NEW DELHI: Union minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari on Friday approved the draft notification to introduce Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program). Under this scheme, once approved and introduced, star ratings will be given to cars based on their performance in crash tests.
In a series of tweets, the minister said that Bharat NCAP will serve as a consumer-centric platform that would allow customers to opt for safer cars based on their star ratings while promoting healthy competition among Indian manufacturers.
He also said that the star rating of Indian cars based on crash tests is crucial not only to ensure structural and passenger safety in cars but also to increase the export-worthiness of Indian automobiles. The testing protocol of Bharat NCAP will be aligned with global crash test protocols factoring in the existing Indian regulations. Currently, most Indian cars, especially in the hatchback segment, have fared poorly in the global NCAP tests.
Maruti’s top-selling cars such as Alto and S-Presso have earned zero-star ratings, while WagonR and Swift got poor ratings of 2 stars at Global NCAP in adult (front row) safety rating. Only Vitara Brezza (4-star) and Ertiga (3-star) have decent ratings. Other top-selling cars such as Renault Kwid (1 star), Hyundai NIOS (2 stars and Mahindra Scorpio (zero stars) have failed miserably in these tests.
In comparison, recent launches by Tata Motors (Nexon, Punch, Altroz) and Mahindra & Mahindra (XUV300, Marazzo, Thar) have scored high ratings in these tests. On Friday, Mahindra announced that its XUV700 SUV received the Global NCAP ‘Safer Choice’ Award for being the safest car in India. Mahindra XUV700 had achieved a five-star Global NCAP rating for adult occupant protection and four stars for child occupant protection.
The development also comes months before India is expected to mandate six bags in passenger vehicles in an effort to bring down the number of road accidents and deaths by 50% by the end-2030.