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The Maruti Suzuki S-Presso model recently underwent the Global NCAP crash tests, registering a zero-star rating in terms of passenger protection. This raised a lot of concerns about the safety standards of the mini-SUV not only in India but also in South Africa — one of the export markets for the S-Presso.
Ever since the Global NCAP results were announced, there have been a lot of concerns raised by S-Presso customers in South Africa on social media. Suzuki Auto South Africa's official social handles have now replied to these customers, stating that the South-African spec S-Presso is much safer than the ones sold in India.
In their reply, Suzuki South Africa (SA) stated that the model testing by NCAP is the lower-grade variant sold in the Indian market. They also mention that the South-African spec S-Presso comes with front dual-airbags, seat-belt pre-tensioners and ABS as standard. Hence the level of occupant safety is different and not comparable.
Suzuki SA replied to concerned customers, stating,
"The vehicle tested is the lower grade variant in India, with one airbag and no seatbelt pre-tensioners. All South African variants are equipped with dual front airbags and front seatbelt pre-tensioners as well as ABS as standard."
Comparing this with the India-spec S-Presso, Maruti Suzuki offers seat-belt pre-tensioners as standard only on the mid-spec and higher trims while being an optional extra on the base variant. The dual front airbags, however, are offered as standard only on the top-spec models.
The Global NCAP results for the India-spec Maruti Suzuki S-Presso came out during the early part of November 2020. Post the announcement of the test results, Alejandro Furas, Secretary-General, Global NCAP stated his disappointment towards the zero-star safety rating of the S-Presso. He mentioned how Maruti Suzuki needs to demonstrate its commitment to passenger safety in the Indian market.
He even mentioned how other Indian car brands such as Tata Motors and Mahindra have been working hard to secure safety ratings in-line with global standards. All of Mahindra and Tata Motors products have secured impressive test results at the Global NCAP. However, the same cannot be said about Maruti Suzuki.
Thoughts On The Suzuki S-Presso Being Safer In SA Than In India
It is surprising to see Suzuki openly admitting to the difference in the safety of the same cars in different markets. This admission hasn't gone down well with Indian customers, with many criticising the safety difference.