#SaferCarsForIndia rates Maruti zero star for child protection in new testing supported by FIA Foundation
The Maruti Suzuki Wagon achieved a one-star safety rating for adults and zero for children in the latest Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) testing for the Indian market, part of the #SaferCarsForIndia campaign, supported by the FIA Foundation.
The VW Virtus / Škoda Slavia achieved five stars in both adult and child occupant protection. While the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 showed a stable structure and marginal to good protection for the adult chest to head in the frontal impact, it showed weak protection to the chest in the side impact. The Maruti Suzuki Wagon also offered weak chest protection for the driver despite the improvements in the restraint systems by Maruti Suzuki since the previous version of the model was tested by Global NCAP.
Maruti Suzuki declined to nominate a Child Restraint System (CRS) for child passengers. The lack of three-point belts in all seating positions and the lack of standard airbag disabling for a rear-facing CRS in the front seating position explains the zero score for child protection in both Maruti Suzuki models.
Global NCAP’s updated crash test protocols include assessments of frontal and side impact protection for all tested models as well as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and pedestrian protection. Side impact pole protection assessments are also required for vehicles scoring the highest star ratings.
Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Global NCAP said: “Since 2014 Global NCAP has been encouraging a market shift in India for safer cars. We have been delighted with the positive response from Indian automakers and some global automakers as well. Although there has been some limited improvement, we are yet to see this safety commitment deployed in the most popular Maruti Suzuki models. Given that six airbags are becoming a mandatory requirement for new models sold in India, it is particularly worrying for Global NCAP that Maruti Suzuki does not even make this requirement available as a customer option.”
Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, said “As many car makers, including VW/Škoda, are embracing the safety agenda and designing for five stars, the continued failure of Maruti Suzuki is inexcusable and unacceptable. Culture at the company must change to place the safety of its customers first.”
Kelly Larson, who leads the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety, added, “We will not reach the UN Decade of Action goal of reducing road traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 50% unless we achieve improvements in all areas of road safety, including vehicle safety. It’s encouraging to see manufacturers like Volkswagen and Škoda demonstrate their commitment to safety, but more manufacturers need to follow suit.”