Following the spat between Bajaj Auto and German car-maker Volkswagen over Global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) safety rating for the company's quadricycle Qute, the safety watchdog hit out at the company for making "misleading" claims. Bajaj Auto had earlier said that the company's Qute had received a superior rating than Volkswagen Polo, Maruti Alto and Tata Nano, after the car received a one star in a crash test conducted by the organisation.
In a letter to Rajiv Bajaj, managing director Bajaj Auto, Global NCAP said, "It is was also very disappointing to read that Bajaj was also reported to be making comparisons between Global NCAP's tests of Indian passenger cars suggesting that the Qute had performed better than cars with a zero star result. To make such a comparison is misleading and wrong."
In the letter, Global NCAP said that although the Qute has scored slightly better than the other cars, which were also put through the test by the organisation, it does not perform well and the likelihood of receiving severe or fatal head and chest injuries still exist.
"They revealed a likelihood of severe or fatal head and chest injuries. Euro NCAP recommends limiting the speed of the vehicle and also proposes potential improvements (including fitment of a three point inertia real seat belt and an airbag) which Global NCAP strongly encourages Bajaj to adopt as a matter of urgency," the letter added.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen refuted the claims made by Bajaj, saying: "It is to bring to your notice that the information issued by Bajaj Auto Ltd. with reference to Volkswagen Polo NCAP rating is misleading, incorrect and without merit." The company added that the Polo in India secured a four star safety rating in crash tests conducted by NCAP.
Responding to Global NCAP's letter, Rajiv Bajaj said: "We would equally respectfully suggest that in the future Global NCAP reflect a little longer & exhibit greater maturity in drawing conclusions before venturing to cast unwarranted aspersion upon an organisation that has a track record for integrity & performance as does Bajaj Auto."