Global NCAP’s new and stricter testing procedures for the Safer Cars for India program went into effect earlier this year. The first vehicles to be evaluated and given a 5-star rating using the upgraded protocols were the Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun. This also implies that all ratings given by GNCAP for models evaluated using the old technique are not comparable to the star rating for a vehicle evaluated using the new protocol, where obtaining a high rating is much more difficult.
Knowing whether a model has been tested using the new or old technique is therefore crucial. But how can you distinguish between them? In order to distinguish between the two grades, GNCAP has established two extremely distinct markers.
1. Yellow stars indicate a new testing method
The separate color codes for the two classifications are the first and most glaring indication. Adult occupant safety was denoted by blue stars in the prior Global NCAP standard, while child occupant protection was denoted by green stars. But with the new methodology, GNCAP now designates yellow stars for both child and adult occupant protection.
On model websites, in brochures, and even in print and television commercials, automakers frequently use GNCAP star ratings. It is crucial to understand how to read GNCAP ratings because they occasionally change the color of the star rating to accentuate it or for aesthetic reasons.
2. The testing date needs to be mentioned
The test date, which is now essential to be stated beneath the star rating, is something else you should be on the lookout for. In essence, models tested after July 2022 are subject to the new procedure, whilst those tested before that date are subject to the older protocol.
It’s vital to remember that a model’s GNCAP star rating is valid for up to four years, after which the vehicle must be retested or lose its certification entirely. This is due to the fact that Global NCAP often improves its testing methodologies, and what was once thought to be the standard may no longer be the case. The safety watchdog has been promoting higher safety standards in markets all across the world in a similar manner.
Take the Tata Nexon as an example. One of the most touted made-in-India models is the Nexon, which was the first to receive a 5-star GNCAP rating. Tata Motors can only use the GNCAP rating for advertising until December 2022, after which the scores will no longer be valid, as it was last tested in December 2018.
Adult Occupant Safety Updated GNCAP Protocols
We can state right away that new protocols are substantially stricter than previous ones. Prior protocols prioritized frontal crash tests at 64 km/h with 40% overlap on a deformable barrier. Only cars striving for five stars or volunteers would undergo an additional side crash test. And without the use of kiddies.
In accordance with new procedures, side crash tests must be performed routinely, whether volunteers or those seeking for 5-star ratings. And for this exam, child dummies are required. A vehicle is not required to undergo side crash testing if it fails the frontal crash test with a score of 0. Adult and kid test dummies are required to be examined for both frontal and side crash testing.
No matter where one is seated, wearing a seatbelt is essential. Every seatbelt reminder receives 0.5 of the 2 points set aside for seatbelt reminders. A car must feature seat belt reminders in all four seats in order to receive two points. Active safety systems are given a lot of credit and consideration in the new GNCAP protocols. Its best-selling variant, or the rest of the variants combined in terms of sales, must come standard with ESC. A car will thereafter be qualified for a 5-star rating.
Also given a lot of weight is pole side impact. This test uses a pole impact test to calculate side-head impact. New GNCAP protocols need the installation of some type of head protection equipment in order to conduct this test. For a vehicle to receive a 5-star rating, a pedestrian safety system must be a standard feature. The UN127 or GTR9 should issue a pass/fail certificate to manufacturers.
New vs. Old Rating
The maximum rating is still five stars. In frontal crash tests, adult occupant protection is given 16 points, and child occupant protection is given 49 points. We currently have 2 points for seatbelt reminders despite side crash tests having 16 points for adult occupant safety.
It is impossible to compare the results of old and current crash tests. In other words, if an automobile received a 5-star rating during the previous testing, the rating under the new testing will not be comparable. Global NCAP will assign a yellow star rating for vehicles that passed the new system’s tests for both adult and child occupants in order to distinguish between the two. In the previous method, green stars denoted a child’s rating while blue stars suggested an adult rating.
Newer GNCAP protocols have stricter requirements than earlier versions. Having said that, they are probably going to become more demanding over time and closer to Euro NCAP criteria. As ADAS systems gain popularity, GNCAP will, if necessary, change its procedures in the future.