In the second set of #SaferCarsForIndia results for 2017, Global NCAP has released the ratings for crash tests conducted on the Renault Duster in its basic version without airbags and at the request of the manufacturer in the version with an optional driver airbag.

The Duster, sold without airbags in its basic version, recorded zero stars for adult occupant protection. The crash test showed that due to the lack of airbags the driver injuries would have been unacceptably high. The Duster scored 2 stars for rear seat child occupant protection.

Following the test Renault asked Global NCAP to test a version of the Duster which included a single driver airbag. This increased the score to 3 stars for adult occupant protection, while child protection remained the same at 2 stars.

Global NCAP decided to further investigate the Duster as a single airbag version was tested by Latin NCAP in 2015 where it scored 4 stars. It was found that the Indian Duster airbag was smaller than that of the Latin American Duster. This difference in airbag size brings corresponding differences in protection.

David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP said: “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.”

Rohit Baluja, President of the Institute of Road Traffic Education said: “The maximum speed limit for passenger cars in India has been notified as high as 100kph. Highways in India are witnessing very high speeds of Light Motor Vehicles (LMV) and therefore it is of utmost importance that our new generation cars are built to the highest safety standards. The Renault Duster has been created as a sporty vehicle and drivers tend to drive these at high speeds. Renault must make the Duster with an airbag as standard, as they do in other parts of the world. Indian consumers should no longer be subject to second class status on occupant protection from global manufacturers who achieve high levels of safety in other markets.

“The Prime Minister’s call for ‘Made in India’ should be well respected by car manufacturers to demonstrate the that Indian cars are as safe as the best produced in the developed world.”