Toyota Kirloskar Motors’ manufactured-in-Bidadi Etios hatchback has received a four-star rating from Global NCAP, the global safety watchdog.
In late 2015, the carmaker had decided to equip all of its Etios models with 2 airbags and 2 pretensioners and asked Global NCAP to test the car and provide a star rating for its crashworthiness.
The recent test of the Toyota Etios reveals a good level of adult occupant protection for the frontal passenger, achieving a rating of four stars and two stars in child occupant protection.
David Ward, Global NCAP secretary general, said, "Global NCAP congratulates Toyota on this voluntary initiative which has resulted in significant safety improvements for the Etios model sold in India. Global NCAP encourages all car manufacturers to follow the safety example set by Toyota and Volkswagen to improve occupant protection for all their models sold in India.
"It is impressive to see a major manufacturer achieve a four-star result and we look forward to the first five-star car in India," he added.
As part of the SaferCarsForIndia campaign, Global NCAP has been performing independent crash tests on some of India's most popular small cars since 2014. Earlier tests have shown a high-risk of life threatening injuries in road crashes in several models tested in a frontal impact at 64kph.
In 2014 Volkswagen decided to offer the Polo in India with double airbags as standard, moving the protection level of this model from a high-risk of life threatening injuries at zero stars, to four (out of five) stars for adult occupant protection.
The SaferCarsForIndia campaign
In January 2014, Global NCAP published crash test results for five of India's best-known cars: the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, the Hyundai i10, the Ford Figo, the Volkswagen Polo and the Tata Nano. All the cars received zero-star adult protection ratings.
Volkswagen immediately decided to offer the Polo for sale in India with two airbags as standard. This model received a four-star safety rating.
In November 2014, Global NCAP published crash test results for Nissan's Datsun Go and the Maruti Suzuki Swift. Both cars received zero-star adult protection ratings. Since the Go test, Datsun has committed to improve the safety performance of the Go with a strengthened bodyshell and optional airbags.