Maruti on Track to Meet Safety Norms
New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki is racing ahead of the pack in making its vehicles compliant to new crash regulations.
Five of its popular models — S-Cross, Baleno, Ciaz, Vitara Brezza and Ignis — have been successfully tested for pedestrian, offset-frontal and full-frontal crash safety, the most for any mass producer of cars India. The nation’s largest carmaker by sales is developing an in-house facility to conduct pedestrian and frontal crash tests at Rohtak near Delhi at a cost of ₹ 3,800 crore. The facility, in which it has already invested ₹ 1,900 crore and is operational, will provide support also to parent Suzuki’s global operations.
“We have conducted 35-40 different crash tests on each model and variant to check the compliance,” said CV Raman, executive director in charge of R&D.
India accounts for the most number of fatalities in road accidents. According to a World Health Organization report in 2015, about 12.5 lakh people die in road accidents globally every year and 2 lakh of these deaths happen in India. Experts blame lack of safety regulations, disregard to compliance of existing rules as well as poor maintenance of vehicles and bad roads among the reasons for large number of road accident deaths here. The Indian economy takes a 3%, or about $58 billion, hit every year due to road accidents, according to a study by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Among 19 countries tracked in the study, only Japan was ahead of India based on the financial impact of road accidents at $63 billion.
The government is introducing tougher safety rules, making airbags, anti-lock braking system and crash tests compulsory in a phased manner. Under the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme (BNVSAP), all new passenger vehicle models must pass full frontal impact, offset frontal impact and side impact crash tests from October this year. Pedestrian protection will become compulsory a year later, while automakers have two to three years to meet these requirements on their existing models. Also in the works is a policy to scrap old vehicles.
Recently, Maruti demonstrated before the media the offset-frontal crash test of the Ignis at 56 kmph at Rotak. The result was impressive, as the car came out with its cabin intact, airbags properly inflated and doors that freely opened.
5 popular models have been successfully tested for pedestrian, offset-frontal and full-frontal crash safety