The government has begun to lay out the plans to make Indian cars safer and lower the number of fatal accidents which occur on Indian roads daily. Crash testing is going to be at the foremost of this new agenda along with making car companies provide air-bags and ABS in all their models.
India is no longer the cheapest place to make a car; so majority of the car makers feared this move as it will make the car prices go up, not only in terms of added components but building the car structurally rigid as well. Many of these manufacturers install these systems in cars made-in-India and exported to their other markets but no effort was made to do so for cars sold in India.
For crash tests, the cars will have to bear a head-on crash at 56 kmph. The facilities are yet to me made ready but some companies already claim they have undergone such testing. The govt will make sure crash testing facilities are ready by the end of this year at Pune and Manesar. The deadline for this is touted to be 2017 for all vehicles to meet minimum safety standards. Automakers estimate the prices to go up by about 25%.
Deriving from the electrical efficiency rating, BEE, the cars will be adjudged between 1-5 stars based on their performance in the crash tests. This will help the customer make a better choice for the safety of himself and his passengers.
All of this will come under the New car Assessment Program (NCAP) the guidelines for which will be introduced in the next few months. A senior official at the Transport Ministry confirmed this and added “We will give the manufacturers enough time for transition to ensure that there is complete compliance”.
India (unfortunately) tops the list of the number of fatal accidents per year even though we do not have as many cars. This new move, although a bit late, is a very good step in the right direction.
Read about how Indian cars fared in Global NCAP tests here.