With no airbags included as standard, this Indian SUV scored zero stars for safety.
The Volvo XC60 is being billed as one of the safest SUVs ever made. Its clever autonomous technology can avoid accidents altogether, but should a collision occur the occupants are well protected thanks to its remarkably rigid structure. On the other side of the spectrum we have the Renault Duster, an SUV which now has the notorious reputation for being awarded a "disappointing" zero-star safety rating during Global NCAP crash testing. The Duster's dismal safety rating applies to the base model, which doesn't include driver or passenger airbags as standard.
As you can see, the crash test dummy violently smacks their head against the steering wheel on impact, which would result in "unacceptably high" injuries. Adult occupant protection scored zero stars, while rear seat child occupant protection fared slightly better with a two-star rating.
"It is troubling that during the UN Road Safety Week we yet again encounter a zero-star car in our crash testing in India," said Global NCAP's Secretary General, David Ward."Renault produces the Duster in a number of markets and yet it seems content to provide a version for India that falls so far short on safety." Renault then provided an upgraded model with a driver airbag fitted, which scored a three star safety rating. However, Global NCAP also criticized this updated model after discovering that the equivalent model sold in South America has a larger airbag and scored a four star safety rating when it was tested by Latin NCAP.
The smaller airbag in the Indian Duster increased the risk for the driver's head missing the airbag, or slipping off it and smacking into the steering wheel. This 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", added Ward. India has a notorious history when it comes to car safety, sadly. A zero or one star safety rating should be shocking, but it's frightfully common in India since many cars sold there don't include airbags as standard to keep costs down.