Why Datsun shouldn’t be singled out after the NCAP debacle

Added in: Datsun

Datsun GO+action front

Ever noticed how some of us find unusual pleasure in pulling others down. How it all becomes easy to point and shoot when that target is a newbie, and how we comfortably choose to ignore others who belong in the same league, just because they have been around long enough for us to be used to their antics. The case is similar with Datsun and their cars in India, who have been pointed at with great fanfare for selling cars which scored a nil in the Global NCAP test. However, nobody talks much about the Maruti Swift, the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, the Tata Nano, Ford Figo or the Hyundai i10, even when they share the same remarks on their report card as the GO hatchback. Maybe because the recent incident is fresh in most minds and it involved Datsun. But then why forget the Maruti Swift that was there too? Maybe we are scared with the idea of talking about it honestly and upsetting the gods of bad omen, as the chances that we might be driving any one of these immensely popular machines are very high.

Click to read about the Maruti Swift / Datsun GO Zero Star NCAP safety debacle

datsun go sales in india

Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t proposing that it’s okay to skimp on safety and sell cars in the market which are as safe as the tin-boxes sold in the 80’s. But to single out a manufacturer just because they are relatively new in the market and trying to offer something at a low price point, which is as good, maybe better or as bad as most other products in the category doesn’t settle down well in the belly. The blame cannot be shifted over to them altogether, as we have been the ones who’ve been picking such products in hordes, like they are some low hanging fruits. Not everything is on the downward path though. Global NCAP’s testing protocol mandates that all cars (including base variants) must carry at least airbags and ABS to get its certification and manufacturers like Toyota and Volkswagen have already equipped all the cars in their line-up with airbags as standard fitment.

Click to know how Global NCAP crash tests prove some Indian cars to be unsafe


Even the government seems to understand the importance of road safety and the new Motor Vehicle Act bill is testimony to that. In a couple years time, India should have its very own crash testing facility and a rule that mandates all cars, including the cheapest models, to come fitted with minimum safety features. So while we’ve been hearing a lot of negative words about Datsun products through our readers, we were genuinely delighted to hear them say at the GO+ launch that the car will be sold with an option of a driver side airbag. What’s so special about that you’d say? Well, that’s a manufacturer who has paid heed to market sentiments and reacted in a mature manner, considering the fact that when we were reviewing the GO+ a month ago, an inflating balloon wasn’t even on the options list.

Datsun GO+front three quarters right

So the next time you think about ‘Datsun’ and the word ‘Unsafe’ comes to your mind, look around, that Swift or an Alto you or someone in your family might be driving is just as good. Or bad.

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  • Pradeep says:

    I suppose we are missing the point here ,the reason why Datsun was singled out was just because unlike Maruti Swift, the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, the Tata Nano, Ford Figo or the Hyundai i10 ,Datsun Go wasn’t toughly build ,which means unlike the others even adding an air bag wasn’t enough for the drivers, a collision at 70-80 km would just crush this car like an egg shell..this makes the difference.

  • Thanks Vinu, good to see someone who looks at the entire portrait. Cheers!

  • Thanks Mahesh,

    Waking up might take time but at least an alarm has been set by the new government where they want all cars to come with basic safety features by 2017.

    Drive safe,

  • vino says:

    Well said, well pointed out….

  • Mahesh Bandel says:

    Fantastic write up Karan!

    I second your thoughts on other cheap and unsafe cars which have witnessed huge success in India. Also, defaming Datsun seems to be a effort from these tin can manufacturers.

    Kudos Datsun! You guys are giving a better package in very very affordable price. Keep doing the good work, India shall wake up sooner or later!

    Mahesh M Bandel