Motor vehicle design in India

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Motor vehicle design is a huge issue in India. Many developed countries around the world have mandated minimum safety regulations for cars. These cars are tested by their respective New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) associations for safety compliance, for example, Euro NCAP. However, India, one of the largest manufacturers of vehicles in the world, does not have a NCAP program and does not have safety regulations for vehicles. http://www.globalncap.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/road-map-2020.pdf. Given the population of India, this presents a huge problem for safety.

What is even more concerning is that India exports vehicles that meet safety standards in other countries, but they sell inferior quality vehicles to their own citizens so that they can save an extremely minimal amount on production costs. The Global NCAP did some testing on cars produced in India, and they found that the vehicles all received 0/5 stars for safety. gncap-india1-datsun-go

http://www.fiafoundation.org/blog/2015/august/as-indian-court-bans-unsafe-cars-global-ncap-urges-faster-progress

The Indian government has demonstrated an interest in enforcing vehicle design regulations. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/auto/automobiles/cars-set-to-get-safer-government-draws-strict-crash-test-norms-forcing-architectural-changes-in-models/articleshow/35400141.cms However, this has yet to be enacted.

It is very important that the Indian government acts quickly to implement national vehicle design regulations for safety, which would prevent car manufacturers from skimping on safety. This would end up resulting in a very minimal cost increase for consumers. The Indian government should also set up its own agency to crash test cars to ensure manufacturer compliance.

 

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2 Responses to “Motor vehicle design in India”

  1. asw722 Says:

    Thank you for preparing this thoughtful commentary on the state of automobile regulations in India. I was so surprised to learn that India did not have any kind of New Car Assessment Program and that car manufacturers are not held to any standards of safety before selling these products to the public. I was also shocked to learn the the cars built for export easily meet various nations’ standards for safety. In such a mechanized and industrial field, the cost-savings yielded by eliminating any concern for safety must be negligible or minimal. If this is the case in India, a rapidly developing nation with a tremendous percentage of the world’s population, I wonder about the state of automobile safety in other countries around the world. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  2. hmerali1 Says:

    Thank you for your posting. This is a very important issue affecting millions of people. It is astonishing how little the costs are, as you mention. These initial tests of Indian cars by NCAP demonstrated that none of them even had airbags! Volkswagen then voluntarily put in air bags and anti-lock brakes in their compact car and this only added 2.7% to the cost of the car.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-25974754

    The demand for these safety features in vehicles is also high in India. More than 90% of drivers in India want features such as airbags and ABS.
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/auto/news/industry/over-90-indian-small-car-buyers-want-abs-airbags-study/articleshow/45574894.cms

    Since the government has been slow to act on safety arguments, as well as what citizens want, perhaps what is needed now is to show them the financial benefits? A well done cost-benefit analysis of these various safety measures can demonstrate how much money the government can save.

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