CHENNAI, India -- The Renault Kwid crossover, one of the hottest-selling models in India, scored zero stars in an auto safety group's crash tests for the second time since its introduction last year.
The Kwid model earned zero stars for adult passenger protection in versions with and without an airbag, Global New Car Assessment Program said in a statement today.
Renault produced about 5,000 units of the Kwid model most recently tested by the organization, and the initial version the company built last year also scored no stars out of five, the group said.
Global NCAP said Renault has sought to improve the Kwid's safety performance since its initial introduction last year, and the group hasn't yet tested another iteration of the model that began production earlier this month.
Renault said in an emailed statement that all of its models exceeded safety standards set by Indian authorities. The automaker said it is committed to complying with crash-test regulations in India scheduled to take effect for new cars in 2017 and existing vehicles in 2019.
Improved transport safety
Transportation safety has come under the scrutiny of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who's pledged his government will introduce measures to reduce India's average rate of one road death every four minutes. While Modi expressed his concerns in July, a draft road transport and safety bill has yet to be introduced to parliament.
Maruti Suzuki India's Celerio and Eeco, Hyundai Motor's Eon and Mahindra & Mahindra's Scorpio models also scored zero stars, Global NCAP said in its statement.
Representatives for the three companies didn't immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
The Kwid, introduced in May 2015, was the only model in India's minicar segment to post a sales gain last month. The model, which starts at 262,113 rupees ($3,927), offers a driver side airbag as an option, according to Renault's website.
Renault's sales in India more than doubled last month on demand for the Kwid. The automaker, which is No. 3 in the market, sold 12,426 vehicles, a rise of 211 percent.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report