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Global NCAP's New Testing Methods Effective From This Month


The agency is switching up to a more stringent crash testing protocol

  • Cars will be awarded scores for adult and child safety. 

  • Adult safety now accounts for 34 points. 

  • Child safety is rated out of 49 points. 

  • To get a 5-star rating, cars will have to score 27 and 41 points in adult and child safety, respectively. 

  • Standard stability control and side head protection mandatory to score 5 stars.

The Global New Car Assessment Program (GNCAP) has adopted a new, stricter safety testing protocol for evaluating car safety from July onwards. Under the new norms, a 5-star rating will be harder to achieve, and cars will have to offer more safety features as standard (such as ESC) to gain the top laurels. 

How does Global NCAP rating work? 

Previous GNCAP star rating and scoring system for reference

Under the new tests, cars will be put through both front offset impact and side impact tests, and the cumulative result from the two tests will be considered in the total score. As before, the scores will be calculated separately for adult and child occupant safety, and an overall rating out of five stars will be awarded to the vehicle. Adult safety will be rated out of 34 points (it was rated out of 17 points earlier), and as before, child safety will be scored on a 49-point scale.

Cars that score anywhere above three stars will need to provide stability control (ESC) and side impact protection (curtain and side airbags). Of course, they will also need to make the cutoff of 16 points out of 34 for adult protection in the front and side crash tests to get three stars. Any car that gets a ‘poor’ rating for the protection of any vital body part will get no more than one star irrespective of its standard safety kit or other criteria. 

To score a full five stars, the cars will have to score a minimum of 27 points for adult safety and 41 points for child safety. ESC and six airbags must be present on the test car (usually a base-spec vehicle) or at least be offered as a standard fitment on the bestselling model of the tested car. In other words, ESC and six airbags shouldn’t be limited to the top model of the car to get a 5-star rating. ESC should be offered at least as a standalone option (not linked to any trim level), and within two years, it should be standard on all variants of the tested vehicle. 

India to get its own NCAP testing regime

In India, new Bharat NCAP norms will come into effect in April 2023 to allow for local evaluation of car safety. The testing protocols have already been formulated, and Bharat NCAP will be a part of the Union government’s regulation for cars under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR). 

Also read: 

The new Global NCAP safety norms will force carmakers to improve safety across their lineups in a phased manner. GNCAP’s new protocol will be effective until December 2025, and is a part of the ‘Towards Zero’ mission to reduce car accident fatalities. With the ongoing Safer Cars for India programme, car safety should continue to get better for cars in India.

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