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Though it is exempt from meeting any formal crash test standards in most countries, vehicles like the battery-powered, Indian-built Reva – sold in England as the G-Wiz – have occasionally been subjected to informal tests, and the results have raised numerous concerns. Several years ago, British car magazine Top Gear decided to put a G-Wiz through the EuroNCAP (new car assessment program) crash test to see how it would fare. The car struck a barrier at 40 miles per hour and the result was, well, disastrous (pictured).

Sadly, a leading British academic, Dr. Judit Nadal, 47, lost her life shortly after her blue G-Wiz collided with a Skoda Octavia recently. The G-Wiz was torn in two on the A41 Hendon Way that links London to Birkenhead. Circumstances leading up to the accident have not been released and police are still investigating the collision. But this incident, as well as others like it, lead us to believe that all vehicles intent on traveling on the road, including lightweight quadricycles like the G-Wiz and three-wheelers like Zap's Xebra, should be required to meet crash test standards. No exceptions.

[Source: Daily Mail]


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  • 38 Comments
      • 3 Months Ago
      Not to downplay the many comments among Smart debaters...but lets make it known there are TOO MANY cars driven by TOO MANY ill-minded owners. Why? Your average twit is not allowed to drive a large truck or bus nor pilot an airplane. We need stiffer driving tests and if needed MORE DRIVER TRAINING; think of all the jobs that would create and lives that would be saved. It would be a simple start to raise the passing score 5% higher.

      As to safety of small cars, one idea proposed is to set the standards equal to Europe 2005. Same for emissions, so we could import those models.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Tabloid rubbish.

      A SINGLE death in a Reva and it makes headlines, yet how many people die on the roads every single day of the year? Over 2000 people DIE every single day in road accidents, with almost 70,000 injured DAILY. Yet 1 Doctor crashes an EV and the British tabloids run the story for a week.

      It's a QUADRICYCLE not a car! Try smashing a motorcycle head on into a barrier at 40 Mph and see how the rider goes!

      Crash tests are delusional anyways as they are ALL done a mere fractions of legal speed limits. The national speed limit in the UK were these tests were done is 70 mph, not 40!!!

      So why crash test @ 40 Mph instead of at legal highway speeds? Because every single car sold today would be classed as un-safe and drivers would be horrified by the results. Manufactuers would get class action suits on them (see Ford and their $1/2Billion Explorer lawsuit) and they would have to stop building cars out of tin and make something that with a proper roll cage.

      There are ALOT of closed door agreements maintaining the current status quo. Slagging off the Reva is one of them.
        • 3 Months Ago
        At 70mph colliding to concrete wall energies and accelerations are so huge that it pretty much doesn't matter what kind of protection you have inside the car. You are accelerating so fast that you are in very serious danger of being killed even without hitting anything. You would need five-point safety belts, neck-protecting collars and helmets in addition to those rollcages.

        That is if the passenger space stays intact, and I pretty much doubt that any car, unless it is some sort of tank or F1 racing monocoque, has that kind of protection.
      • 3 Months Ago
      What about motorcycles? Are you going to force them to meet crash standards?

      I just think they should come with big warning stickers on the dash, indicating this vehicle has no crash protection rating, and you sign a waiver when you buy it.

      If you let people drive motor-cycles you should let people drive other lightweight vehicle without crash protection provided there is informed consent.
        • 3 Months Ago
        Just what I was thinking.
        Motorcycles, bicycles, ... how about pedestrians that are always near and sometimes on the road (at crosswalks, jay-walking, or where the sidewalk is torn up for construction). Should they all have to meet crash standards?
        • 3 Months Ago
        @MBBC

        Given the number of people on these forums who won't drive something as small as a Civic because they are afraid they won't survive being hit by a Hummer, I think there wouldn't be that many takers for a car that meets no safety standards, and requires you to sign a waiver stating you are aware it doesn't.

        • 3 Months Ago
        Motorcycle and bicycles are not cars so there is not reasonable expectation of crash safety. The G-Wiz is marketed as a car or at least a car-alternative.


        Why have safety standards at all? We could just replace them all with a 'drive at your own risk sticker'
        • 3 Months Ago
        since when are motorcycles and bikes not considered car alternatives?

        I've driven many G-Wizes... it doesn't give any false sense of security, you're well aware of what you're getting into. Very sad news though. Fortunately just about every EV entering the market now is built to a much higher safety standard, including Reva's next car. The G-Wiz has definitely helped pave the way for these cars, as there is already a nascent charging infrastructure in place in London.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Not that smart scientist after all
        • 3 Months Ago
        of me being a scientist or me being smart?
        • 3 Months Ago
        Your mother must be proud.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Just as an FYI...the A41 doesn't go all the way between London and Birkenhead (nr Liverpool). It stops at Bicester and then picks up again at Solihull. You would need to take a stretch of the M40 and M42 (the easiest way) to complete the journey between the two.
      • 3 Months Ago
      not to refute Eric's outstanding journalism but people actually die in larger cars too..
      I know this is a shock, very intellectual stuff but given enough time it's possible to understand...
        • 3 Months Ago
        rhetorically, no I'm quite the opposite of dense. contrary to some popular belief.
        Eric clearly states a lot of things but Eric could benefit from an improved factual discipline.
        he is prone to impatient emotional exaggeration and errors.
        and indeed some normal cars are split in two in accidents.

