German carmaker Volkswagen today hit out at Bajaj Auto for putting out “misleading” information regarding Global NCAP safety rating for its premium hatch Polo saying the statement issued by the two-wheeler major is “incorrect and without merit”.
Volkswagen’s statement comes a day after Global NCAP had hit out at Bajaj Auto for making ‘misleading’ claims of better safety standards of the company’s quadricycle Qute than some popular compact cars sold in India based on crash test results done by the UK-based vehicle safety group.
On Thursday, Bajaj Auto had said “…in a recent Euro NCAP report, the Bajaj Qute was accorded a 1 (one) star rating, superior to the 0 (zero) star rating of popular cars including the VW Polo, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10, Maruti Alto, and Tata Nano.”
Rebuffing Bajaj Auto’s claims, Volkswagen India said in a statement: “The information issued by Bajaj Auto Ltd with reference to Volkswagen Polo NCAP rating is misleading, incorrect and without merit.”
The car maker said that contrary to the claim made by Bajaj Auto, the Global NCAP has given a 4-star rating for its Polo carline in India.
An independent charity focused on consumer-orientated vehicle safety initiatives, Global NCAP also said although it has given a one-star rating for quadricycles to Bajaj Qute, the vehicle does not perform well and there is a “likelihood of severe or fatal head and chest injuries”.
In a letter written to Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj, Global NCAP Secretary General David Ward said: “It is also very disappointing to read that Bajaj was also reported to be making comparisons between Global NCAP’s tests of Indian passenger cars suggesting that the Qute had performed better than cars with a zero-star result. To make such a comparison is misleading and wrong.”
He further said: “The Euro NCAP quadricycle test uses a full frontal impact at 50 km/h whereas Global NCAP’s passenger car tests use a 40 per cent overlap impact at 64 km/h. The latter is a much tougher test and should not be used as a relevant comparison.”
Later on Bajaj Auto clarified that it had inferred on the basis of results that it has seen that while the Qute has achieved a ‘1 star’ rating in its category of quadricycles, several popular small cars have “achieved a zero star rating in their category”.
The company’s MD Rajiv Bajaj retorted to Global NCAP statement saying, “We would equally respectfully suggest that in the future Global NCAP reflect a little longer and exhibit greater maturity in drawing conclusions before venturing to cast unwarranted aspersion upon an organization that has a track record for integrity and performance as does Bajaj Auto.”