Second class lives: no safety star for the Renault Kwid. Zero!

Last week, when Renault announced it would produce the Kwid in Brazil, we had hopes that it would be a better and safer car than the Clio II the French carmaker currently offers as its entry-level vehicle. After all, it is built over the CMF-A platform! But our hopes did not last past today. The Renault Kwid produced in India was tested by Global NCAP and all the evaluated versions got no star at all in passenger protection. In other words, its structures collapsed in a way that the front passenger would be killed or seriously injured in a crash. Child protection in the rear seat got only 2 of 5 possible stars. This sort of result unfortunately reinforces our article on second class lives. And we would rather be so wrong about it… Check the video of the crashes below.

This is the entry-level version of Kwid in India, with no airbags. It was the first one tested by Global NCAP. In case you have not seen it right, we will post the picture of the precise moment the car crushes its front passengers.

Global-NCAP-Renault-Kwid-I

Imagine yourself in such a death trap… Warned about the results, Renault performed safety corrections in the car and started producing this new version from April 2016 on. And suggested Global NCAP tested the new car, with and without a driver’s airbag (the only one available so far). Below you can see how the no airbags version performed.

The cabin structure does not collapse in the same way it did in the previous version, but Global NCAP has detected the structure is still unstable, offering a death risk for its passengers. So the entity tested the version of Kwid with the driver’s airbag.

It requires no expertise to see how unstable the structure is. And this is why even the one airbag version of the car earned no star of the 5 possible stars. We cannot conceive Renault has put to production a car it has not crash tested. And if we are right, how can Renault put THIS into production after seeing how it behaves? In a country that kills 200,000 people every year in traffic? The full results of the test are below. Picture yourself as the driver of this car.

2016-Renault-Kwid-III-Driver-Airbag

Luckily for Renault (and unluckily for Indian citizens), all car brands in India have the same disregard for its consumers’ safety. Check the video below.

This is the Suzuki Maruti Celerio, the 9th best-selling car in India in 2015, with almost 75,000 units. 75,000 families in 2015 alone with 0 protection for adults and 1 star protection for children, the lowest one in this batch of tests.

This is the Hyundai Eon, also a relatively new product, just like the Kwid. And with the same awful level of occupants protection.

This is the Suzuki Maruti Eeco. And it offers the same level of safety of the others: zero! But the last video is the most interesting one, showing bigger cars are not necessarily safer.

The Mahindra Scorpio is a full SUV, with a body on frame structure. And it performs as poorly as the econoboxes. Having money in India is no warranty that you will be safer than the ones with less money to spend. In short, lack of road safety is really democratic in that country.

Alejandro Furas, Latin NCAP Secretary General, exposes the results below.

His urge for safer cars is the same one every one of us should be doing. We cannot accept “good enough”, even because, when it comes to safety, these cars prove that the good enough for most carmakers, depending on the country, is a life threat. Can you imagine Carlos Ghosn driving a Kwid? Would he dare to do so, or to allow his family to do so?

The Brazilian Kwid may be different. It may be safer, with its compulsory 2 airbags for the front occupants, but what about its structure? Will it be stronger? What about the Indian version? Will it be improved? Will the version that collapses, sold prior to April 2016, suffer any sort of recall? As we have already told our readers, while we just keep on accepting and buying whatever is offered, we will still see this sort of thing happening. And this is no innocent flaw. It is the sort that puts your life in danger. Bear that in mind when choosing your new car. Pick the safest one your money can get.

 

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.