform to sell safety.

To make sure cars with extremely substandard levels of safety are out of the market - that's the job of regulation. And dare I say the Government of India has been doing a pretty good job.

To provide a platform for manufacturers to use safety as a selling point, and to provide an incentive to further develop safety systems well ahead of regulation - that's what NCAPs are here for. They manage to raise consumer information, as well as convince Governments to improve regulation. In many cases Governments start to engage with NCAPs in later stages as they progress. Do you really think any manufacturer would just make safer cars just out of the goodness of their hearts or because they just wanted to? I really don't think so (except maybe Volvo - but they're really an outlier in this conversation - though they, too, did try to use safety as a selling point). Without a platform for manufacturers to advertise a superior level of safety, they would likely be making losses spending extra on safety and I don't really think consumers would be convinced. A standardised test does just that. For example, Honda can brag about their internal passive safety standard (G-CON) all they want. But without seeing their performance compared with competitors in a standardised test, would you really be convinced?

Now, I know Global NCAP's Safer Cars for India project isn't the latest standard for evaluation and could do with a refresh. But you have to remember that they're just here as an intermediate, a 'demo' NCAP, if you will, until the Government takes over with a full-fledged Bharat NCAP with greater funding and more testing. As an organisation Global NCAP has a lot of power. It's just that their crash test programmes for Africa and India don't get enough funding, for the reason I've mentioned above. They do have very good relations with the other NCAPs and use some of the best test labs available. Just because their evaluation protocols aren't the latest it doesn't make their results useless. It's not some sort of a fake NCAP, as rumours have recently begun to spread. But their crash test programme has a small team and their publications unfortunately aren't error free. They're just here to provide some means of consumer information until we have a proper, better funded NCAP. They're founded by some of the very members responsible for founding Euro NCAP.

For some manufacturers, NCAPs are an integral part of their marketing plan and they usually have policy in place to develop models to score well. In India, Tata and Mahindra are doing it. In the ASEAN region, Proton and Perodua are. Globally, it's typically been Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen and others. These articles, for example are an interesting read:
While I am not happy with Tata's recent misleading advertising, I must say that I will never forget the revolution they've brought about in the Indian market when it comes to convincing customers to buy a safer car. Volkswagen couldn't do it well, Toyota tried hard but failed (warning: video with a loud start), and frankly, I wouldn't have thought anyone would do it. As it turns out, all that was needed was for them to bag that fifth star and shout it from the rooftops - and really, I think Tata have every right to. All I'm saying is, advertise responsibly.

They've managed to prove in the Indian market something that NCAPs, governments, Joan Claybrook (the person who got the idea of the first ever NCAP) and Ralph Nader have said time and again - SAFETY SELLS.

Last edited by ron178 : 5th December 2021 at 00:20.
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Old 5th December 2021, 00:12   #10
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theAutomaniac View Post
4. Misleading ads! Seriously??

This has probably been highlighted before but another look doesn't hurt right?
Attachment 2241118

Well this is a screenshot from one of Tata Motors's ads on YouTube.. Now someone please tell me why the Harrier is included in this ad even though it is not yet crash tested??
Well they haven't quoted 5 stars anywhere in the ad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
The catch with the Harrier and Safari is the Fiat engine’s oil filter placement, which upon impact intrudes into the driver’s footwell in right hand drive applications.
That's some quality info! These small things don't come out easily, thanks.

I do not know about the Saint part, but Tata cars have always been build strong and sturdy, and that's before we started looking for the stars on the safety. The built quality of not just Tata, but Mahindra as well, both the cars are much better built than the other players, Maruti, Hyundai etc.

Considering a exact same scenario, you are likely to survive a crash in a Tata/Mahindra than in a Maruti/Hyundai. (that's my guess/belief - please don't hold me later)

And I don't think Tata has ever claimed that they will only built 5 star safety cars. So what's exactly the issue?

P.S. - I am not a Tata fanboy, I have never even brought any of Tata cars, because of their unknown reliability and pathetic after sales stories.

Last edited by iamahunter : 5th December 2021 at 00:13.
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Old 5th December 2021, 01:37   #11
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

I get the theme of this thread, and that is holding a company accountable for their 'safe car' advertising, without submitting their flagship cars for NCAP testing.

But I also believe that we start asking questions to the Marutis and Hyundais of our world, and push to get their premium Indian cars 5 star tested.

