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Old 2nd February 2015, 23:18   #1
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Default Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

Under immense pressure from the carmakers lobby, the Govt of India has decided to reduce safety standard specifications(Bharat New Vehicle Safet Assessment Programme).Given below is a link to an article on the same from the latest edition of Outlook.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/...Dummies/293254

Reduced frontal crash test speed,Head impact tests(as against Head & leg impact prescribed by Euro NCAP) , No child dummies for side impact tests etc are some of the proposed specifications. The article lists a few more which the Government is seeking to make less stringent.

Here are a few gems from the Industry honchos.

"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

It makes my blood boil to see that human life in India has absolutely no value.But what is the point in blaming the manufacturers.Most Indian car buyers prefer saving a few thousand rupees instead of ensuring that their car is safer. I myself happen to be guilty of doing the same .I've made up my mind not to compromise on safety when I buy my next car.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 07:23   #2
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Default re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

The govt. collects >50%of the vehicle costs through various direct and indirect taxes and excise. Perhaps it can reduce its share and thus release funds for safety features. This would make the car cheaper and safer.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 07:42   #3
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Hear that?
That's the sound of expectation shattering.
http://www.outlookindia.com/article/...Dummies/293254

The comments by industry leaders are downright hilarious, twisted, and ignorant.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 08:55   #4
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Angry re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

from: http://www.outlookindia.com/article/...Dummies/293254
Quote:
Industry sources say the government accepted BN VASP norms because of the intense pressure from carmakers who felt that if international norms were followed, Indian cars would become significantly more expensive. “One has to take a pragmatic approach here,” says Hormazd Sorabjee, editor, Autocar India. “We have had no norms at all and following global norms will make a large number of budget cars unaffordable.” The Indian car industry has seen low to negative growth in the last few years and prices have increased with the removal of excise duty relief. Any further increase in prices will be counter-productive.
From this, IMO, the price of cars is the main issue and not the "Reason" behind the norms. I do welcome the move to at least improve the current norms or brainstorming on them. But I can't accept that the reason to improve only a little because of increase in car price.

I was not born/much aware when the rule for compulsory seat-belts was enforced. But I do understand that the situation with airbags now can be compared with seat belts that time. The cost of vehicle must have increased by the amount what must be considered good enough that time. But now seat belts are an obvious safety feature and wearing them is considered essential by everyone, even by those who don't follow.

Also, rear seat belts, are provided as basic feature in all models ranging from Nano to any high end model. Why? Doesn't it increase the cost ? We all know they are useless right? No! They are as useful as front seat belts. That's why they are must. But does everyone use them? Oh, first people still need to be aware about front seat belts. Only then can we think of the rear ones.

Why can't airbags be considered the same? They have been proven to be the most important safety device by the world which has been through this path already, the leaders, the one we follow, benchmark. Why the question towards it? Ok, I remember Mr. R. C. Bhargava saying that airbags can be considered an unsafe option on the whole since first time buyers would be pushed toward buying 2-wheelers, which are more unsafe. With due respect Sir, they won't be used to speed around on highways from Ambala to Delhi or from Pune to Mumbai or anywhere else. And nor an average biker would be riding around at speeds ranging from 80-100, which an average car user reaches in the city.

Moreover, if they chose not to buy a car just because it is costly, in few years or maybe decades, the entry level of a car buyer would be increased automatically. For first time buyer now, a car is around 3-4 lakh. He knows he will get a car at this price and when he feels comfortable he would buy it. But in time, the first time buyer would automatically know what the first car can cost. He knows everyone buys the cheapest car at 4-5 lakh. If he waits for a year now to get a car, he could wait for another year to get the car then. What's the difference?

Now, while that's for a later scenario, what about short term? A buyer feels the car price is raised because of these useless airbags. Why would i pay for such things? Maybe the automotive industry should focus on making that buyer aware that those "things" can be God for someone in a deadly accident. He could say he doesn't drive fast. Good! But what if he is driving sedately at 60 or let us say 40 kmph and from the front a car at 100 or 140 jumps up the divider and rams into his car. Is he ready to take such risk with his family? His "just entered in the world" child? These cases are not fictitious examples, but have actually happened.

I don't remember exact case but someone might:

Jyoti's case - accident with rash roadways bus - child and husband died in front of her.

Someone on this forum had his new Dzire totaled and airbags and seat belts saved his fathers life - car jumped across divider into his father's car - other driver died on spot.

Well, there can be many more examples.

This was about Airbags.

Now, "Structural Strength"

The average speed of a car is slow in India. That's good to hear. But does no one drive at speeds higher than 50 or 60? That's the UN and NCAP crash test speed, which most Indian cars have failed. Everyone is aware about it - the victims and the culprits. Rather, this is famous in the World because of the MNCs involved.

