Global NCAP Crash Test result and misinformation about it.
It’s all about the Global NCAP Crash Test Result and Safety Rating that it provides also about various misinformation related to it. To know more keep reading.
You must give credit to Global NCAP’s crash tests and its safety rating for being the contributor to the automotive safety movement at least in India also across many countries out there. Now talking about Indian Automotive Industry the results of the very first crash tests by the agency on five made-in-India and made-for-India cars were released in January 2014 that made headlines nationwide and brought the topic of automotive safety all around. The results actually were some sort of call for the Automotive Industry stake-holders and progress is being made as we can see more safer cars in roads now. Also the government that always keeps on asking about safety, along with other initiatives is bringing in more superior crash test requirements, as a result, many carmakers have incorporated basic safety features like airbags and ABS before the law was mandated also now buyers want safer cars for the price they spend.
What is the Global NCAP?
Before talking about safety and ratings let first get to know what is Global NCAP or simply NCAP. NCAP stands for New Car Assessment Program. To know about it in brief, in 1978 the USA became the first country that came up with a program to provide car crash information out to public or to the buyers, which eventually became crash test and reporting the results. This was called The US-NCAP, and that model formed the basis for similar programs in other regions, and today there is the Australasian NCAP, Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, ASEAN NCAP, China NCAP, Korean NCAP and Latin NCAP. Global NCAP on the other hand is an independent charity registered in the UK that was formed in 2011 to enhance cooperation between the various NCAPs and its primary motive was to promote vehicle crash-testing and reporting in emerging markets. Some it is key initiatives now are the ‘Safer Cars For India’ and ‘Safer Cars For Africa’ which is actually showing result as cars in these markets are becoming safer for the buyers.
How Global NCAP does the crash-test?
Every NCAP has its unique and specific protocols to crash-test and score cars. Talking about Euro NCAP model which conducts tests like full-frontal, front offset, side-impact and side pole tests.
On the other hand the Global NCAP ratings are based on mostly front offset crash tests. A front offset crash test is done to simulate a head-on collision between two vehicles. In the Global NCAP test, the car is rolled at 64 KPH and driven into a deformable barrier which mimics a crash between two cars of the same weight, both moving at 50 KPH.
Now talking about the key difference between the front offset test conducted by Global NCAP and Indian regulatory authorities is the speed at which a car is rolled. As per the Indian government’s latest safety norms (which are applicable on every new models since October 2017) to be eligible for sale, a car must meet front offset and side-impact crash test requirements. The Indian government’s front offset test is conducted at 56 KPH which is lower than the Global NCAP’s front offset crash test speed but comes within the United Nations Regulation 94 for front impact protection.
So here comes an important point to be noted that, it is possible for a car to meet the latest Indian Safety Norms and be certified for sale, and can get a poor rating by Global NCAP.
So, with this, if there arises question on the car after getting a poor Global NCAP rating and the manufacturers give out at press release then do believe that the car meets all Government “safety regulation”. So the requirements for a good score by NCAP are far superior to minimum requirements. Also, NCAP protocols change with time and may include more tests and features for making vehicles more safer for consumers.
Ways in which Global NCAP score cars
If you’re familiar with NCAP then you may know that the cars are given a rating on a 5-star scale. The simple fact is, higher a car gets star rating, the safer the car is. The rating is primarily based on the Adult Occupant Protection and Child Occupant Protection scores that come from the crash test. The scores come from the readings of the crash-test dummies that are used. For extra safety features as standard additional points are given. Also Global NCAP strongly mandates at least a driver’s side airbag as the minimum requirement to qualify for a one-star rating. This explains why non-airbag versions of the Tata Zest and Volkswagen Polo received zero stars at first while versions equipped with airbags tested later secured 4-star. Also with these now some budget cars finally come with at least a driver-side airbag, all thanks to Global NCAP. With time, more requirements will be introduced too for making cars much safer. For instance, ESC can become a minimum star requirement for Indian cars for crash test, and it’s already provided in many cars by the manufacturers.
Now coming to details about the 17-point Adult Occupant Protection score, this takes into account driver injury readings from four body regions – head and neck; chest; knee, femur and pelvis, leg and foot. More points are given to cars with seatbelt reminder, four-channel ABS and side-impact protection.
Now coming to 49- point Child Occupant Protection score, the readings are from the 18- month-old and 3-year-old-sized dummies placed in a recommended child seats. Additional points are given for child restraint system markings, provision of three-point seat belts, Isofix, and rear airbags.
Global NCAP car selection for test
The cars that are counted for Safer Indian cars are mainly mass-market models. For the crash test to be done Global NCAP brings cars directly from the showroom. The tests are usually done using the base trim of a car and the reason behind that is to establish a baseline safety level a buyer gets on the most affordable version of a car. However, sometimes the carmakers are encouraged and asked to send an improved or higher-spec car with more safety features for an additional crash test and rating on that model. Also when the manufacturer is providing car to the agency for test, than the model is selected directly from the assembly line by Global NCAP in accordance with some strict protocols. Some cars like Tata Zest, Volkswagen Polo and Honda Mobilio have been tested twice, while the Renault Kwid has been tested four times since 2016. In 2020 Mahindra XUV 300 and facelifted Tata Tiago and Tata Tigor have again been tested. Recently Kia Seltos, Hyundai Grand i10 Nios and Maruti Suzuki S-Presso were tested. So far, Global NCAP has conducted more than 40 crash tests on 30 plus Indian cars with most recently conducting crash test on 2020 Mahindra Thar which proved to be safest among all with 4-star rating for both Adult occupants and child occupants.
Is it possible for all cars to have a crash test rating?
As Global NCAP, as an independent body with limited resources to conduct crash tests on each and every car it is practically not possible for that to happen soon enough. The primary goal is to create awareness among buyers for more safe cars which will result in demand for a safety rating. And this particular thing is already happening as now more cars are getting safer as buyers now look with suspicion about the safety and as a result manufacturers themselves send new models for rating to the specific NCAP. Also a better rating is good for business.
There was also talks about an India-specific Bharat NCAP (which later would become BNVSAP or Bharat New Vehicle Assessment Program) which is been is discussion since 2014 when fiest Global NCAP tests were performed. Also India now even has the facilities to conduct such type of crash tests so maybe soon enough the program can come to life if related industry bodies come together for it.
With organizations like Global NCAP now buyers have more information on what to buy safe for them. The good thing that’s happening is that now carmakers by themselves started inviting Global NCAP to test their cars. As a good safety rating can make a car more valuable and it better for both makers and buyers.
So this was some #mototales_gyan on Global NCAP’s #safercarsforindia program.
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An Electronics Engineering graduate and with a passion for Automobiles a full-time Automotive Blogger.