Maruti Suzuki Chairman Dismisses Global NCAP Tests Of Its Cars

R C Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki says following NCAP safety standards would have no significant impact on reducing accidents in India if focus wasn’t paid to vehicle and driver fitness.

By Carandbike Team


3 mins read


Published on December 20, 2022

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  • Meeting safety standards will not have an impact on road safety; RC Bhargava
  • No regulations on vehicle fitness. proper training of drivers
  • Maruti has fared poorly in the latest round of Global NCAP Crash Tests

At a recent media event, Maruti Suzuki Chairman, R C Bhargava, questioned the need for adding more safety features into vehicles in India while not focusing on other accident-causing factors. The company said that while the Indian auto industry was adopting more safety technologies making cars more expensive the focus should also have been placed on vehicle and driver fitness as a means of preventing accidents.

When questioned about improving the safety standards and crash capabilities of Maruti’s cars, R C Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL) said that meeting NCAP safety standards would not have a significant impact on reducing accidents in India as it did not focus on the cause of accidents.

“Safety means ultimately that a customer should A. be able to buy a safe car but more importantly that he should have a minimum chance of having an accident. Now nobody, that I know of, looks at why do accidents happen in India. We just take whatever is given to us by somebody somewhere that safety is this,” Bhargava said.

The subject of vehicle safety stems from the recent crash test results published by Global NCAP which saw three Maruti Suzuki hatchbacks awarded just a one-star rating. The global safety watchdog had expressed concern over the lack of key safety systems in the vehicles and their poor performance overall.

However, while he essentially dodged the question on making Maruti vehicles safer in case of collisions, Bhargava did bring up a valid point on improving road safety. Indian roads are regarded are some of the most unsafe in the world from a variety of factors ranging from poor road design, lack of signages, untrained drivers, overspeeding, improper vehicle maintenance and more. These are also important factors that need to be looked into in a bid to help control the number of road accidents.

Bhargava said that vehicles manufactured today met all the prescribed safety standards laid down by the government. However, the country lagged behind other developed markets in the field of vehicle fitness as India lacked any regulations in that matter as well as drivers having proper training about road use and handling vehicles.

“There is no fitness certification for cars yet,” Bhargava said adding that a lot of accidents were caused due to failures in some system of the vehicle. He added that India also lacked a rigorous training and testing standards for drivers to get their license as seen in many other countries.

Bhargava also questioned the NCAP ratings, citing that the organisation was funded by many safety components manufacturers as well as the assumption that NCAP agencies knew the safety requirements better than a country’s government.

Speaking on the NCAP results Bhargava said, “Now one, it assumes that all the regulators world over, whether in Europe or in Japan or in the US, really don’t know their business. That NCAP knows the safety business better than all the governments in the world.”

Bhargava added that the Indian safety standards were based on those prevailing in Europe and therefore questioned the view that NCAP understood safety requirements better.

However, a matter left unaddressed was the vehicle’s structural stability. While Bhargava pointed out that added safety systems in cars would not help reduce accidents and questioned NCAP tests, he did not address the matter of structural stability. In nearly all recent Maruti crash tests Global NCAP pointed to the vehicles having unstable structures in the event of a collision aside from a lack of some essential safety features. A stable structure helps reduce the chance of severe injuries to vehicle occupants by effectively cocooning them in the case of a collision.


Last Updated on December 20, 2022

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