Technology yet to be developed? Nah. All of the Indian manufacturers export cars which score 5 star ratings (100%).

Cost? Perhaps but similar to airbags, it can't be justified.

What then ?
"DEMAND"
Here are we, the people of India. Most of the readers on this forum, guests and members are well aware of NCAP Ratings, irrespective of the notion they follow. What about the person in some village who barely has electricity but goes to buy his first car? Or all those people who are not automobile enthusiasts? I bet, most of them would don't even know that there is a similar test being taken but at lower speeds (30-40, but not sure) which I "think" every car passes, but not "sure" because of this corrupted Indian atmosphere.

What if I told you, the best selling car you just bought, or other similar cars scored ZERO star rating in safety? Would you choose it or shed some bucks towards your safety and buy another car?

I won't, and I believe most of us won't. - I am guilty

But what if, I am sure that my choice is safe, but I can't buy anything not safe? So what if it is costly, I have no choice but to wait till I am capable of buying it.
But what if this "definition" of costly is changed ?
For a person who earns a mere 2 lakhs a year, a entry level car (~3 lakh) is costly. Why does it matter if it is costly even for a person who earns 3-4 lakhs ? A person at 1 lakh waits for 3, years let's say, to buy a car but why can't a person at 2 lakhs wait for 3 years to buy a car ? Does it even matter ?

That's all I would say! Lots of stuff untold, ABS, Helmets, Rear Seatbelts, Lane Driving, Road Rules what not.

Really lightened my mind, released pressure built up being surrounded by all those people who don't care, just need everything cheap, irrespective of the risks involved, to their life or to the life of close ones.

Last edited by Aditya : 4th February 2015 at 12:52.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 09:07   #5
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Default re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

So another case of the government shouting out from rooftops and then doing exactly nothing. What I don't understand is how can they justify such comments and actions when there is so much evidence specially by these agencies of western countries? By the same logic, why come out with plans to upgrade to BSV and BSVI. Lets just continue using stone age techniques and standards since all these things add to the cost.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 09:23   #6
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Default re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

Just wow!!!
So these are our industry "leaders" who are behind the cars we drive.

I understand the cost factor, but are our lives so worthless compared to people abroad???

It is time we as consumers collectively take a stand on boycotting manufacturers who cannot adhere to safety standards.

Why can't we file a PIL for introducing global safety standards in all vehicles sold in India.
When the SC can ban sun films based on arguments for women's safety, why can't the SC direct the govt and the manufacturers to introduce global safety standards for safety of the Indian consumers.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 09:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satishv1987 View Post

Here are a few gems from the Industry honchos.

"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
What a gem of a statement! Let me make my point by rephrasing this from another profession which incidentally happens to be mine.

"It is a little premature to jump to the conclusion that antibiotics will solve the problem. Nobody has established any link between how many deaths have been caused because a patient did not receive antibiotics"

Let me explain : Giving antibiotics in case of severe infections doesn't always save a patient's life. But that doesn't prevent us docs from giving it, does it?! Same is the case here. If airbags can increase the likelihood of survival in an accident, (which I'm sure has been proved in various tests around the world) how can a manufacturer deny its customers an access to this? I understand business requires one to beat around the bush from time to time, but at least do it with some dignity!

Quote:
Originally Posted by satishv1987 View Post
"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
Really?! So Mr.Gandhi, given a choice, you'd pick up an unsafe car which forces you to drive sedate and safely, than a safe car which transforms you into the incredible hulk?? Sounds reasonable. By that logic, I think the safest modes of transport are bullock carts, cycle rickshaws and Aladdin's magic carpet! (no offense intended to our hardworking brothers or for that matter, Disney)

Last edited by GKR9900 : 3rd February 2015 at 09:58.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 09:47   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashir View Post
From this, IMO, the price of car is the main issue and not the "Reason" behind the norms. I do welcome the move to at least improve the current norms or brainstorming on them. But I can't accept that the reason to improve only a little is because of increase in car price.
This is a really sad development. Nothing more can be expected when governments are more interested in catering to companies wanting fat margins and buyers ignoring safety for slight savings..

But is the price increase such a big deal? If the prices do go up, used car options will be available at the price points of today's entry level cars, but far more safer. Also, most cars are bought on loans, the increase in new car costs will contribute only slight increases to the EMIs. The statements of auto manufacturing honchos conveniently ignore such aspects. After all, what can you expect from people who's fat annual bonuses depend on more cars being sold!

Last edited by GTO : 3rd February 2015 at 13:00. Reason: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 10:28   #9
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Default re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

The recent statements from several politicians already shows that we do not have a pro-people government. These statements didn't surprise me, But they add support to the fact that in India we have very less or low value to Human being. This is the bitter fact !
Already the corporates are running governments, Not only in India, but almost in all the countries. In India, it is quite obvious and visible. Thats all.

