By on November 3, 2014

The Datsun Go was awarded zero stars in the global NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) for vehicle safety. NCAP says that “The zero-star result highlights the need for India to introduce minimum crash safety regulations.”

As a low cost car with a rock bottom sticker price, the Go must (pardon the pun) forgo much of the passive and active safety equipment that consumers in the developed world take for granted.

While the Go was created to capture the emerging middle class who are about to buy their first car, that demographic doesn’t seem terribly enthusiastic about the Go, the Tata Nano and other budget cars.

It turns out that many consumers in India would rather pay more (in some cases substantially more) to avoid being seen in a “cheap” car and to get one with more feature content. Presumably, Indian motorists, who are upgrading from a motorcycle, will want to make a big leap forward in safety as well.

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56 Comments on “Datsun Go Fails Global NCAP Crash Test...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    No problem. Now they will just name it the Datsun, “Go To The Light.”

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      You win the Internet.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-X

      All levity aside, I applaud Nissan for offering such a transportation device. Really. Cost compromises have to be made. They had the guts to offer a cheap car, for families whose alternative is a bike, or ten in the back of a pickup. Know the risks, make your choices.

      My past includes a 1900 lb Subaru coupe. Been there.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    They didn’t say Go *where*.

    What’s Hindi for heaven?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Just think how much MORE crowded India would be if these manufacturers didn’t produce these rolling death traps!

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      What I’m wondering is with all the cows and people packing every square inch… how do they get up any speed and what hard obstacles can they crash into when they do?

      Seems like they’d have just a bunch of squooshy red nerf barriers after a crash. I think they need to worry more about bystander than occupant safety.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    they did not spend much on marketing either. the english translation is awful and rivals japanese engrish: http://www.datsun.com/en/models/go.aspx

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      What is this Riser thing that they keep mentioning?

      I like how it has a “Mobile Docking Station, you can simply use your accustomed device on the Datsun GO just like how you would at home”.

      They also gave it more front space that I can boast about when needed.

      That page has made my day!

  • avatar
    jmo

    But, think how light and tossable it is. The greenhouse is so open and airy. Such good visibility!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Hard to believe they couldn’t even make it as safe as a Versa. It’s like they hired all new engineers for the Go.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Why is it hard to believe? The MSRP of a Versa is 70% higher than a Go. You can buy a lot of high strength steel for $5000.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Somebody needs to share what the used market is like over there.

        Given the price of the Go, what sort of used vehicle that is -actually- safe (and not embarassing to these newly ‘moneyed’ ‘middle class’) are we talking?

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          It’s a rapidly growing market, with a new/used mix reflecting that.

          The Go is plenty safer than any car available in the West when the average Westerner had an income similar to the average Indian today.

          It’s also plenty safer than many used cars on the road in the West today. And loads safer than anything I’d be caught dead commuting in CA traffic in (more like on.)

          If Indian consumers wants to pay more for a car that tests better, they are free to do so. If Western consumers wants to pay less for a car still plenty safe, so they can spend the difference on making sure their son can afford medical school…; they are told to take the bus. India 1, West 0, unless one is on the payroll of someone making bank off of forcing people to spend more than they otherwise would be comfortable with.

          Putting hysteria on TV doesn’t magically make it any less hysteria.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “The Go is plenty safer than any car available in the West when the average Westerner had an income similar to the average Indian today.”

            You can’t really compare modern 2014 India to the US in 1945.

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            But in 1945, even the richest American would die from a steering shaft through the chest in a head-on crash, because even Lincolns and Cadillacs were no safer than plebian Chevs.

            At least Indians have the choice to buy something safer than this Go. Or, paradoxically today in America they could be wild-eyed greenie twits eager to buy an Elio 3 wheeler that would disintegrate hitting a hay bale, let alone a Go.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Citation needed on the safety of an Elio. Although granted, round hay bales are pretty dense.

          • 0 avatar
            RHD

            Good thing no one is likely to drive into a hay bale.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yUBVavpvTQ

            Round bales aren’t that bad. They’re round.

            Now, hit a large square bale. Ouch!

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I suspect it is a LOT safer than a whole family on a motorscooter, which is its competition. I’d like to see a Euro NCAP test of that.

    I imagine my Spitfire would get about a -2.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “The zero-star result highlights the need for India to introduce minimum crash safety regulations.”

    Wait a minute – I thought that there were only two sets of standards in the world (the US vs. everywhere else.)

    Yet this suggests that nations such as India have lower standards than those in Europe. I’m starting to think that our resident UNECE/ chicken tax jihadists may not have a clue of what they’re talking about.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Every yahoo with the ability to inject himself into the money stream between a car buyer and a car maker, is going to do so. Then spend 10% of the loot to “educate” his surrounding dronelings that him doing so is somehow “beneficial.” To someone aside from himself even…. Pretty much never fails….

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Pretty simple it actually failed the NCAP test but Indians are selling it anyway.

  • avatar
    TW5

    The Maruti Suzuki Swift is a popular car in India, and it also failed NCAP. The official NCAP statements focused primarily on the lack of front airbags, which is as mundane and predictable as every other attempt to foist first-world technology upon consumers in the developing world.

    I have great respect for Max Mosley, NCAP Chairman, but when he gets it in his head that he’s going to force someone to be safe, safety is just an tertiary motivation compared to him getting his way. It does appear as though the Datsun Go is structurally-compromised scrap, but these NCAP findings are primarily about forcing a major market in the developing world to buy technology from the developed world, though, experts know the safety limitations of front impact airbags. Unfortunately, front-impact airbags have very limited usefulness, especially if the angle of impact is more than 20 degrees off center.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      I agree with everything you say, except I have zero respect for Mr Max Mosley. How soon we forget his past antics

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        It’s hard to be(have been?)a Formula 1 racing fan and retain respect for Max Mosley. TW5 makes an interesting point about forcing constituent suppliers onto developing markets.

