Monday saw two of the biggest names in the Indian auto industry face flak for not meeting international safety norms. Popular hatchbacks Maruti Suzuki Swift and Datsun Go of Nissan have failed crash tests conducted by Global NCAP, showing high risk of life-threatening injuries.
The international auto testing agency, disclosed that the Maruti Suzuki Swift was put to a crash test and failed. Nissan’s Datsun Go went through the same test, and failed too. Datsun Go scored two stars while the Swift got one. In its report, Global NCAP rated the car structure of the Swift and Datsun Go as 'unstable' saying the latter collapsed when the car was crashed from the front at a speed of 64 kmph, the speed at which most fatalities occur.
Global NCAP had published car test results for five other best-selling cars in India in January, including Tata Nano, Ford Figo and Maruti Alto.
With the auto industry going through a slump, the second half of the year saw sales revive. Customers have begun wondering whether to avoid buying these cars already. Since Monday, a lot of car owners and prospective buyers are reacting to the news concerning the safety in these cars. Here are some excerpts from Facebook:
However, according to market reports, in defense of the carmakers, Indian auto industry body, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, said that the UK-based agency had not considered that average speeds in India are lower than in the developed world, due to poor road conditions and heavy traffic.
With such extreme reactions on social media, one wonders what this test would do to the image of these popular brands in the country.