        not that I'd vouch for the engineering of the Reva but I do object to the simple minded dismissal just because the occupant died. because that does indeed happen all the time in 'normal' cars. passing a crash test is not the same as death proof. not even close.
        • 3 Months Ago
        Dan,

        Are you dense? That's a rhetorical question. Eric clearly states that "the G-Wiz was torn in two". Larger cars don't usually get "torn in two" when they get into an accident.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Cars like the fortwo and iq prove that you can build a micro car that is also very safe. I agree they should take another look at the safety of that thing.
        • 3 Months Ago
        You do realize this is in response to a comment I made at 11:30am, right? I did not read your short novel in responses. My advice to you: turn off the computer, go drive your SUV, luxury sedan, or pickup truck and try to enjoy life.

        I am going to drive my "deathtrap", and I promise you I will be happier than you are (especially when I need gas).
        • 3 Months Ago
        Please don't let the www.smartandsafe.com website give you false sense of security from the "real stories from real owners" who survived a crash in their Smart ForTwo. I hate to point out the OBVIOUS, but real owners of the Smart ForTwo who died in a crash or who are in a permanently vegetative state as a result of a crash are not going to be posting their stories on the smartandsafe.com website.
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Middle Way, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz-s1sIoLhU&feature=related
        ^-- another crash test of the smart, showing far better results.
        A small vehicle can be very safe. There are many larger cars that do worse!
        The difference is that you build actual safety into it. These NEV vehicles are basically have no crash protection. The problem is not entirely the size of the vehicle, George.



        Middle Way, are we watching the same YouTube video?

        At 1:36 seconds the IIHS president says: "When it comes to safety, small lightweight vehicles AREN'T THE BEST CHOICES. . . . and out on the road, small lightweight vehicles DON'T PROTECT THEIR OCCUPANTS AS WELL AS LARGER & HEAVIER ONES. Just because a small car gets a good rating in our frontal offset crash test, DOESN'T MEAN IT'S GOING TO PROTECT YOU AS WELL AS A LARGER CAR in the range of frontal crashes out there." [Caps added for emphasis, not to shout.]

        The problem is not entirely the size of the vehicle, but it is a big part of the problem. Good engineering can't always overcome the law of physics when a larger heavier car crashes into a smaller lighter car. Your girlfriend or wife was right when they said that size matters! ;)

        At 48 seconds, the IIHS president says: "the dummy's head did strike the steering wheel HARD through the airbag." The Smart ForTwo driver's brain would probably be bouncing around the inside of his skull like a pair of maracas. Unfortunately, the current generation of crash-test dummies can't quantify the injury to the driver's brain and internal organs. Hopefully, the next generation of crash-test dummies will be able to give us data on brain and internal organ injuries sustained from crashes.



        • 3 Months Ago
        You are so wrong. The Smart ForTwo is a veritable death trap when it collides with another (bigger) vehicle.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he6TL15pJtw&feature=related
        • 3 Months Ago
        • 3 Months Ago
        Ok, what about this?

        http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f4/2009-fars-data-shows-smart-safe-34023/#post373623

        This guy did an analyses from FARS data. You can replicate his results (even though you wont bother) by factoring in the amount of sales per month/year.

        Face it. You are not completely safe in any vehicle. Just because it's small the smart is not a "death trap". In fact it is safer than most larger cars.

        Ill stop here, though. I'm just wasting my time with you.
        • 3 Months Ago
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz-s1sIoLhU&feature=related
        ^-- another crash test of the smart, showing far better results.

        A small vehicle can be very safe. There are many larger cars that do worse!

        The difference is that you build actual safety into it. These NEV vehicles are basically have no crash protection. The problem is not entirely the size of the vehicle, George.
        • 3 Months Ago
        @George, "You are so wrong. The Smart ForTwo is a veritable death trap when it collides with another (bigger) vehicle."

        I suppose we should all drive motor homes, as minivans are death traps when they run into one.

        http://www.vancouversun.com/killed+Trans+Canada+highway+crash+near+Golden/3349928/story.html
        • 3 Months Ago
        @jay LOL! 1:58pm actually. Jay you responded to each of my comments in five minutes or less. Maybe you should turn off your computer and get a life.

        How do you know that I don't drive a Prius, which not only gets much better gas mileage than your Smart ForTwo, but is also much safer in a crash than your Smart ForTwo? I think you're a little defensive because you're trying to validate your purchase of a Smart ForTwo as a wise choice as opposed to buying a Prius, which is a larger, safer, and more fuel efficient car that doesn't require premium fuel, has a good transmission, and holds its residual value.

