Indian ‘Quality’

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It appears that “Made in India” and “Quality” is an oxymoron.  This comes after the results from the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) where the Tata Nano, billed as the world’s cheapest car, and a host of other top-selling small models from India have failed their first independent crash tests.

The five entry-level vehicles – including the country’s best-selling small car the Suzuki Maruti Alto 800, as well as the Ford Figo, Tata Nano, the Hyundai i10 and the Volkswagen Polo – scored no stars out of five for protection.

Goodness, gracious me!

The tests, carried out by NCAP, had the basic models, all without airbags, driven at 64 kilometers an hour into a block simulating a head-on collision.

All would leave the driver facing life-threatening injuries.

“It’s worrying to see levels of safety that are 20 years behind the five-star standards now common in Europe and North America,” said the head of NCAP Global, Max Mosley, the former head of the FIA.

NCAP also tested the cars in a crash simulation according to United Nations standards – a frontal collision at the slightly slower speed of 56 kilometers an hour – and none of them passed.

The five vehicles tested account for about 20 percent of all new cars sold in India annually.

The NCAP tested only the basic models of the cars in question and it said the Figo and Polo would provide much better protection if fitted with airbags, which were an optional extra.

But the Nano, the i10 and the Alto had “inadequate” structures that meant that even air bags would “not be effective in reducing the risk of serious injury”.

As a result of the tests, Volkswagen has withdrawn its Polo model without airbags, NCAP said.