I am sure we are all tired.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 11:11   #10
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Default re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

So, it means now it is up to the wisdom of people if they want safer cars or not...but that too does not mean that there are too many options. Clubbing only the top-most with safety pack is pathetic choice that the companies are making. My sister and BIL are looking for a car with a budget of around 5.5-6.0L on road. Even with this budget, they are not able to find a car with at least 2 airbags and ABS. Thanks to manufacturers thinking that only the person possessing a keyless entry & a bigger touchscreen HU deserves to be alive. Add to the fact that most 'Indianized' versions of international cars are structurally inferior!


Quote:
Originally Posted by wildsdi5530 View Post
The govt. collects >50%of the vehicle costs through various direct and indirect taxes and excise. Perhaps it can reduce its share and thus release funds for safety features. This would make the car cheaper and safer.
Difficult to believe that something like this is going to happen given that the Govt. hardly spends anything on the environment from the revenues collected from 'selling' PUC certificates to us!

Regards,
Saket

Last edited by saket77 : 3rd February 2015 at 11:14.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 11:46   #11
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Default re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

Quote:
Originally Posted by agbenny View Post
I am sure we are all tired.
Absolutely, we are all tired. Statistics related to road accidents remain only the presentable figures on paper for filing records. Government is more responsible towards lobbyists and industrialists and not towards common man. Few more politicians and their kin need to experience the ill effect of 'lack' of safety features before they wake up.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 11:51   #12
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Default re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

Figures totally.

Politicians who know next to nothing on why these standards are required are the ones defining them for the common folk.

I am yet to see a politician who wears a seat belt. These are the guys who are tearing around town bullying fellow drivers / vehicles off the road to get to some place to do NOTHING.

Simple things like enforcing the helmet rule or the seat belt rule is not even a topic of discussion. If it does come up, it is done so by some cop around the corner who decides to make a quick buck.

Common folk (at least most of them) have no clue / intent to explore and buy safer vehicles. "Kitna deti hai" takes precedence over air bags, ABS and what not.

People who are on the look out for safety features therefore are the ones paying through their nose and even then are short changed. Wonderful!!

We have to hand it to these guys for coming up with absolute gems.

On the bright side, this is what makes for a good laugh and we should actually look forward to the next episode.

Maybe an Anthony Jay & Jonathan Lynn can come up with an Indian version of the "Yes Minister". They will be laughing all the way to the bank with the TRP ratings the program would receive.

Cheers.

PS: Apologies if I have offended somebody. These are only my rants.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 11:53   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sourabhzen View Post

Absolutely, we are all tired. Statistics related to road accidents remain only the presentable figures on paper for filing records. Government is more responsible towards lobbyists and industrialists and not towards common man. Few more politicians and their kin need to experience the ill effect of 'lack' of safety features before they wake up.
Its every man for himself now. If you want a safe car, do your independent research into NCAP ratings and always choose the highest variant. It's very clear neither the Government nor the Manufacturers have any interest in the safety of its customers.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 12:03   #14
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Default re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyBoi View Post
Its every man for himself now. If you want a safe car, do your independent research into NCAP ratings and always choose the highest variant. It's very clear neither the Government nor the Manufacturers have any interest in the safety of its customers.
Actually there is another problem in this.

If we search for NCAP ratings of the car, we are less likely to find any car which have good NCAP, except Figo and Polo. For other cars what we find is Zero star rating. Also their European counterparts might have 4 star rating but it has been proven, time and again, that they are very different from what are being sold here and in other developing countries.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 12:09   #15
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Default re: Indian Government to water down car safety standards!

Quote:
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
This is really really sad. When the chairman of the country's highest selling brand says something like the above, it's quite obvious that his colleagues and their sales persons will echo the same. And we will continue to hear comments like: " Sir! Don't buy a car with ABS. The car will not stop quickly as it has ANTI Braking System".

The problem is that these people know that if all the global norms come into play here, they will not be able to sale tin boxes and fool people by adding a sticker and calling it a facelift.

They are not willing to add safety features in their cars because they think this will result in increase in price and thus reduction in sales numbers. Doesn't it actually mean that they are more concerned about selling their cars than the safety of their customers. In B2 segment hatches these days the difference between a bare bone basic model and a feature equipped model with 2 Airbags+ABS is around 1.5L. Now if you cut down all those features and keep only the safety features, the difference will come down to somewhere around 70-80K or even less. Problem is they are afraid to increase this price and to avoid this they are giving all sorts of lame excuses. If the government is not strong enough with their decisions and if they abide by all the demands of manufacturer's lobby then I doubt the idea of making Indian cars safer will ever see the light of the day.
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