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Kia's poor performance in the world's crash safety rankings brings to light the MNC carmakers' contradictory criteria for India

The South Korean automaker joins other international automakers whose goods for India receive subpar safety ratings thanks to the 3-star Global NCAP rating for the Kia Carens and Seltos.

June 27, 2022 12:27 IST | India Infoline News Service
The South Korean automaker joins other international automakers whose goods for India receive subpar safety ratings thanks to the 3-star Global NCAP rating for the Kia Carens and Seltos. It's "a matter for concern," according to Global NCAP.

The most recent vehicle to undergo crash testing by Global NCAP as part of its "SaferCarsForIndia" campaign was the India-built Kia Carens. 54 safety tests of automobiles sold and made in India have been completed by Global NCAP as of the testing of the Carens.

The Carens, the newest MPV from Kia, has seven seats and was tested with just six airbags (two frontal, two side body and two head protection airbags). Six airbags were installed, but they didn't significantly raise the vehicle's safety rating, casting doubt on the government's proposed six airbag rule.

Due to problems with structural integrity, the Carens received a 3-star rating for both adult and child occupant safety, while only offering fair protection for the driver's chest and feet. The Kia Seltos, the only other Kia model that has been examined, likewise obtained a 3-star rating for comparable reasons.

The Seltos, which Kia Motors introduced to the Indian market even though it only received a 3-star safety rating, quickly became quite popular. However, the Seltos have performed better in terms of safety standards on other markets. Using a Seltos that was directly imported from South Korea to Australian markets, the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) gave the Seltos a 5-star rating. Euro NCAP awarded the Kia Sorento, one of its other best-sellers, a 5-star safety grade.

However, Kia is not the only automaker with subpar safety ratings for vehicles produced in India. Its parent company, Hyundai Motor India, is infamous for having less stringent safety standards and has been doing business in the nation since 1998. The i20 was given a 3-star rating by Global NCAP when it was put through its paces in 2022. Comparatively, the 2016 EuroNCAP test of the i20 gave it a four-star grade, as did the ANCAP evaluation of the Australian-marketed model.

The Creta, i20, and Grand i10 Nios are the only Hyundai vehicles tested recently that have not yet surpassed the 3-star threshold. In fact, the Grand i10's most recent 2-star rating is an increase above the vehicle's initial zero-star rating when it was evaluated in 2014, the year that the SaferCarsForIndia project gained traction, according to Global NCAP.

In that same year, EuroNCAP gave the i10 with European specifications a strong 4-star rating. Carmakers and the central government were forced to sit up and take notice of the appalling standards to which carmakers adhered as far as the safety of Indian customers as a result of the appalling ratings attained by bestsellers in the nation, such as the i10, Maruti Suzuki Swift, Maruti Suzuki WagonR, Alto, etc.

In addition to ensuring the safety of drivers and passengers, he added that this program will "improve the export-worthiness of Indian automobiles." The outcome of the six-airbag Carens serves as the ideal illustration of the need for the government to consider some kind of standardization for structural integrity in addition to increasing the number of airbags.

Ward greeted Bharat NCAP as a new member of the NCAP family on Twitter as well. The developments take place one week before the UN General Assembly's "high-Level meeting" on international road safety, which will focus on finding ways to reduce the number of traffic fatalities by half by 2030 and have as its theme "The 2030 horizon for road safety: securing a decade of action and delivery." The gathering will start in June.

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