    • 0 avatar
      EMedPA

      Look at the passenger cell intrusion in the right front corner. Airbags aren’t going to mitigate that sort structural failure.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        My thoughts exactly. The airbag won’t do anything about the engine sitting where your lower legs used to be.

        Let this be a lesson to all those who wish for the option of buying a no frills vehicle without all that “safety stuff” being forced on them.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        Tell Mr. Mosley. The comments put out by NCAP were mainly about fatal head injuries caused by lack of airbags. I don’t doubt the findings, but the agenda is clear. NCAP wants Indian consumers to buy technology from the developed world.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Datsun Go, the “Ultimate Suicide Machine”

  • avatar
    Pch101

    There must be a way to blame the chicken tax for this.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This reminds me a little of Malaysia.

    When I first ventured to Malaysia in 92 most rode “platics”. A plastic is a step through with an engine of around 100cc or less. Hot bikes in Malaysia back then that the more affluent young guys rode were 150 Ninja’s and the like.

    I remember seeing a family of 4, yes 4 on a plastic. I remember seeing riders using ice cream containers with string as a safety helmet. Times have changed there for the better.

    So the roads appeared to be 50% plastics, 40% bicycles and 10% cars. The country over the past 20 years or so has moved forward and now there are many cars, at least 70%.

    India will do the same. As I’ve seen in other comments in TTAC regarding the makeup and quality of safety in developing nations they need money to do this.

    There comes a point in any country when it becomes cheaper for the nation to regulate stiffer controls over safety vs fatalities.

    Many Latin American countries are looking more seriously at safety because of a finding by the World Bank.

    I do hope India can move forward. But this will be hard in a country riddled with red tape and corruption. The Indian economy must be able to support better vehicles.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    That’s a nasty deformation. It looks almost like the speed was higher than normal, and it reminds me of the crashtests that were done in the 90s with old (yet factory fresh) Soviet vehicles. A lot of unintended crumbling there, too.

    What boggles me though is that this is recorded with high speed cameras, edited professionally – and then uploaded at a max of 360p? Why…?

  • avatar
    Magnusmaster

    Renault-Nissan is among the worst when it comes to safety standards in developing countries. They cut more corners than anyone else, overprice their cars and keep researching more ways to butcher cars for third world countries. Just look at the Renault Clio made in Argentina, the current model is a parody of the original one from over a decade ago, and they plan to replace it with a Datsun.

    Renault-Nissan is the new Lada.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Proving that even well respected world-wide corporations only design to the minimum required and don’t really care about their customers..

  • avatar
    mjz

    What a rolling $hitbox.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    there’s also a 7 seat wagon version that will do wonders for population control

    unless the govt. cares and there’s an impetus to improve safety like the chinese, it will always be like this

    i know you may scoff at the chinese but they do make cars there that have some safety standards

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Funny. Some posters here like to claim that every nation outside of the US had the same safety standard.

    Yet here we see that India has cars that apparently can’t be sold in Europe, Australia, etc. How is such a thing possible with these glorious universal-except-for-the-US standards that I keep hearing about?

  • avatar
    doublechili

    To compete with the Toyota Yaris, they should have named this the Datsun Yourass. As in what you can kiss goodbye if you get in an accident.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Still better than not having a car at all. At least, that’s what we used to think in North America in the 80’s when almost every manufacturer sold a car of comparable safety to this. My younger brother was driving an ’87 Tercel up until only a few years ago that I can’t imagine was any safer than this. If their middle class is only thirty years behind us they’re doing okay, considering the state of so much of the world.

    However, I do think some investment in a stronger passenger compartment would be worthwhile. I could happily do without the airbags and active safety electronics. There’s no point in putting any money into those things until you can afford a protective structure.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Still better than not having a car at all. At least, that’s what we used to think in North America in the 80’s when almost every manufacturer sold a car of comparable safety to this. My younger brother was driving an ’87 Tercel up until only a few years ago that I can’t imagine was any safer than this. If their middle class is only thirty years behind us they’re doing okay, cons*dering the state of so much of the world.

    However, I do think some investment in a stronger passenger compartment would be worthwhile. I could happily do without the airbags and active safety electronics. There’s no point in putting any money into those things until you can afford a protective structure.

  • avatar
    RHD

    There is a very large population of East Indians in the area where I live. They are by far the worst drivers on the road. (Just yesterday one pulled out in front of me and I barely avoided T-boning his SUV.)
    A car as flimsy as this one doesn’t belong on any road anywhere, especially in a country where the process for getting a driver’s license is a complete joke.
    Before anyone calls me out for being racist, I’m just stating the facts as I have observed them.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “Before anyone calls me out for being racist, I’m just stating the facts as I have observed them.”

      If there’s a better PC definition of “racist” I certainly don’t know it :-)

      Sad part is, whatever we despise most in another race/culture, our own is perfectly capable of living down to it, yo.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    What’s ironic is, I’d bet a nice percent of folks getting worked up about this car’s safety (or, lack thereof), ride motorcycles…

  • avatar
    wmba

    Here’s a good summary of Global NCAP and the completely unsavory Mr Max Mosley. Poor old Datsun Go never had a chance – the car was tested by ADAC, the German outfit that was found guilty of falsifying crash tests in Germany.

    http://dailykanban.com/2014/11/whats-wrong-hypocrisy-max-mosleys-crash-burn/

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