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Which is the safest among best selling small cars? Find out...

February 13, 2014 08:47 IST

Which is the safest among best selling small cars? Find out...

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Sharmistha Mukherjee

Best-selling India-made hatchbacks Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Tata Nano, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo failed to pass the Global New Car Assessment Program (Ncap) by a UK-based independent charity focused on consumer-oriented vehicle safety initiatives.

All these cars scored zero on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being the least safe).

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Video: Global NCAP

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The tests done on cars bought from Indian showrooms and later shipped to the testing facility highlighted shortcomings in the structural integrity of the vehicles, which poses high risk of life-threatening injuries in road crashes on frontal impact.

Only entry-level variants were chosen for the tests.

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Video: Global NCAP
Tags: 1

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These vehicles usually do not have airbags, a basic prerequisite globally to pass a safety test.

Combined sales of these five cars accounted for around 20 per cent of all new cars sold in India last year. The crash tests were carried out at 64 km per hour.

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Video: Courtesy, Maruti Suzuki
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Ncap also assessed the same models against the UN's basic crash test and all the cars, except the Volkswagen Polo, failed that minimum standard.

This 40 per cent offset frontal impact test at 56 km per hour is now widely applied by major manufacturing countries and regions, including Australia, China, the European Union, Japan and Malaysia.

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Video: Courtesy, Volkswagen

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Car makers in India say that their products conform to the safety standards outlined by Indian regulatory authorities, including the frontal barrier crash test at 48 km per hour as mandated by the government.

Despite India recording the highest road fatalities in the world, the share of life-saving features such as airbags in cars and SUVs is among the lowest in the world.

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Video: Reuters
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Customers in India usually compromise on safety issues to ensure lower price tags.

Volkswagen's Polo is the only hatchback on sale in India which offers front airbags as standard on all variants.

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Video: Courtesy, Volkswagen

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