The results of the second set of the crash tests conducted on the Renault Duster by Global NCAP as part of its ‘Safer Cars of India’ campaign revealed a zero-star rating for its basic version that comes without airbags.
The Duster, which is sold without airbags in its basic version, recorded a disappointing zero stars for adult occupant protection and 2 stars for rear seat child occupant protection, indicating a dangerously low level of passenger security.
"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," David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP said.
Global NCAP then tested a version of the Duster which included a single driver airbag at the request of Renault
This increased the score to 3 stars for adult occupant protection, child protection remained the same at 2 stars. Interestingly, the Latin model of the single airbag version of the Duster got 4 stars. When probed, 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. 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.
Latin NCAP says, “With the head in maximum forward excursion the airbag still shows containment to the head protecting it from the steering wheel.” This is some cause for worry when it comes to the Indian model. The top end versions of the car have dual airbags. The Duster has ABS and EBD as standard on 4 of its 5 variants. The airbags only kick in from the RxL (driver-side only) variant. The RxS, RxZ have dual airbags.
Tests conducted on Indian cars in May 2016 revealed disappointing results. The Renault Kwid, Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon all showed low levels of adult occupant protection.
The Renault Kwid was tested in three versions, including one with airbags, but each was rated as zero star for adult safety.