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Old 3rd February 2015, 18:35   #31
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

Our policymakers or public in general have a tendency to adopt solutions from EU/US industry thinking, if it works there, it would be good for us too. But we have to accept that what works in US/EU cannot work always here, like wider roads or flyovers or for that matter this issue of following NCAP blindly.
Ours is a overtly populous country and solutions have to be made country specific, or take the solutions from US/EU and tinker them to suit our needs.
A car on 4 wheels is any day safer than a two wheeler. If we make safety regulations harsh, we would be making cars out of reach, for a certain low income group buying public and hence exposing them to unsafe 2-wheelers. So, this whole exercise of harsh safety regulations would be defeated. Rich would become more safe and poor would become more vulnerable.
What is required is, a regulation where the OEM has to introduce at least one model per model(let owners choose what trim they want it in, Lxi, Vxi, Zxi) which conforms to the NCAP or local regulation and let the buyer decide what he wants. We all know, even our top end models with airbags do not conform to their EU/US counterparts because of weaker body structures (cost cutting). This should not happen. This is cheating.
Now, lets for once not get emotional and bring in that value of human life crap and think pragmatically(We all know how much value our life has, here in India!).
We as enthusiasts have this tendency to get excited over anything automotive, and wish for the stars, but when it comes to buying time, we go by our head and buy the practical choice.(fiat products are the worst sufferers of this phenomenon)
I think statements made by RC and KK and not entirely off the mark but the regulations themselves should not be lowered.

Last edited by chaudh2s : 3rd February 2015 at 18:43.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 18:39   #32
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

The bar of safety is being set higher and higher as every year goes by. In the 80s/90s our family car had no seatbelts and it would seem funny to think that they would ever be mandatory on Indian cars. In the early-to-mid 00s, things like ABS and airbags just started making their appearance but were still not primary factors in the buying decision.

A couple of things have changed since then: we have stopped settling for previous generation/ only-for-developing-markets models and our roads have gotten more unsafe.

Given this, most of us today (at least those who are active on this forum) will ensure that our new car purchases at least least have these basic safety features in place. Perhaps some day we will think the same about ESP/traction control, curtain airbags etc. As we evolve so must our safety standards.

So this step, especially in the wake of all the noise the Government has been making on safety recently, is completely unwarranted and takes us backwards. We need more manufacturers installing safety features as mandatory across their entire range of variants and this will be helped by strict regulation.

We need manufacturers and buyers alike thinking of safety features as essential instead of treating them as fancy things that increase the price of a car.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 18:44   #33
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

Quote:
Originally Posted by humyum View Post
"Says K.K. Gandhi, director, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), “Higher speed crash tests will make the cars safer, but also costlier. At the same time, it could make the drivers more aggressive as they will think that their cars are safer.”

Morons like the one I have quoted above, exist in India. Drivers drive aggressively, what does a car have to do with that ? Just yesterday I saw an Alto K10 racing with a Verna on the freeway and the Alto guy blew the pants out of the Verna. Its nature dependent not car dependent. Mr Gandhi, just say you are hand in glove with the manufacturers, don't need to come up with nonsensical reason
He is referring to the Peltzman effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_co...eltzman_effect) where drivers are said to become more reckless because they feel safer, nullifying the advantages of safety equipment.

However, a lot of studies suggest that this increase in recklessness is very small in comparison to the benefits of safety equipment.
Studies and statistics aside, I will obviously not start swerving all over the road just because I have airbags. I will still be careful as I don't want to get even a scratch on my car.

The Peltzman effect might be more pronounced in other situations, but as far as vehicle safety is concerned, I am not buying the argument of Mr.Gandhi.

Found this also interesting:
http://freakonomics.com/2006/12/09/t...and-important/
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Old 3rd February 2015, 19:56   #34
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

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Originally Posted by satishv1987 View Post
"It is a little premature to jump to the conclusion that airbags will solve the problem. Nobody has established any link between how many deaths have been caused because a car did not have airbags" - R.C.Bhargava

"Higher speed crash tests will make the cars safer, but also costlier. At the same time, it could make the drivers more aggressive as they will think that their cars are safer." - K.K.Gandhi, Dir, SIAM
If I'm an aggressive driver, I can be aggressive even with a bicycle; If I'm careful, I can be so even with a Porsche.
A manufacturer does not do custom builds for an aggressive driver or a sane driver. What VW did with the mandatory dual front airbags is appreciable. If I'm going to build a vehicle for a nation I'd set a minimum safety standard that ensures anyone driving it will survive with minimum casualties in case of an accident.

I'd probably compare the above statements with that of "The earth is flat" and "The Sun revolves around the Earth".
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Old 3rd February 2015, 20:33   #35
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

And I was really, really hoping that something would change with the new government. Goes to show that all of them are interested in only that - playing to vested interests.

At some point, you just get this feeling of tiredness. Tired.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 20:47   #36
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

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Originally Posted by H_Dogg72 View Post
Currently, Toyota and VW(Skoda) have pretty safe cars. It is only VW who introduced ESP in cars <15L.
How do you know that the Toyotas and VW(Skoda) sold in India are safe? I put it to you that its your perception of safety. There is currently no data available to you as an end consumer on the crash testing results of these cars. You simply rely on the data published for these models in other countries or your gut feel that the car seems solid.

Is'nt it funny that you can find out the Energy efficiency of an appliance thanks to the star rating, but you cannot find out the safety of an automobile?

When we do not even have world class test criteria for automobiles and no independent crash testing agency, then how can anyone claim that XYZ car is safer than another.

Sooner or later the government has to release truly independent crash test results to the consumer. Till that time the consumer simply has no way of knowing which car is safer than the other.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 21:10   #37
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

I don't understand what they mean by this change.

