It has been a week of rising safety concerns for cars in India. The recent sub-standard crash test results of the Renault Kwid and the basic Honda Mobilio were followed by the India-made Chevrolet Beat earning zero-star ratings for both adult and child occupants in the New Car Assessment Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean (Latin NCAP) on Tuesday.
The Beat, manufactured at General Motor’s Talegaon plant near Pune, is a popular car in the South American markets like Mexico and Columbia, where it sells under the 'Spark' moniker. But the latest crash test results of the most basic version of the car have once again raised eyebrows about car safety standards in emerging markets.
Secretary general of the Latin NCAP, Alejandro Furas said, “This is another disappointment from General Motors, especially in a model that has the potential to offer high protection levels, as it did when its basic version equipped with six airbags was tested by Euro NCAP in 2009 and scored four stars.”
He chided at the fact that the European version of the car offers airbags at a similar price to the model of the car that is offered in Latin America without any such safety feature. “It is hard to believe that this kind of discrimination towards the Latin American consumers continues, whilst Global NCAP and the road safety community pledges for the democratisation of car safety,” he said.
Talking about the test, the vehicle’s structure was rated stable. But the absence of accurate instructions for proper Child Restraint System installation was the main concern for child safety. Also, there was no need of a side impact because the car had already yielded a duck in the frontal impact test.