Stop making automobiles with downgraded safety standards: Official

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 09, 2021 Published on February 09, 2021

Raises concern over safety rating systems being used only in high-end models

The government on Tuesday said only a few automobile manufacturers have adopted vehicle safety ratings system and that too only for their high-end models and expressed concern over reports of companies selling products with purposefully downgraded safety standards and asked them to stop the “unpardonable” practice.

“I am deeply perturbed by some news items that Indian models are purposefully downgraded by auto manufacturers' safety standards. This practice needs to be stopped,” Giridhar Aramane, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), said at a seminar organised by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Speaking on the topic ‘Implementation of vehicle location tracking devices in order to enhance the safety on road’, he said he was disturbed by the fact that very few original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) had adopted the safety ratings system and that too for their high-end models.

Awareness among consumers

To ensure that the consumers are aware of what they are buying and what its implications are, it is essential for all the auto manufacturers to get safety ratings for all their vehicles, he suggested.

In the past few years, vehicle safety group Global NCAP, under its safer cars for India campaign, had found in various tests that some models sold in India were found to have inferior safety ratings compared to the export version of the same model sold in developed markets.

Citing an example of accidents in the US and India, Aramane said, “In the US, around 36,560 died in 2018 in about 45 lakh accidents. Whereas, 1.5 lakh people died in only 4.5 lakh road accidents in India. The number of accidents is 10 times less but the number of deaths in India is five times more.”

Therefore, he said use of technological measures will only bring in higher vehicular safety and lesser deaths on roads in India. Although some active safety systems, which respond in the event of accidents, such as anti-lock braking system and seat belts, have been implemented in India, there is “some gap” and India needs to implement these in all the vehicles on the roads, not merely the new higher-end models, he said.

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Published on February 09, 2021
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