Scores 0 on front seat protection and 2 stars for rear seat child occupant protection
French car major Renault's popular SUV Duster sold in India has failed crash test conducted on its base variant without airbags by vehicle safety group Global NCAP.
In the test, the model recorded zero stars for adult occupant protection, the UK-based Global NCAP, an umbrella body of consumer car safety testing bodies, said in its latest report.
The crash test showed that due to the lack of airbags the driver injuries would have been unacceptably high. The Duster also scored 2 stars for rear seat child occupant protection.
"It is troubling that during the UN Road Safety Week we yet again encounter a zero star car in our crash testing in India," Global NCAP secretary general David Ward said.
When contacted, Renault India said all its products meet and exceed the requisite safety standards set by Indian regulatory authorities.
The Indian government has announced that crash test regulation for all existing cars will come into effect in 2019 and for new cars in 2017 and Renault fully supports this, the automaker said.
"India is gradually moving towards international safety norms by including more robust safety regulations and the assurance of the Bharat NCAP is a positive step in this direction," Renault India said.
However, Ward said Renault produces the Duster in a number of markets and yet it seems content to provide a version for India which falls so far short on safety.
"The version of the Duster with an airbag scores three stars, but this too fell short as it was fitted with a smaller airbag. A model with a correctly sized airbag should be provided as standard," Ward said.
Global NCAP said Duster sold in Latin America had bigger airbags compared with the ones sold in India, thereby bringing corresponding differences in protection of driver.
A single airbag version was tested by Latin NCAP in 2015 where it scored 4 stars and the Indian version only 3 stars under same testing assessment and criteria, it added.
Renault sells the Duster in over 100 countries and is manufactured in five countries.
In March, General Motor India's multipurpose vehicle (MPV) Chevrolet Enjoy had scored zero points in terms of adult occupant protection.
On the other hand, Ford's compact sedan Aspire, which comes with double airbags as standard, had scored three stars for adult occupant protection and two stars for child protection.