Products safe, meet safety standards: Maruti Suzuki

New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) Automobile manufacturer Maruti Suzuki on Tuesday said that its products meet India’s safety standards.

The automobile major said this after a global non-profit organisation for automobile safety — Global NCAP — disclosed that two of the company’s vehicles have received zero star rating for adult safety in its crash tests.

“All our products are safe. They meet the safety standards of India and in most cases, exceed them,” Maruti Suzuki said in a statement.

“The tests by global NCAP are conducted at speeds that are higher than those prescribed by the regulatory authorities not only in India but in Europe and USA.

The results of Global NCAP have to be seen in that perspective.”

The company further said that, as a market leader, safety is its top priority.

“We are fully committed towards enhancing the safety of our products and making consumers aware about the same. Thus we are offering an airbag option even in the Alto,” the statement said.

“Our objective is to make our products compliant with all future regulation, ahead of the timeline.”

The company added that its recently introduced model Vitara Brezza already complies with safety regulation which will come in to effect from October 2017.

On Tuesday, the UK-based Global NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) awarded zero star rating for adult safety to passenger cars sold in India such as Renault Kwid, Maruti Suzuki Celerio and Mahindra Scorpio.

The non-profit organisation disclosed that as many as five passenger cars sold in India have failed their crash tests.

The Global NCAP rated the passenger vehicles after it conducted crash tests under its ‘SaferCarsforIndia’ initiative, the results of which were released at the Indian automobile safety conference held in Faridabad.

“The latest Indian crash test results in Delhi continue to disappoint with all five models rated as zero star,” Global NCAP was quoted in a statement.

“The Renault Kwid, Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon all showed low levels of adult occupant protection.”

Vehicle-wise, the Global NCAP said Renault Kwid was tested in three versions, including one with airbags, but each was rated as zero star for adult safety.

“The latest SaferCarsforIndia results show how important it is for cars to have a body shell that can remain stable in a crash,” David Ward, secretary general of Global NCAP, was quoted in the statement as saying.

“This is an absolutely crucial pre-requisite for occupant safety together with fitment at least of front air bags. Global NCAP strongly believes that no manufacturer anywhere in the world should be developing new models that are so clearly sub-standard.”

Ward further said that car manufacturers must ensure that their new models pass the United Nations’s minimum crash test regulations, and support use of an airbag.

According to the statement, Renault confirmed that they will implement further improvements to the Kwid and Global NCAP will test these new evolutions in forthcoming crash tests.

“We welcome Renault’s efforts to correct this and we look forward to testing another improved version with airbags. Renault has a strong record of achievement in safety in Europe and it should offer the same commitment to its customers in India,” Ward added.

Other passenger vehicles such as Mahindra Scorpio also scored zero star in the adult occupant protection category and two stars in child occupant protection.

“The collapse of the structure combined with the lack of airbags explains the score for the adult occupants protection which means that there is high probability of life threatening injuries for at least one of the adult passengers,” the statement said.

The non-airbag Suzuki Maruti Eeco, Hyundai Eon’s standard version without airbags and the non-airbag Maruti Suzuki Celerio, all scored zero star in adult occupant protection.

The Global NCAP added that the results highlight the importance of the Indian government’s decision to mandate front and side impact crash tests from October 2017.

“Legislative action is needed to ensure that the minimum levels of occupant protection recommended by the United Nations are guaranteed for Indian consumers,” the statement added.

“Global NCAP also welcomes the forthcoming launch of a Bharat New Car Assessment Programme which can help build a market for safer cars in India.”

–IANS

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