Maruti S-Presso Gets Zero Star Safety Rating From Global NCAP
The newest model from Maruti scores zero for adult occupant protection in crash tests
Maruti S-Presso was launched a year ago as a micro-SUV offering positioned above the Alto.
S-Presso scored zero stars overall and exactly zero points for adult occupant safety in the crash tests.
It only gets a driver-side airbag as standard in the variant tested by Global NCAP.
Global NCAP spokespeople have condemned Maruti for introducing a car with such low standards of occupant safety.
The Maruti S-Presso was launched as a micro-SUV offering to rival the likes of the Renault Kwid while being a step above the Alto. It was recently crash-tested by Global NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) where it scored a safety rating of ZERO.
The S-Presso comes with a driver-side airbag as standard along with ABS. It scored zero out of a maximum potential score of 17 for adult occupant safety in the Global NCAP crash test. The bodyshell integrity as well as the footwell area were rated unstable. While head protection of the driver and passenger was said to be good, both scored poorly in chest protection. The passenger’s neck protection was also rated poor. Meanwhile, knee and tibia protection for the driver was rated marginal.
In terms of child occupant safety, the S-Presso scored 13.84 out of 49 which is also quite poor. Hence, the overall zero star safety rating. It doesn’t come with ISOFIX child seat anchorage and the child-dummies were secured in place using the adult seatbelts which did not offer adequate protection to either of them. Such a bad score for a new Maruti model might not necessarily cross the minds of its target customer base, but it is still a poor showing from the country’s largest manufacturer.
Commenting on the Maruti S-Presso’s safety score, the President of the Towards Zero Foundation and a key leader in the campaign for safer cars in India, David Ward, said, “We’ve seen important car safety progress in India with new government legislation and manufacturers like Mahindra and Tata accepting the Global NCAP five star challenge and producing models which go well beyond minimum regulatory requirements. There is no place for zero rated cars in the Indian market. It remains a great disappointment that an important manufacturer like Maruti Suzuki does not recognise this.”
Maruti has since put out an official response to the Global NCAP rating which states: "Safety is a critical issue and is therefore closely regulated by governments around the world as they are responsible for the safety of the people in their countries. It cannot be left to the opinion of any self proclaimed party. The Government of India has recently increased the stringency of car crash test standards and made them identical to European standards. All products of the company are fully compliant with these global standards and duly tested and certified by the Government of India."
The Tata Nexon, Altroz and Mahindra XUV300 are made-in-India models that currently boast of 5-star Global NCAP safety ratings. Even the facelifted Tata Tiago compact has a respectable 4-star safety rating from the same Global NCAP crash tests. While it can be argued that those cars are significantly pricier than the Maruti S-Presso and the micro-SUV has met the regulatory standards currently in effect, it is hard to defend a safety rating of zero stars for a modern-day car that was developed in the last couple of years. The author hopes Maruti Suzuki takes immediate measures to improve the safety of all its models, irrespective of price and to look beyond meeting the ongoing regulatory standards which still fall short of ensuring adequate occupant safety.
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