10 May 2017
Renault Duster scores zero stars in its basic version
In the second set of #SaferCarsForIndia results for 2017, Global NCAP has released the ratings for crash tests conducted on the Renault Duster in its basic version without airbags and at the request of the manufacturer in the version with an optional driver airbag.
The Duster, which is sold without airbags in its basic version, recorded a disappointing zero stars for adult occupant protection. The crash test showed that due to the lack of airbags the driver injuries would have been unacceptably high. The Duster also scored 2 stars for rear seat child occupant protection.
Following the test Renault asked Global NCAP to test a version of the Duster which included a single driver airbag. This increased the score to 3 stars for adult occupant protection, child protection remained the same at 2 stars.
Global NCAP decided to further investigate the Duster as a single airbag version was tested by Latin NCAP in 2015 where it scored 4 stars. It was found that the
Indian Duster airbag was smaller than that of the Latin American Duster.
The difference in airbag size brings corresponding differences in protection. With the Indian Duster the head of the driver did not contact the airbag in the centre as it should, exposing the head to impact on the steering wheel and therefore more risk of injuries. This can be seen when the head reaches maximum front excursion and compresses the airbag. The Latin American Duster airbag on the other hand was a larger size and covered the head and chest of the driver. With the head in maximum forward excursion the airbag still shows containment to the head protecting it from the steering wheel.
These differences explain the difference in protection level and why the Latin American version scored 4 stars and the Indian version only 3 stars under same testing assessment and criteria.
David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP said:
“It is troubling that during the UN Road Safety Week we yet again encounter a zero star car in our crash testing in India. Renault produce the Duster in a number of markets and yet it seems content to provide a version for India which falls so far short on safety.
“The version of the Duster with an airbag scores three stars, but this too fell short as it was fitted with a smaller airbag. A model with a correctly sized airbag should be provided as standard.”
Rohit Baluja, President of the Institute of Road Traffic Education said:
“The maximum speed limit for passenger cars in India has been notified as high as 100kph. Highways in India are witnessing very high speeds of Light Motor Vehicles (LMV) and therefore it is of utmost importance that our new generation cars are built to the highest safety standards. The Renault Duster has been created as a sporty vehicle and drivers tend to drive these at high speeds. Renault must make the Duster with an airbag as standard, as they do in other parts of the world. Indian consumers should no longer be subject to second class status on occupant protection from global manufacturers who achieve high levels of safety in other markets.
“The Prime Minister’s call for ‘Made in India’ should be well respected by car manufacturers to demonstrate the that Indian cars are as safe as the best produced in the developed world.”