The same model can behave differently in a collision – depending on which market it is built for. Global NCAP now demands a global minimum level of safety, so that poorer countries avoid the very worst cars.
Hyundai’s model HB20, intended for low-income markets, received only one star for its adult protection from Latin NCAP. The crash test from 2020 is not unique, and the problem does not seem to be diminishing.
The Suzuki Swift has three stars in Europe, while the seemingly identical version built in India received only two stars. Another example is the Renault Kwid. The model had already received weak test results in India and Brazil – and despite an upgrade with airbags up front, the car only picked up two stars in Global NCAP’s test Safer Cars for Africa. It reports Autocar.
According to Global NCAP’s chief technology officer Alejandro Furas, Renault Kwid emphasizes the fact that car manufacturers have a completely different yardstick for countries where buyers are poorer than in, for example, Europe. He believes that prices are being pressured, among other things, by using less steel and that the cars are put together with a lower quality of welding jobs.
– If you look at Kwid, the Brazilian version has a much better reinforcement of the a-pillars compared to the Indian version, we have seen that by taking the car apart. Kwid was significantly upgraded for Brazil in response to public protests after it failed during the initial crash tests there, says Alejandro Furas.
The poor are worst affected
But now Global NCAP demands an end to this – or that there should at least be an accepted limit that constitutes a minimum level for how unsafe a car may be. According to the UN, low-income countries account for 90 percent of the world’s 1.3 million annual deaths in traffic.
Among other things, Global NCAP intends to introduce more demanding criteria in crash tests of cars for the Indian market. The organization’s CEO, David Ward, believes that certain constellations in the automotive industry are “morally bankrupt”. However, Global NCAP’s proposals have been met with silence from the companies and associations behind the worst models.
Among them is the Chinese manufacturer Great Wall, whose pickup Steed picked up zero points, this after the front wheel had penetrated so far into the cabin that it almost touched the front seat. Other identified culprits are the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers and the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers South Africa – as well as Suzuki, which is responsible for the India-built version of the Swift, and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which is behind Kwid.
Source: Nyteknik – Senaste nytt by www.nyteknik.se.
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