December 4, 2021

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Suzuki Baleno Gets Zero Stars In Latin NCAP Tests, Brand Allegedly Refused To Test Optional Safety Equipment

The Suzuki Baleno hatchback has scored an abysmal zero star rating in the Latin NCAP test. It’s not the first time Suzuki has been awarded no stars for one of their Latin American products, as just two months ago, the Suzuki Swift plumbed to similar depths. And the Baleno wasn’t alone, with Toyota’s Yaris sedan, which is produces in Brazil and Thailand, awarded just a single star out of a possible five.

Like the Swift, the Baleno is made in India by Maruti Suzuki. In late 2020, the Suzuki S Presso also scored zero stars. And these latest results are five years on from when Global NCAP tested several Indian-made cars, with many of them failing. At the time, Maruti Suzuki’s Eeco and Celerio both scored no stars, although airbags were not available on those models.

The Latin-spec Baleno, however, is fitted with dual airbags as standard but still returned poor ratings. It posted a score of 20 percent for adult protection, but child protection was even worse, at just 17 percent. According to the Latin NCAP, the protection offered to occupants’ heads and necks was good. Still, the driver and one passenger’s knees showed marginal protection as they can impact with dangerous structures behind the fascia. The side impact protection of the Baleno was particularly poor, with occupants’ chests left unprotected.

Read: Latin NCAP Advises Against Buying The Zero-Star Ka, Urges Ford To Make It Safer

Other tests, such as the side pole impact, were not performed as the car isn’t equipped with side head protection as standard, while the whiplash protection score was similarly disappointing due to the lack of rear impact pre-requisites.

While the Baleno only offers two airbags as standard in the Latin American market, in Europe it gets a three-star rating and features six airbags as standard, as well as ESC. According to the safety organization, Suzuki refused to test the optional equipment to show its performance.

Alejandro Furas, Secretary-General of Latin NCAP, said: “[The] Baleno’s zero-star is part of an ongoing disappointment, after the Swift’s zero-star rating some weeks ago, with especially poor safety performance in adult and child occupant protection on offer from Suzuki as standard to Latin American consumers.”

Stephan Brodziak, Latin NCAP Chairman, added: “It is unfortunate to have another zero stars car from Suzuki, in this case, the Baleno model, which in some countries is marketed as “Good, Nice, Baleno,” to which we should add “Low safety.”

Suzuki Baleno Gets Zero Stars In Latin NCAP Tests, Brand Allegedly Refused To Test Optional Safety Equipment