The five cars with the failing grade are all on sale now in India, with one having sold nearly 50,000 units since its debut
A 2013 study into road safety in India estimated that on an annual basis, 231,000 people lose their lives on Indian roads – the same as the entire population of Cork City, with Carrigaline, Mallow and Midleton thrown in to make up the difference. India’s lethal mix of high-speed traffic sharing the road with vulnerable pedestrians is not helped by the country’s acceptance of vehicles with a zero star safety appraisal. And as these videos below show, you don’t want to be in one of those cars when they crash.
Conducted by the Global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), a London-based organisation that aims to “support the development of new consumer crash test programmes in emerging markets,” five cars deemed acceptable for Indian roads – despite having no airbags – were judged to have a rating of zero out of five for adult safety.
The Renault Kwid, Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio, and Hyundai Eon all failed the test, with their score for child safety only marginally better. But the safety failures have not translated to falls in sales, with the Times of India reporting that the Kwid was the fifth best-selling passenger vehicle in India in March, selling almost 10,000 units.
Global NCAP’s secretary general David Ward told the Wall Street Journal his organisation “Strongly believes that no manufacturer anywhere in the world should be developing new models that are so clearly sub-standard.”
India is one of a small number of emerging motor vehicle markets that do not subscribe to sufficient safety standards. Thailand, Mexico, and Indonesia also allow the sale of cars that do not support the use of an airbag or pass the UN’s minimum crash-test regulations.