Global NCAP and the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) launch the last result for the #SaferCarsForAfrica campaign under its current test protocols today (30 June), with the welcome support of the FIA Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies. As from next month the assessment protocols will be updated to include side impact, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and pedestrian protection requirements.


The Maruti Suzuki S-Presso is manufactured in India and scored three stars for adult occupant protection and two stars for child occupant protection. The model was previously tested by Global NCAP for the Indian market in 2020. It scored a zero star rating for adult occupant protection and two stars for child occupant protection.


Following reports that the version of the car sold in South Africa had a better safety performance, Global NCAP decided to put the claims to the test. The S-Presso in South Africa is fitted with two airbags as standard. During the assessment the S-Presso structure demonstrated an unstable performance and the driver’s chest showed a weak protection level, marginally avoiding a two star rating. Levels of child occupant protection showed the same performance as the version sold in India.


The lack of ISOFIX anchorages, lack of a three-point belt in all seating positions and the decision of Suzuki Maruti not to recommend a Child Restraint System (CRS) explain this poor child occupant protection score.

Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Global NCAP said, “The safety performance of the S-Presso in South Africa has been far from satisfactory and claims of improvement are not reflected in levels of child occupant protection which remain the same as the Indian version we tested in 2020. There has been significant progress with vehicle safety in the Indian market with a welcome requirement for the fitment of six airbags as standard. We hope that Maruti Suzuki will not apply a double standard for the vehicles they sell in Africa compared to those sold in India.”


David Ward, Executive President of the Towards Zero Foundation said, “As our current test protocols come to an end in Africa it is important to see manufacturers continue their commitment to high standards of vehicle safety. Some continue to do well but we remain disappointed with others. Sadly, Maruti Suzuki fall into this later category, where the rhetoric on safety is simply not matched by the reality.”


Willem Groenewald, CEO of the AASA said, “While the adult occupancy result for the S-Presso is encouraging there is room for improvement, especially in relation to the child protection rating. The safety of motorists in South Africa is critical and we welcome the visible efforts by manufacturers in this regard and urge them to continue investing in this important facet of their production.”