With increased discussions related to safer cars in developing countries, primarily due to increased awareness regarding safety. Car manufactures have started to provide safer cars even in under-developed nations. But the recently tested “Made in India” 2021 Suzuki Swift scored 0 on the Latin NCAP test. These results put a big question mark on the claims of companies that they are improving safety standards in their cars.
WHAT IS THE LATIN NCAP TEST?
The word NCAP stands for New Car Assessment Program. This is a sort of car safety program designed to test the newly made automobiles for their response against various safety issues/threats. It was initially made and utilized in the US in 1979 to encourage companies for producing safer cars.
The Latin NCAP tests the cars sold in the Latin America and Caribbean Islands. It was launched in 2010 and tested over 120 cars. This test has different parameters as compared to the Global NCAP test which tests cars all over the globe.
SUZUKI SWIFT NCAP RESULTS
The India and Japan manufactured Suzuki Swift which comes with standard two airbags scored a zero in Latin NCAP. With this score, it joins the Renault Duster who had also scored a zero in Latin NCAP. Interestingly, Swift and Duster had scored two and three stars respectively in Global NCAP tests.
The popular hatchback, Swift has achieved 15.53%, 0% and 66.07% in the protection of adult occupant, Child occupant and Pedestrian protection respectively. These results assumed to be applicable for both the hatchback and sedan versions of Swift.
Further, as per the reports released by the crash test agency, the car lacked adequate side impact protection, standard side head airbags and lack Child Restraint Systems.
SUBSTANDARD CARS IN DEVELOPING NATIONS?
The Swift sold in the European Markets comes with 6 airbags and Electronic Stability Control as standards. Some of these features are not provided even in the top models sold in India. The majority of car manufactures accused of selling substandard cars in India. In order to make the car more affordable, they do cost-cutting in basic safety features like ESC and airbags. As of today, only 3 cars M&M XUV300, Tata Altroz and Tata Nexon, sold in India have scored a 5-star rating in the Global NCAP test.
Above all, the Government of India has been pushing car manufactures to increase their safety standards. Recently, the Transport Ministry had made it compulsory to offer two airbags and ABS as standard in all cars. A crash test similar to Global NCAP called BHARAT NCAP is proposed to the Ministry for the final nod.