The Datsun GO recently failed the NCAP safety test. To improve its safety credentials, Datsun has decided to sell the GO with ABS and airbags in South Africa.
The Datsun GO was first launched in the Indian market in March 2014. It was the first car released by Nissan under the Datsun brand name since the brand was discontinued in 1986. Based on the same platform as the Nissan Micra, the GO is being sold in emerging markets such as India, South Africa and Indonesia. It is powered by the same three-cylinder 1.2-litre engine you get in the Micra but it sits in a lower segment and competes against cars like the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10. It was launched with prices starting from Rs. 3.76 lakhs.
As part of the Safer Cars For India Campaign, the vehicle safety body, Global NCAP tested the Datsun GO for frontal impact. As with other budget hatchbacks sold in India, the Datsun GO performed miserably and failed the test. It got zero stars out of five. The results of the tests suggested that during a head on collision, the passengers were unlikely to survive. Global NCAP urged Nissan to stop selling the GO in India. But the GO continues to sell in India with seat belts as the only listed safety feature. To make matters worse, the rear seats don’t even get a three point seat belt. This resulted in poor test results. The problem also lies with the attitude of the consumers who do not take safety seriously.
As an immediate response to the NCAP test results, Volkswagen offered ABS and airbags as standard on the Polo. This immediately gave it a four star rating. Datsun has now decided to take action and is planning to update the South African version of this car with ABS and airbags later this year. This may not work in their favour as NCAP says that the structural integrity of the car is so unstable that adding airbags will not make any difference.
Nevertheless, this move from Datsun shows that they are planning to move in a positive direction. We just hope that ABS and airbags are made standard in India as well. We also urge Datsun to use three point seat belts for the rear seats as the rear bench is quite spacious for a car of this category.