Alto K10, WagonR unsafe? How Maruti reacted to Global NCAP crash test results
Safety of Maruti Suzuki cars are back in focus after the Alto K10 and WagonR failed miserably at the recent Global NCAP crash tests. The two popular hatchbacks from India's largest carmaker, which also happen to be two of the best-selling models from its stable, were rated very low in terms of safety at the tests. Alto K10 with two-star rating and WagonR with one-star rating are now some of the lowest rated cars by the global agency. However, Maruti Suzuki is not giving the ratings too much importance yet.
Reacting to the test results, Maruti Suzuki assured that it takes all steps to make safe cars for Indian customers. A spokesperson from the Gurugram-based carmaker was quoted by news agency PTI saying, “For Maruti Suzuki also safety has always been a top priority. India's crash safety regulations are almost similar to the standards in Europe and all our models meet these regulations and are duly tested and certified by the Government of India."
Also read: Maruti Alto K10 fails to impress at Global NCAP crash tests
Maruti Suzuki cars have historically faired poorly at crash tests conducted by agencies like Global NCAP. Before the Alto K10 and WagonR, other Maruti cars too have been tested by the agency. The results have been anything but encouraging. The Maruti cars previously tested by Global NCAP are Swift, S-Presso and Ignis. All three models, tested last year, scored one star each in the adult occupant protection category.
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Maruti Suzuki says all the cars manufactured by it for India have ample safety features that meet mandatory government requirements. The carmaker also offers additional safety features like Hill-Hold assist, 360 degree-view camera, HuD display among others.
Also read: Maruti WagonR secures just one-star rating at Global NCAP
The carmaker said it will continue to keep safety as one of its top priorities while making cars for its customers. It also said instead of global rating agencies, Maruti will focus more on the Indian version Bharat NCAP when it is launched. “We believe that the government is coming out with Bharat NCAP, an India specific safety rating process, which will be more meaningful for the Indian consumers."
Global NCAP is keen to see how Maruti cars fair in Bharat NCAP crash tests. David Ward, President of the Towards Zero Foundation said, “With Bharat NCAP set to launch soon, we challenge Maruti Suzuki to catch up with the other leading domestic manufacturers as well as Volkswagen, Skoda and demonstrate their commitment to road safety and customer protection."
Bharat NCAP, India's own vehicle safety assessment agency, is expected to start conducting crash tests of vehicles manufactured in the country from this year. In June last year, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had issued a draft notification saying that these tests will start from April. The notification clearly lays out the process and steps each vehicle will go through before the agency shares its safety ratings. It also mentions the categories for which the cars will be tested.