Suzuki SA as­sures its airbag and ABS-equipped Swift is safe

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MO­TOR­ING STAFF

CON­CERNS re­gard­ing the safety rat­ing of the Suzuki Swift 1.2 pro­duced in In­dia, which have emerged in the wake of a re­cent Global NCAP crash test, are not rel­e­vant to the model sold in South Africa.

Ac­cord­ing to the Global NCAP, an um­brella body of car safety test­ing, the 64km/h frontal off­set crash tests of Nis­san's Dat­sun GO and Maru­tiSuzuki's Swift demon­strated a high risk of life-threat­en­ing in­juries with both cars re­ceiv­ing zero-star safety rat­ing for their adult oc­cu­pant pro­tec­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Charl Grob­ler, sales and prod­uct man­ager at Suzuki Auto SA, the test was con­ducted on two dif­fer­ent grades of the Suzuki Swift: the In­dian ba­sic spec­i­fi­ca­tion model, and the Latin Amer­i­can ex­port spec­i­fi­ca­tion ver­sion.

“How­ever, the Swift 1.2 model of­fered for sale in SA is the ex­port spec­i­fi­ca­tion ver­sion, which comes equipped with ABS and dual front airbags. There­fore, the zero safety score is not ap­pli­ca­ble to the lo­cally avail­able Swift model,” Grob­ler added.

The Global NCAP test con­ducted on the ex­port model as sold in SA re­sulted in a three­star rat­ing. The Swift 1.2 also meets all SA reg­u­la­tions and com­pul­sory spec­i­fi­ca­tions as set out by the Na­tional Reg­u­la­tor for Com­pul­sory Spec­i­fi­ca­tions (NRCS) - pre­vi­ously known as the SABS.

Grob­ler points out that SA cus­tomers seek­ing an even higher level of ac­tive and pas­sive safety can opt for the Swift 1.4 and Swift Sport mod­els. Th­ese mod­els ben­e­fit from ad­di­tional safety sys­tems, in­clud­ing a to­tal of six airbags, Brake As­sist (BA) and Elec­tronic Brake Force Dis­tri­bu­tion (EBD) for the ABS brak­ing sys­tem, and Elec­tronic Sta­bil­ity Pro­gramme (ESP).

The Dat­sun GO, which was launched in South Africa last month, is avail­able here with nei­ther airbags nor ABS brakes. How­ever, the NCAP or­gan­i­sa­tion re­marked that the body struc­ture of the Dat­sun Go per­formed so badly that fit­ting an airbag would be fu­tile.

Suzuki Swift much safer in crashes when equipped with airbags, as is the case with South African ver­sions.

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