Do they want to make cars less costlier?
Clearly no. I don't see any taxes being reduced, which means buying a car in India still means wasting a lot of hard earned money as compared to many other markets - and that too just because of the steep taxes here. So it is clear that the intention is not that the cost must be reduced.

What else then, if they don't care about the cost? They just want their own people to travel less safer than before? Let's work towards reducing our population by letting them die on our roads?

Or is there an obvious influence evident here, from those who might benefit from this change? Say, the makers who sell less safer cars already?

Whatever the reason might be, reducing safety standards does not sound good... that's definite. This is not the way to progress please!
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Old 3rd February 2015, 21:31   #38
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

As long as the masses buying pattern and preference indicate no tendencies for preferring safety features, car makers in India will fight tooth and nail to avoid increase / standardization of safety features and that is what has happened.

What about the customer who wants to pay for safety? buy the top end model (unless you are buying VW or a Toyota) and save / prepare to spend extra cash to pay for the same.

Can Team BHP start an independent crash testing facility ? has this topic already been discussed? even if we have government crash test facilities up soon - how can we trust the Govt to give us unbiased/un doctored results when the same government succumbs to the auto lobby's demands !
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Old 3rd February 2015, 21:33   #39
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I've read somewhere that India has the highest incidence in the world of deaths due to road accidents. That alone should be enough to oppose lowering of safety standards.

Every market has imperfections - in our case we have a lack of demand for bare minimum safety (yes, it's true, we don't value human life) . In such cases it falls upon the regulator to correct the imperfection. Make airbags mandatory on every car. Predictable Counterpoint: cost escalation, affordability. Remedy : subsidize cost of airbags. While manufacturers will continue to differentiate on safety features, the price variation due to this factor will be much less, especially at the bottom end of the market where affordability is a valid concern (as someone remarked, people migrate from relatively unsafe 2 wheelers to cars) .
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Old 3rd February 2015, 21:49   #40
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
How do you know that the Toyotas and VW(Skoda) sold in India are safe? I put it to you that its your perception of safety. There is currently no data available to you as an end consumer on the crash testing results of these cars. You simply rely on the data published for these models in other countries or your gut feel that the car seems solid.
Global NCAP conducted crash tests on some models in India last year. Volkswagen Polo and Ford Figo were found to have good structural integrity while the rest had poor structural integrity. VW made airbags standard across all variants soon after.

Toyota has also made airbags standard across all variants in all models in India. They have cut costs on interiors but have given importance to safety which is commendable. Toyota's cars were not tested by Global NCAP in India but the Brazilian Etios hatchback has a good rating (Latin NCAP) and Brazilian models are likely to be similar to Indian models due to similar economies as against say cars sold in Europe.

Of course, having proper crash tests for all models would give the proper picture.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 22:07   #41
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

Since the corporate lobby is having their way, I will like to request the mods of our popular forum to send an open letter to our PM and Nitin Gadkari stating the need for safer cars. I believe that will spread some noise in the media and maybe more people can raise their voices or start a petition for better safety standards.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 22:20   #42
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

Corporates fund the political parties. Funds win them elections, not the mango-men. So they have to listen to their real masters. I can imagine how much money these corporates would have pumped into the Delhi elections to effect this new decision from the government.

We have a pseudo-democracy.

Boy, I feel so helpless!
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Old 3rd February 2015, 22:20   #43
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

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Originally Posted by JonSnow View Post
Global NCAP conducted crash tests on some models in India last year. Volkswagen Polo and Ford Figo were found to have good structural integrity while the rest had poor structural integrity. VW made airbags standard across all variants soon after.

Toyota has also made airbags standard across all variants in all models in India. They have cut costs on interiors but have given importance to safety which is commendable. Toyota's cars were not tested by Global NCAP in India but the Brazilian Etios hatchback has a good rating (Latin NCAP) and Brazilian models are likely to be similar to Indian models due to similar economies as against say cars sold in Europe.

Of course, having proper crash tests for all models would give the proper picture.
Exactly my point, Global NCAP did do a test, but there have been changes in the VW models post that. And we're only assuming that the Indian Toyota is safe based on the tests in Brazil. We currently do not know for sure, since no Indian independent agency did publish these crash test results for Indian vehicles.

Why cannot the government setup an independent crash testing lab and certify all cars independently and release the reports publicly like Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). Atleast it will be impartial and truly independent unlike ARAI.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 23:13   #44
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

This is SHOCKING !!!

I can't believe that even in today's day and age we are taking a step back than two forward.

All of us need to raise a voice and make it heard. I say even if the Indian consumer is price sensitive then whose job is it to make him aware about the safety aspects of an automobile -- The Govt. and the Auto Industry. And what do they end up doing, throw the consumer more in the gutter.

There is another thread on the forum stating that Suzuki's Celerio has been banned in UK after failing the brake test.

If we are able to generate an awareness movement in a structured way, I'm sure we can disturb a few people's night's sleep.

I urge the Team-BHP mods again--we already have a huge active user base across the country, identify the Senior BHPians of each state / region and lets get them to rally a team in their respective areas. And once we are able to build a momentum sky is the limit.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 23:23   #45
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Default Re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

Welcome to the country where industrialists fund the political parties and ensure that the hapless customers get no law or safety agencies in their favor.

No agency independent or otherwise to test and certify safety star ratings
No lemon law to protect the customers from being sold a defective automobile by the manufacturer
Pathetic legal system which ensures that no sane individual would even think of going through the pain of challenging the manufacturer


When same models being recalled in first world countries, we pretty much hear nothing of that sort in India barring few exceptions. Why? They don't have to worry about someone going to court and having to face any public class action suit. They have it all covered. Aren't we the unfortunate lot?
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