Nissan has been called on by the New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) to withdraw its Datsun Go from sale in India, after it failed to achieve even a one star rating in even the most basic of safety tests. While it may seem like a no brainer in an instance like this, it’s actually a pretty rare event, especially in the Indian market, which is known for having some quite unsafe vehicles and has prompted local politicians to push for a much better car safety inspection organisation to reduce its near quarter million road deaths a year.
The call in this instance even came from the head of the NCAP himself, Max Mosley, who asked Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn in a personal letter, to please remove the car from sale and ratify massive design changes before the car could go on sale again, as in its current state it’s entirely unsafe for sale.
The car performed so poorly and has such terrible structural integrity, that any sort of head-on collision is thought likely to cause the death of the driver and any passengers that are with them. It’s for this reason that Nissan has urged a complete recall of the vehicle, as even if Nissan modified the design to include airbags, it wouldn’t make any difference as the car itself was simply folding under heavy impacts.
Mosley was heavily critical of Nissan in his letter, stating that: “It is extremely disappointing that Nissan has authorised the launch of a brand new model that is so clearly sub-standard. In these circumstances I would urge Nissan to withdraw the Datsun GO from sale inIndia pending an urgent redesign of the car’s body-shell.”
Unfortunately, even though the car has only been available in India, it’s an incredibly popular model, so the chances of no one being affected are very slim. However it seems unlikely any heads will roll because of it. Often times in developing countries like India, safety features are skipped over by vehicle manufacturers to save money, because local authorities do not require them. That is the case here and it’s Nissan’s first line of defence when it comes to this incident:
“Datsun GO meets minimum required local vehicle regulations in India and was developed with a strong intention to deliver the best adapted solutions to the local conditions, from best in class braking and good visibility to durability, seat comfort and reduced motion sickness – all being taken as a package aim to decrease potential risk of road accidents.”
Apparently though this isn’t the first time Nissan has behaved as if oblivious to safety flaws in its vehicles, specifically designed with them in place to save money. Mosley has written to Ghosn several times in thee past about safety problems with cars sold in other developing nations, according to The Guardian.