In India, safety is not one of the first words we associate with experience of road commuting. It even falls behind in the pecking order while buying a car in India, far behind vastu, shagun, and colour to name a few. For this reason, it is not surprising to know that the recent Latin NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) safety ‘awarded’ the Alto K10 a score of zero for adult safety.
The Alto/Alto K10 is a perfect representation of the mass market cars in India as it was registered the most number of units sold last month at close to 20,000 units. The car not equipped with even the bare minimum safety features like airbags or ABS failed to meet the minimum standards in Latin America – which imports the car from India.
The result reveals a glaring predicament, one that begs to be addressed soon. In 2009, India reported the highest number of road fatalities in the world a position we are most likely to retain when the updated rankings are revealed. The need to establish organisations like the NCAP in India are long overdue considering the astronomical sales figures manufacturers boast of month in month out.
These revelations will hopefully do more than just a PR statement and stir some change in this direction, both in terms of regulations and the mind-set among Indian buyers. After all, we are still at a point where drivers wear seat belts in an effort to evade from getting caught!
Check out the Latin NCAP crash test of the Suzuki Alto K10 below