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Suzuki South Africa Claims S-Presso Sold in SA Safer Than One in India, Raises Eyebrows

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso S-CNG. (Image source: Maruti Suzuki)

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso S-CNG. (Image source: Maruti Suzuki)

South African official handle of Suzuki responded that the abysmal safety rating of S-Presso was only in the “lower grade variant” sold in India and not in SA.

Maruti-Suzuki S-Presso Global NCAP crash test raised several eyebrows this year with its dismal performance. However, the Suzuki South Africa have claimed that the S-Presso model sold in South Africa is actually safer than the India-spec model. The car scored a rating of 0 star for its safety standard. Rightly, many consumers and even competition brands expressed their disapproval over it in India.

South Africa happens to be one of the biggest export markets for Maruti Suzuki S-Presso, which is made in India. With social media posts about the car’s abysmal safety standard, buyers in South Africa have expressed their concerns.

One such buyer expressed her regret about buying the car on Twitter. To this, the South African official handle of Suzuki responded that the fault was only in the “lower grade variant” sold in India. The response has been met with outrage by some of the Indian consumers.

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People have accused Suzuki of not valuing Indian lives as less safe option is being sold in the country, where the car is manufactured. While all the models are made in India, the South African model gets dual airbags and front seat-belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters in all price-range models. As for the Indian counterpart, some of the “special features” are an extra option in the base model and above. While some features, like dual airbags, are available only in the upper range models.

The reason for the car’s low rating is the Global NCAP tests standard, which analyses only the base trim that gets all the standard safety features. According to a South African outlet, The Citizen, the model used in the crash test is used exclusively for India.

“That particular model only features an airbag on the driver’s side and it also doesn’t have front seat-belts that feature pre-tensioners with load limiters,” said Brendon Carpenter, Suzuki Auto South Africa’s national brand manager. He argues that with the additional airbag and seat-belt enhancements, the African model is “much safer.”

“The S-Presso offers good value, but not at the expense of safety,” he said.

However, it must be noted that the South African model in question has not gone for the NCAP safety test so no surety can be given about its safety standards.

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