In a setback to Nissan Motors, consumer safety testing body Global NCAP has asked the Japanese car maker to withdraw its compact car Datsun GO from the Indian market saying it was “sub-standard”.
Datsun GO, which was launched in the country last year, had failed crash test results recently conducted by the Global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP). It had failed on critical safety count.
In a letter to Nissan Chairman and CEO, Global NCAP Chairman Max Mosley urged for an “urgent withdrawal of the Datsun Go from the Indian and related markets”.
“It is extremely disappointing that Nissan has authorised the launch of a brand new model that is so clearly sub-standard. As presently engineered the Datsun Go will certainly fail to pass the United Nation’s frontal impact regulation.
“In these circumstances I would urge Nissan to withdraw the Datsun Go from sale in India pending an urgent redesign of the car’s body-shell,” Mosley said.
Applying the UN’s minimum crash test standards to all passenger car production worldwide is a key recommendation of the Global Plan for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, he added.
“Given Carlos Ghosn’s responsibilities as Chairman and CEO of Nissan and President of the European Car Manufacturers Association, he should now demonstrate leadership both in Nissan and on behalf of the vehicle industry generally that corresponds to the UN’s legitimate expectation that automobile safety should be improved during the Decade of Action,” Mosley said.
As per the crash results, the Datsun GO scored zero stars for adult occupant protection and just two stars for child occupant protection. Its vehicle structure collapsed in the crash and was rated as unstable.
“The car’s lack of airbags meant that the driver’s head makes direct contact with the steering wheel and dashboard – the dummy readings indicate a high probability of life-threatening injuries. However the failure of the body shell makes it redundant to fit an airbag,” Global NCAP said.
When contacted a Nissan India spokesperson said : “We have not received the letter yet”.
Earlier this week, Global NCAP had come out with the crash results for both the Maruti Suzuki Swift and Datsun GO.
While Maruti Swift had received a zero star rating in the 64 km/h frontal collision test, the Datsun Go had received a two-star rating. The testing agency said that both the cars showed the crash-test dummies received near-fatal injuries, and the shells of their bodies disintegrated.
Reacting to the Global NCAP results, Nissan had said earlier that the Datsun GO met the required local vehicle regulations in India.
Auto industry body SIAM had also defended Maruti Suzuki and Nissan on the issue. SIAM Director-General Vishnu Mathur had said that every country has its own safety requirements and that the protocol followed by Global NCAP was not designed for
India and tests must be conducted based on the conditions here.
Earlier this year, some of the most popular small cars sold in India, including Maruti Alto 800, Tata Nano, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Polo, had also failed Global NCAP crash tests showing high risk of life-threatening injuries in road accidents.