Upgraded Tata Zest scores 4-star rating in crash test

Tata Zest, the popular sub-4 metre sedan from the home-grown automaker, has scored a 4-star rating in a Global NCAP crash test.

The test was carried out as part of the Safer Cars for India campaign where and Global NCAP tested two versions of the Tata Zest – the standard non-airbag version and an updated version with dual airbags. While the former obviously scored a zero star rating, the latter scored a 4-star rating.

Reportedly, Global NCAP first tested the non-airbag version that resulted in a disappointing zero star score for adult occupant protection and one star for child occupant protection. After that Global NCAP offered Tata Motors the opportunity to test another version of the Zest with more safety features. To make the best out of this opportunity, Tata introduced a structural improvement to the entire Zest range optional airbags, which was again tested by Global NCAP. And this time the car received 4-star score in adult occupant protection and 2-star in rear child occupant protection.

The winning Tata Zest offered improved safety features like two airbags (optional) and two pretensioners with substantial improvements, and seatbelt reminder for the driver seat. Tata had also selected other child restraint systems for the airbag version, improving the rear seat child occupant protection to 2 stars.

David Ward, secretary general of Global NCAP, said, "Tata has shown how they can dramatically improve the safety of the Zest. It is encouraging to see a major Indian brand improving the safety of their models. We strongly encourage Indian consumers to opt for the much safer 4-star rated option. We also urge Tata to consider making the two airbag version of the Zest their basic model."

Rohit Baluja, president of the Institute of Road Traffic Education, said, "Moving the Zest from zero to four stars is a significant achievement, and we are very happy that changes they have made to the vehicle structure will be adopted on all versions of the vehicle."

He added, "This challenge demonstrated by Tata Motors would set yet another example in Indian automobile industry, and would ultimately lead to a consumer awakening towards choosing safer vehicles."