Homegrown automaker Tata Motor's upcoming premium hatchback Altroz has scored 5 stars for adult and three stars for child occupant safety in crash tests conducted by UK based Global NCAP.
With this the Tata Altroz has followed up on stablemate Nexon SUV, which so far was the only other car in India to get 5 stars in crash tests. Global NCAP picked the base variant of the car, which comes fitted with dual airbags and ABS (antilock braking system). Following the onset of new safety norms last year, it is mandatory for all cars in India to offer at least one airbag.
"The latest result in our #SaferCarsforIndia crash tests shows a strong signal that TATA is moving its fleet to 5-star levels of safety performance. We would like to encourage all other car manufacturers in India to follow TATA's example and bring affordable 5-star cars to Indian consumers," said David Ward, CEO and President of Global NCAP. "The Indian government's minimum crash test standards are clearly helping to eliminate any new zero star cars from the market, and we will continue to work with them to ensure the push of regulatory requirements is complimented by the pull of consumer awareness, encouraging the demand for ever higher levels of safety."
The independent body said Tata Altroz's structure and its footwell area were rated as stable. Head and neck protection for adult occupants was good, while chest protection for both adults was adequate. Child occupant protection showed good protection for the 18 month old dummy.
"The 3 year old CRS was installed forward facing, the backrest of the seat unlatched during the crash due to the load of the top tether which was a reason for a score reduction. The head contact of the 3 years old dummy with the interior of the car, the lack of three point belts in all seating positions, and the lack of possibility of disconnecting the passenger airbag when a rearward facing CRS is installed in the passenger seat explain the three star rating for child occupant protection," it added.
Global NCAP first grabbed headlines in India on the eve of the biennial Delhi motor show in January 2014 when it tested five Indian cars. All of them -- Tata Nano, Maruti Alto 800, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo, fared miserably and scored a zero. Since then it has given heart burn to Indian car companies on numerous occasions.
Ten months later, Datsun Go and Maruti Swift could not muster the pass marks. In 2016, the base variants of the Kwid, Hyundai Eon, Maruti Celerio, Eeco, Honda Mobilio, Tata Zest and Mahindra Scorpio, all scored zero stars as well. Testing in subsequent years expanded the list of zero star rated cars in India further to include the Renault Duster and Chevrolet Enjoy in the list.
So far more than 35 cars across 26 brands have been crash tested in India. The results are far from flattering. An overwhelming 19 cars have scored zero stars, two have scored 1 star, three cars scored 2 stars, 4 cars have 3 stars and 6 have scored 4 stars. The Tata Nexon compact SUV and now the Tata Altroz are the only two cars to have scored the maximum 5 stars till date in India.
In recent times, there has been an increasing awareness towards safety both among manufacturers as well as consumers. Unlike before, most of the cars being sold in India today come with features like dual airbags and ABS as standard. This is reflected in the relatively better scores that Indian cars have got in recent tests conducted by Global NCAP.