Datsun India is planning to offer the GO hatchback with an optional driver side airbag. The production of this new top-end variant would commence from next month at Nissan's Oragadam plant, reports Autocar Professional. It is also being said that Datsun GO hatchback would be sent again to NCAP for a re-test. The India-made air-bag equipped GO hatch would also be launched in South Africa in July 2015.
Datsun & parent company Nissan were heavily criticised by the auto-pundits after the GO hatchback failed the NCAP tests miserably. The hatchback didn't had any safety feature at the time of its launch, but now along with driver side airbag, it would also have Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and side impact beams. The Global NCAP testing agency gave the GO a zero-star safety rating and even said in a statement that inclusion of an airbag would be of little use in the Go as the car’s structure was weak. However, an ET report says that company engineers are taking this matter quite seriously and contemplating inclusion of stronger steel on the monocoque and side impact beams.
Nissan hasn't officially confirmed all these developments but David Ward, secretary general, Global NCAP, said that his firm had conducted a “high-level of discussion” with the Japanese automajor's top management. In fact, Nissan engineers are working their heart out to improve the safety of the GO hatch. The steel which would be used in the construction of the hatchback would have a tensile strength of 520 MPa (mega Pascal) against the earlier one's 320 MPa. Also, the addition of side impact beams would improve GO's rating in the side impact tests.