Another day, another round of crash tests that show cars crumpling badly. But a recent round of tests by the Global NCAP revealed some cars sold in India aren't as safe as the same cars sold in other countries. And the Tata Nano is really unsafe.
The Nano, the world's cheapest car, is perhaps unsurprisingly terrible at protecting passengers in a head-on crash. In these frontal tests conducted at 64 km/hr (roughly 40 mph), the Nano scored no stars out of 5 for occupant protection. It, along with the Hyundai i10 and Suzuki Alto 800, earned the following remarks:
... the vehicle structures proved inadequate and collapsed to varying degrees, resulting in high risks of life-threatening injuries to the occupants. The extent of the structural weaknesses in these models were such that fitting airbags would not be effective in reducing the risk of serious injury.
The Hyundai i10 is an interesting case, since this version of it was sold in Europe from 2007 through 2013 and scored 4 stars out of 5 in the Euro NCAP test.
The Volkswagen Polo also scored no stars when fitted without airbags, as is common for the Indian market. Its structure didn't deform like others in the test, but it still wasn't good at protecting passengers.
However, when tested with a driver and passenger front airbag, it managed four stars – which is a good rating. It was so good that VW announced after seeing the results all new Polos for the Indian market would get 2 airbags.
It was a similar story last year when a number of small cars sold in Brazil were found to be dangerous when tested in similarly rigorous situations. And that came down to lack of safety features, and even worse build quality, than the same cars sold in different countries.
But since VW rushed to add in common safety features like airbags, maybe other manufacturers will soon.
Photos: Global NCAP