As part of the #SaferCarsforIndia campaign, Global NCAP tested two versions of the Tata Zest. While the standard non-airbag version resulted in a disappointing zero star score for adult occupant protection and one star for child occupant protection, the Zest with two airbags achieved an impressive four-star score in adult occupant protection.
With the zero star rating for the standard version, Global NCAP offered Tata Motors the opportunity to test another version of the Zest with more safety features as has been the case with other manufacturers. Accepting the opportunity, Tata introduced a structural improvement to the entire Zest range while Global NCAP tested the new version with optional airbags.
The Zest with two airbags and two pretensioners showed very substantial improvements and, together with the seat belt reminder in the driver seat, the Zest achieved an impressive four star score in adult occupant protection. Tata also selected other child restraint systems for the airbag version, improving the rear seat child occupant protection to 2 stars.
Tata Motors has announced that the improvements made to the structure will be brought to the entire vehicle range, for both airbag and non-airbag versions.
Commenting on the results, David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP said: “Tata has shown how they can dramatically improve the safety of the Zest. It is encouraging to see a major Indian brand improving the safety of their models. We strongly encourage Indian consumers to opt for the much safer four star rated option. We also urge Tata to consider making the two airbag version of the Zest their basic model.”
Rohit Baluja, President of the Institute of Road Traffic Education said: “Moving the Zest from zero to four stars is a significant achievement, and we are very happy that changes they have made to the vehicle structure will be adopted on all versions of the vehicle. The concept of Star rating should not be limited to compliance, but should be taken as the challenge of producing a safe vehicle which would have the ability of supporting the avoidance of a crash and, on the other side, limiting the injury to vehicle occupants and that of people outside the vehicle in case of a crash. This challenge demonstrated by Tata Motors would set yet another example in Indian automobile industry, and would ultimately lead to a consumer awakening towards choosing safer vehicles.”