The New Car Assessment Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean, Latin NCAP, latest results were released on 27th August. with very disappointing zero stars for the Renault New Duster and Suzuki Swift. Latin NCAP has called for urgent improvements.
In comparison with Europe and North America, the regulations of Latin America, India are still basic and evolving at snail’s pace . Carmakers have continued to take advantage of it to create low-cost cars.
The Renault Duster, produced in Latin America and Romania, with double airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard, achieved zero stars under Latin NCAP’s latest protocol. The popular SUV achieved
29.47% in Adult Occupant box,
22.93% in Child Occupant box,
50.79% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users box and
The New Duster for Latin America does not offer side body and side head protection airbags as standard like the model sold in Europe under Dacia brand.
In the frontal impact, the model showed unstable structure performance and a fuel leakage.
Side impact test showed high intrusion of the B-pillar and an open door during the test.
Door opening in Latin NCAP side impact test, which has the same configuration as Regulation UN95, means that the car would have failed the UN95 test.
The fuel leak recorded in the frontal crash test needs further action from Renault, not just to solve the problem in production but to recall all the units sold in the market that potentially have this problem in the fuel tank in a crash.
In the same line the door opening in the side impact requires immediate action by Renault as it poses a serious risk of ejection in the case of side impacts.
The Suzuki Swift made in India and Japan, with two airbags as standard achieved zero stars.
The popular compact car achieved
15.53% in Adult Occupant box,
0% in Child Occupant box,
66.07% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users box and
6.98% in Safety Assist box.
The result is valid for the hatchback and sedan versions.
Reason for the disastrous rating
Poor side impact protection and an open door during the test
Low whiplash score due to the lack of UN32 prove for the rear impact test.
Lack of standard side head protection airbags,
Lack of standard ESC and the decision of Suzuki not recommending CRS for the test.
This model would not pass Regulation UN95 requirements due to door opening.
EU vs Latin America comparison
The Swift is sold in Europe with 6 airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as the standard.
As per UN regulation, for the Rear centre seating position, 3point belt anchorage is standard.
The model in Latin America is not offered with side body and head airbags and ESC as standard.
The Latin American version of the Swift still offers standard a lap belt in the rear centre seating position despite the well-known high injuries risks of its use.