The Suzuki Swift sold in Latin American markets in manufactured in India, and it has scored a very poor zero star safety rating in the Latin NCAP crash test. The car received a 15.53 per cent rating for adult occupant protection, while the same for child occupant protection was 0 per cent.
The Latin New Car Assessment Programme or Latin NCAP recently crash-tested the Suzuki Swift that is sold in the region, and it has received a Zero-star rating from the safety watchdog. The big highlight here, of course, is the fact that the car tested by Latin NCAP is Made-In-India, at the Japanese carmaker’s Suzuki Motor Gujarat manufacturing facility. The car received a 15.53 per cent rating for adult occupant protection, while the same for child occupant protection was 0 per cent. The car surprisingly scored a decent 66 per cent for Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Track Users, the rating again fell to 7 per cent with regards to Security Assistance Systems. We did reach out to Maruti Suzuki India for a comment, however our email remained unanswered.
In its report, the Latin NCAP says, the zero stars result is explained by the poor side impact protection and an open door during the test. The car’s whiplash score was also low due to the lack of UN32 prove for the rear impact test, lack of standard side head protection airbags, lack of standard ESC and the decision of Suzuki of not recommending CRS for the test. It also said that the car would not pass Regulation UN95 requirements due to door opening. The watchdog pointed out that the Swift is sold in Europe with 6 airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard, while the model in Latin America is not offered with side body and head airbags and ESC as standard.
Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Latin NCAP said, “Basic vehicle safety, which is standard in mature economies markets, is a right that Latin American consumers should claim without having to pay extra for them. These safety features act like vaccines for one of the most severe pandemics like road traffic injuries and fatalities. Consumers have the right to receive the same vaccine supplied anywhere else without having to pay more for it”.
Now, when it comes to crash tests, Maruti Suzuki India, and especially the Swift has had a chequered past. The previous-generation Maruti Suzuki Swift had initially scored a zero-star safety rating in the Global NCAP crash test back in 2014. Back then, even the base variant did not get airbags and ABS as standard. Later, when the existing third-generation Swift was introduced, the European-spec model was crash-tested by the Euro NCAP, and that model had received a 3-star safety rating from the European watchdog. The 3-star rating was received by the standard variant of the Swift, while the optional safety pack equipped version received a 4-star rating by the Euro NCAP.
Having said that, after the model was launched in India in 2018, the Global NCAP again crash-tested the India-spec model, and this time the new-gen Swift received 2 stars for adult occupant protection. GNCAP had stated that the car falls short on adult safety, and also that the bodyshell of the Swift was unstable and it cannot withstand further loadings. The model that was tested by GNCAP in 2018, came with dual airbags, seat-belt pre-tensioners along with ISOFIX anchorages but doesn’t offer 4-channel ABS which is one of the key reasons for it getting a poor rating.
So, given the new-gen Swift’s history with crash tests conducted by the various other safety watchdogs, and the fact that the car is Made-in-India, we would have expected it to receive a better safety rating. However, this could be the result of the recently updated testing policies of the Latin NCAP, which was announced in June 2021. Right now, the NCAP assesses the most basic safety equipped variant or lowest safety specification is chosen across all markets.