Even after 5-star NCAPs, I won't be buying a Tata anytime soon, and I know millions of Indians who, like me, would not like to gamble with the Tata/Mahindra service center at home

This moat is the reason why, despite high volumes, Maruti and Hyundai/KIA see no need to offer 'safe' premium cars anymore, and the Indian spec versions of their cars are probably just heavily trimmed international models with dubious safety standards. The mere presence of two air bags in a premium car does not make it safe.
At the other end of the spectrum, you don't need to wait for an NCAP test to deem the Alto 800 unsafe!! Heck, I don't even know if its possible to make such a small and inexpensive car safe by any NCAP standard.

Make no mistake, I have utmost respect for Tata: at least they managed to open this pandora's box by heavily advertising their NCAPS. A few years ago, I didn't even know such a thing existed.
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Old 5th December 2021, 02:24   #12
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
The catch with the Harrier and Safari is the Fiat engine’s oil filter placement, which upon impact intrudes into the driver’s footwell in right hand drive applications. This is a fact that has been leaked out of Tata’s internal testing, and is something they seemingly can’t fix. The rating they will get with the current powertrain will not be worth advertising. By extension, this should be an issue with other applications of this engine as well: MG Hector and Jeep Compass. None of their right hand drive variants have been explicitly tested with the 2.0MJD engine.
This (2021 Tata Safari Review) is an interesting post by @torqueindia in the context, even though it is for the Jeep Compass (same engine on a RHD getting 5 stars on EuroNCAP)

Quote:
EuroNCAP extends the rating validity of 2.0L MULTIJET LHD to RHD variants also, I dont think they are crazy enough to do it without any supporting analysis.

https://www.euroncap.com/en/results/jeep/compass/27881

Last edited by Poitive : 5th December 2021 at 02:27.
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Old 5th December 2021, 09:21   #13
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
This (2021 Tata Safari Review) is an interesting post by @torqueindia in the context, even though it is for the Jeep Compass (same engine on a RHD getting 5 stars on EuroNCAP)
Quite frankly, unless the Compass has been tested in the exact configuration it is sold in India (RHD+2.0MJD), I couldn't care less about EURO NCAP conflating the ratings of two quite different cars (LHS vs RHD).

In fact, come to think of it, the reason that Tata Motors (or any other OEM globally) is not testing vehicles equipped with the 2.0MJD (am I wrong about this fact? Happy to be corrected if it is so) may be because a single sub-par test will open up a can of worms which would have massive ramifications for multiple other large corporations (primarily the Stellantis group and other OEMs equipping their RHD vehicles with the same engine).

If everything that ram87pune has said is to be taken at face-value (and I see NO reason why we should not considering that >90% of the scoops he has delivered have been right on the money - magnitudes higher than most auto-rags), then EVERY vehicle GLOBALLY, equipped with this engine is a death trap for the driver in its RHD configuration. Just think of the financial implications of a 2-3 star result in markets where the general population is more safety conscious than Indians. The particular model will definitely be killed and the entire brand's image will most probably take a massive hit.

P.S: OF course, the entire write-up above will belong to the dust-bin if Tata simply gets the Safari/Harrier tested and attains a 5 star rating from any NCAP.

Last edited by sierrabravo98 : 5th December 2021 at 09:22.
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Old 5th December 2021, 09:59   #14
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theAutomaniac View Post
Before I start with the post, I'd like to mention that this thread has not been initiated to spread hate against Tata Motors but is initiated just because I have noticed a lot of differences in Tata's strategies and what their marketing teams and hired influencers try to portray.
Don't mean any offence but the thread title and your opening post (above) itself are contradictory! You say you don't intend any 'hate' but the thread is titled 'Tata pretends' - come on buddy!

There is already a healthy discussion happening on the respective Harrier and Safari threads; so not really sure how this thread is adding value; happy to be proven wrong. Just hope this doesn't become another Tata bashing thread, with little or no takeaways.

Last edited by Aditya : 11th December 2021 at 06:58. Reason: Spelling
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Old 5th December 2021, 10:09   #15
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Default re: Is Tata Motors actually the safety saint it pretends to be?

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Originally Posted by iamahunter View Post

I do not know about the Saint part, but Tata cars have always been build strong and sturdy, and that's before we started looking for the stars on the safety. The built quality of not just Tata, but Mahindra as well, both the cars are much better built than the other players, Maruti, Hyundai etc.
Strong and sturdy build quality has nothing to do with crash safety. Toyota Etios is a typical example.
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