Renault Duster Base Variant Scores Zero in NCAP Ratings

Renault Duster NCAP safety results
Renault Duster Base Variant Scores Zero in NCAP Ratings

In the second set of SaferCarsForIndia results for 2017 conducted by the global NCAP, the Renault Duster base variant, sold without airbags, scored zero stars for adult occupancy protection. However, the single driver airbag-equipped variant scored three stars for occupant safety. Both the variants scored two stars for rear seat child safety occupant protection.

The crash test showed that due to the lack of airbags the driver injuries would have been unacceptably high. Global NCAP decided to further investigate the Duster as a single airbag version was tested by Latin NCAP in 2015 where it scored four stars. 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. This can be seen when the head reaches maximum front excursion and compresses the airbag. 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. The aforementioned differences explained the difference in protection level and why the Latin American version scored four stars and the Indian version only three stars under same testing assessment and criteria.

Commenting on the findings of the survey, David Ward, Secretary General, 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 produces 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.”