Maruti Suzuki Swift, Nissan's Datsun Go fail UK's Global NCAP vehicle test

UK-based vehicle-testing agency Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) yesterday said Maruti Suzuki India's Swift hatchback and Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd's Datsun Go small car were ''unstable'' and might have ''high probability of life-threatening injuries'', LiveMint reported.

The testing of both the vehicles was carried out at 64km per hour. The average speed limit in India is 40km per hour which rises to 80km per hour on highways.

Denying the findings of the reports, the companies said their vehicles conformed to all the regulations applicable in India.

According to the report, Swift scored zero stars for adult occupant protection and only one star for child occupant protection.

The vehicle structure of the Swift showed signs of collapsing in the crash and was rated as unstable. ''The car's lack of standard-fit airbags meant that the driver's head makes direct contact with the steering wheel - the dummy readings indicate a high probability of life threatening injuries,'' Global NCAP said in the report. ''The Swift's poor child protection score is due mainly to the poor performance of the Child Restraint System.''

According to a Maruti spokesperson the firm was committed to customer safety and for the public at large it had set up a state-of-the-art crash testing facility and proving ground at its research and development (R&D) facility in Rohtak to ensure timely development and for meeting future regulations.

Guillaume Sicard, president , Nissan India said, Datsun GO met the required local vehicle regulations in India adding Safety was important and was a key issue in India, PTI reported.

Automotive regulation standards in fast-growing countries were constantly evolving and as a global manufacturer, Nissan was willing to adopt as well as help evolve standards in vehicular safety standards.

The Datsun GO also did not score any star for adult occupant protection while it scored two stars for child occupant protection.

"The Datsun GO's vehicle structure collapsed in the crash and was rated as unstable. The car's lack of airbags meant that the driver's head makes direct contact with the steering wheel and dashboard? the dummy readings indicate a high probability of life-threatening injuries," Global NCAP said.

It added the failure of the body shell made it redundant to fit an airbag.

However, in the Swift, occupant protection would improve with airbags, Global NCAP said.

Global NCAP chairman Max Mosley said, India had the potential to be a world leader in the automobile industry but Indian consumers were not aware of how unsafe they would be in case of a crash.