Max Mosley, Chairman of Global NCAP, said: "India is now a major global market and production centre for small cars, so it's worrying to see levels of safety that are 20 years behind the five-star standards now common in Europe and North America. Poor structural integrity and the absence of airbags are putting the lives of Indian consumers at risk. They have a right to know how safe their vehicles are and to expect the same basic levels of safety as standard as customers in other part of the world."
The models tested included the Suzuki-Maruti Alto800, Ford Figo, Volkswagen Polo, Hyundai i10, and Tata Nano. None were fitted with airbags as standard, and their structures proved inadequate and collapsed to varying degrees.
Coinciding with the Global NCAP tests, Volkswagen has decided to withdraw the non-airbag version of the Polo from sale in India. The new airbag-equipped model later received a four-star rating for adult occupant protection.