Global NCAP is responsible for testing vehicle safety and their latest batch of results is out. Two of the hot selling cars were evaluated, two versions of the Honda Mobilio and the highest safety version of the Renault Kwid. The basic version of Honda Mobilio displayed a zero star protection rating. But on request by Honda in order to demonstrate the advantages of safety another higher version with airbags was tested which showed a satisfactory 3 star protection rating. Renault Kwid in its highest spec with a driver airbag was able to score a star at the driver’s seat.
The standard version of the Kwid was tested earlier which could not score a star for adult occupants and 2 stars for child protection. As expected Renault was supposed to increase safety standards for its very basic version and score at least a star, but the improvement comes on the optional airbag version which disappoints. Honda’s argument stands that spending more on safety systems improves chances of major injuries or death, but then why should the basic version be void of that.
Renault will keep improving upon safety as it is difficult to offers a car with so many features at a competitive price point, but it will be better to see safety being considered as a necessity more than gadgets. Honda too should take a leaf out and understand spending more on safety justifies higher price tags, but not what happens when a basic car crashes with passengers in it. Rohit Baluja, President, Road Traffic Education, states that because Indian automobile industry is progressing at a fast pace, safety systems in vehicles shall be taken with priority and not optionally. Frontal crashes at 64kmph are not rare at highways and zero or a star rating is not acceptable.