        And I know you read all my short novels in responses, just like you're reading this one. ;)
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Jay Ok, what about this?
        http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f4/2009-fars-data-shows-smart-safe-34023/#post373623
        This guy did an analyses from FARS data. You can replicate his results (even though you wont bother) by factoring in the amount of sales per month/year.
        Face it. You are not completely safe in any vehicle. Just because it's small the smart is not a "death trap". IN FACT IT IS SAFER THAN MOST LARGER CARS.


        Jay, if you read closely the guy didn't use FARS data in his analysis because it wasn't out yet for 2009. Instead he "guessed" the death rate of the Smart ForTwo by searching for news accounts on google. That's a real scientific analysis, googling to get your data! When you start off with bad data your analysis is invalid, because as they say: "garbage in, garbage out." If anything he underguessed (underestimated) the death rate because googling didn't uncover all the deaths in Smart ForTwo crashes, especially when you consider that not all people die immediately after a crash. Some may die days, weeks, or months after a crash, and there is no news report on the internet because it's old news or not newsworthy. His analysis also didn't even attempt to quantify the costs or extent of injuries incurred in Smart ForTwo crashes. I guess he couldn't google that info to even attempt to make an educated guess.

        You also have to interpret the data. One factor to consider is that since the Smart ForTwo is a two seater the maxinum number of people that can die in it is two. While a Camry seats five and the maxinum number of people that can die in it is five. Thus, the limited seating capacity of the ForTwo tends to lower its death rate, compated to larger cars.

        There could be other factors affect the analysis, such as the Smart ForTwo is mainly used as a city car and is driven less ofter on highways or rural roads than larger cars, thus lowering the ForTwo's death rate.
        • 3 Months Ago
        @jay Face it. You are not completely safe in any vehicle. Just because it's small the smart is not a "death trap". IN FACT IT IS SAFER THAN MOST LARGER CARS.

        Ill stop here, though. I'm just wasting my time with you.



        Jay, the Smart ForTwo is NOT safer than most larger cars. You should really watch this video that Middle Way posted above:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he6TL15pJtw&feature=related

        The IIHS (International Institute of Highway Safety) crash tested the Smart ForTwo, and came to a different conclusion than you did. He president of the IIHS says this about the Smart ForTwo: "When it comes to safety, small lightweight vehicles AREN'T THE BEST CHOICES. . . . and out on the road, small lightweight vehicles DON'T PROTECT THEIR OCCUPANTS AS WELL AS LARGER & HEAVIER ONES. Just because a small car gets a good rating in our frontal offset crash test, DOESN'T MEAN IT'S GOING TO PROTECT YOU AS WELL AS A LARGER CAR in the range of frontal crashes out there." [Caps added for emphasis, not to shout.]
      • 3 Months Ago
      so no cycling then?
      • 3 Months Ago
      All this mess is because they don't follow my blogs. I said 2 weeks ago that the electric lincoln continental of neil young was the best green car actually on the roads. Why pay for a small punisching box like the reva made with new natural ressources when there is tons and tons of old big american full size car to convert to an electric system and depollute the scrap yards ??
        • 3 Months Ago
        • 3 Months Ago
        Are you kidding? The 1967 Lincoln Continental was never crash-tested either! Just because it weighs 3 tons doesn't mean squat. It had no seat belts, no safety glass, no collapsible steering column. Nevermind modern amenities like airbags! It's a death trap. You get in an accident, and if you're lucky you'll be thrown clear and slowly skid to a halt - that is if you don't hit any obstructions along the way. More than likely though, you just go through the window, which will eviscerate you. Or your chest gets crushed into the steering wheel. Either way, you're dead.

        You'd be safer in a Smart car. Which coincidentally, is what you can also say about the G-Wiz.
        • 3 Months Ago
        I knew since a long time that this website was own and operated by el-cheapo good ol petrol and fake new car(green) proponents, LOL. i won't buy a new overpriced constricted punisching box for false safety reasons. the bel air is 10x more interresting then the modern malibu
      • 3 Months Ago
      You can street an ATV in the UK too. And those aren't even enclosed.
        • 3 Months Ago
        MBBC --

        The point is that the G-Wiz is sold as a "quadricycle" in the UK. It isn't sold as a car.

        It falls into the same category as taking an ATV like a Suzuki KingQuad and making it street legal. So of course you will likely die if you get into a 40+ mph collision. Just like you have a good chance of dying if you were in a 40+ mph collision on a Suzuki KingQuad or a motorcycle.

        I don't think anyone is being lied to in the UK. They know what they are getting. They are getting a street legal quadricycle, not a car.

        • 3 Months Ago
        An ATV is not considered a car or car-alternative - this is. If a reasonable person would assume some semblance of safety in a car like this. Why have crash tests at all? After all motorcycles and ATVs are dangerous.
        • 3 Months Ago
        @MBBC
        Like Nixon says, it's likely sold as a "quadricycle" (that's how they would sell it in the US too). There is no expectation that it will be as safe as a car in a crash. The point of contention would be if helmets should be required.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Dan F. If you follow the Daily Mail link you will see that the car was indeed torn in two, a shocking photo.
      Leaving the technical discussion to one side for a moment I think we should spare a thought for this poor woman and her family. May she rest in peace.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Can the G-Wiz even go 40 miles per hour?
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