Maruti Alto; Swift, Hyundai i10; Eon, and Honda Jazz banned in Assam over safety issues

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Global NCAP Crash tst Indian Cars Suzuki_Maruti_Alto

If you’re in Assam and thinking of buying a small car, you’re in for some bad luck. Guwahati High Court has issued a ban on the launch and sale of small cars that don’t meet crash-test norms in the state in response to petitions that insist on safer vehicles.

The petitioners have cited the failure of the cars in the Global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), a UK based body that independently conducts crash tests of all vehicles sold in Europe and beyond, and gives a safety rating for each vehicle, with the maximum being five stars. A handful of India-made small cars, including the Datsun Go, Hyundai i10 and the Maruti Swift were also put to a similar test last year, and received a shocking ZERO star rating. The petitioners believe that Global NCAP ratings should apply to cars sold in Assam as well, because higher safety standards are required in mountainous regions.

The high court heard their woes, and on June 26, barred all manufacturers from selling cars tin the state that did not meet the safety regulations, affecting about 140 models, including bestsellers like the Alto and Swift from Maruti Suzuki; i10 and Eon from Hyundai; along with the newly launched Honda Jazz. Rest assured, the manufacturers are miffed about the ban, as Assam is the largest market in North East India, accounting for over 12% of total sales in the country. Moreover, a sluggish auto market isn’t helping their cause either.

The report says that the concerned manufacturers are putting up their cases individually, as well as through its apex body, SIAM (Society of Indian Manufacturers). Major car companies including  Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Honda and Toyota confirmed they are facing issues in the market after the court order. The next hearing in the case is scheduled on August 27.

Our 2 cents:

Proper Indian automotive safety norms aren’t in place yet, so when manufacturers say that their respective vehicles fully comply to Indian safety norms, which just includes a basic frontal impact test, or steering impact test, they can’t be theoretically blamed. Moreover, Anti Lock Brakes (ABS) and airbags are yet to be made mandatory on all passenger cars sold in India. However, from October 2017, a new regulatory body called the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme (BNVSAP) will be set up to ensure that all Indian made vehicles provide basic safety in line with global standards for adult occupants, children and pedestrians. It probably wouldn’t hurt to wait till then before banning all the vehicles, as a similar ban in other states will throw the entire industry in a total disarray!

Its a shame that similar vehicles sold in other countries are built to be safer than their Indian counterparts. For example, the Honda Jazz sold in Australia and New Zealand scored a commendable five stars from Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) safety rating agency. The safety mesh on the tested model included dual frontal, side chest and side head airbags (curtains) as standard, along with ABS, electronic brake distribution (EBD) and electronic stability control (ESC), reversing collision avoidance and emergency stop signal (ESS). Most of these aforementioned safety nets are not offered on the Indian Jazz, which is one of models banned in Assam.Its important that our government lays down some basic guidelines to strengthen the safety aspects of the cars sold in India. The earlier it happens, the better.

via The Economic Times

 

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  • Vijay Kanbarkar says:

    Volkswagen is good option..

  • Yogesh says:

    honda also available safety features on basic variants like ABS EBD and ACE body structure

  • Jayanand says:

    In a bid to provide cheaper cars, the one thing that most off the manufacturers most eagerly do away with are ABS n AirBags. Best Example i can give is of Hyundai i10 Grand. My friend Got her self the top of the line Automatic version. Guess whats missing in it. Yes your guess is as good as mine, it lacks ABS and AirBags. Just so that this company can price it more competitively. I welcome this ruling by Guwahati High Court. Everything thats sold here in India, is made to the lowest standard of that criteria, just so that it can be immensely profitable. For years i have detested this and have always wanted that ABS n Air Bags be made compulsory. But all these manufacturers follow the golden rule of, why fix it if its not broke. Only such moves can make em come to their senses.

  • Santanu says:

    It means that the people from Assam can't buy the small cars. If Government is giving some kind of subsidy in the SUVs or the bigger cars. Change the rule…

  • Rajat Purkayastha says:

    The discriminatory attitude by Honda in providing safety features in the same Jazz model in Europe and Australia compared to NE is outright objectionable. The honourable court’s ruling has highlighted this. It is better if the concerned auto manufacturer takes corrective step to augment the safety features irrespective of geographical locations at the earliest.