As part of the Global NCAP initiative, the new Datsun Go and Maruti Suzuki Swift were subjected to frontal crash tests under the Bharat New Car Assessment Program (Bharat NCAP) which they failed dismally.
A disappointing zero result for the Datsun GOThe Bharat NCAP represents the tenth New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to be formed around the world, and was established for the Indian market – the fifth biggest passenger car market in the world.
Nissan's recently launched sub-brand budget car, the Datsun GO, failed the test because its structure collapsed during the frontal crash test done at 64 kph and because it lacked a front airbag, resulting the driver's head hitting the steering wheel. The dummy readings further indicated a high probability of life-threatening injuries.
This of course raises alarms, as Global NCAP Secretary-General, David Ward explained the body structure of the vehicle is so fragile that even fitting airbags would do absolutely nothing for occupant’s safety.
The Go was commended locally for its astonishing price tag that sits below R100 000. Despite its failure to get even one star in the crash test, the little car has some quirks that buyers would be interested in such as its tiny 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine, rated at 50 kW.
Coming to the Maruti Suzuki Swift, this models structure showed signs of collapsing in the frontal crash test and just like the GO, its lack of standard-fit airbags meant that the driver's head made direct contact with the steering wheel. In the same manner, the dummy readings indicated a high probability of life-threatening injuries. However, unlike the GO, the organisation maintains the Swift would improve occupant protection when fitted with airbags. South Africans are lucky though, as Swift models are fitted with standard airbags across the range.