Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday approved the draft notification introducing the Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) for Indian cars, which will be assigned ‘stars’ based on their performance in crash tests and other safety parameters once the rule is finalized.
It will be the first for the Indian car market, which has no safety ratings.
It is not immediately clear if these notes will be mandatory. Indian car manufacturers follow AIS-145 (Indian Automotive Standard 145), which enforces safety features for vehicles such as seat belt warning light, passenger airbags and speed limit alarm. This standard has created changes in the Indian automotive industry and was first applied in July 2019.
The 197-page BNCAP draft borrows heavily from the Global New Car Assessment Program (GNCAP). Over the years, the number of stars awarded by the self-governing body in different countries has become an important reference in terms of vehicle safety.
Rohit Balluja, president of the Institute of Road Traffic Education, which was instrumental in introducing GNCAP in India, said it was a welcome move by the government and that the rating would be an important source of information for car buyers in India, “it would have served better if it were an autonomous body and not an authority, as is the case in other automotive markets “.
It must also collaborate with other stakeholders such as insurance companies and citizen protection groups, as is the practice elsewhere.
GNCAP has been testing cars for the Indian market since 2014 under its “Safer Cars for India” program. The program aims to promote the sale of safer cars in developing markets by providing consumers with information on vehicle safety.
“Bharat-NCAP will serve as a consumer-centric platform, allowing customers to opt for safer cars based on their star ratings, while promoting healthy competition among OEMs (automotive equipment manufacturers). origin) in India to make safer vehicles,” the minister said in a series of tweets.
Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director of Maruti Suzuki India, said: “For Maruti Suzuki, safety is a priority. All of our products meet regulatory requirements and beyond. We therefore welcome the further steps regarding the BNCAP and will carefully study the details for a smooth implementation. »
“It would mean that automakers that haven’t given enough weight to GNCAP ratings will have no choice but to fall in line,” an automaker official said.
India ranks first in the world in terms of the number of people killed and third on the list of injured, Gadkari had said in a written response to the Rajya Sabha in April. On Thursday, the Mahindra XUV700 was awarded Global NCAP’s “Safer Choice” award.