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Old 20th August 2015, 10:54   #1
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Default Assam bans sale of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz and several other small cars

An interim order passed by the Gauhati High Court bans the sale and registration of small cars in Assam, which don't meet the crash test norms in the state. Cars that have been impacted by this order are Maruti Alto & Swift, Hyundai i10 & Eon, Honda Jazz etc. Approximately 140 models (including variants) from different manufacturers have been affected by this move.

Assam bans sale of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz and several other small cars-i10.jpg

In June 2015, the Gauhati High Court had directed the Central Government to make frontal crash and pollution tests compulsary for all passenger and commercial vehicles with a mass of up to 1,500 kg and length of under 4 metres. The order came in as a response to PILs filed which suggests that cars sold in Assam must meet Euro NCAP requirements, due to the higher safety requirement in mountainous regions.

In their defense, car manufacturers claim that their vehicles meet the present frontal crash test norms (known as steering impact test) in India. The Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme (BNVSAP) is expected to be rolled out in October 2017, which shall serve as a statutory requirement for manufacturers to adhere to. They claim that as of now, there is no real reason for this ban on sale and registration of new vehicles in Assam.

Northeast India accounts for nearly 12% of car sales with Assam being the largest contributor. The next hearing is scheduled on August 27. However, what is interesting to note is that SUVs remain unaffected by this order, with no questions being raised on their safety or structural integrity.

Assam bans sale of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz and several other small cars-alto.jpg

Source: ET Auto

Last edited by Rehaan : 20th August 2015 at 17:00. Reason: Updating for clarity.
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Old 20th August 2015, 11:02   #2
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

This is a strange order - how can a court order a manufacturer to follow a non-existent norm? Of course asking the central government to implement a norm is a different issue (and a matter of different discussion). We may have to wait for more clarity
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Old 20th August 2015, 11:04   #3
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

Where legislature sleeps, judiciary has to step in.
Our Government kept sleeping for years under pressure from Auto Manufacturer lobby. In an unfortunate incident a minister died and all of sudden the whole govt wakes up. We will do this. We will do that.
First of all a long date was given for implementation of safety norms. And yet again those norms are being diluted.
Until and unless manufacturers feel the pinch they wont give us safety. Don't know what will be the outcome of this case but I feel this is the step in right direction.
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Old 20th August 2015, 11:20   #4
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
This is a strange order - how can a court order a manufacturer to follow a non-existent norm? Of course asking the central government to implement a norm is a different issue (and a matter of different discussion). We may have to wait for more clarity
I see it this way, manufacturers should prove to the court through a "recognized" third party report/test that their cars are safe and can start selling their vehicles again. It's a good decision for starters, atleast someone is taking the lead.
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Old 20th August 2015, 11:57   #5
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

This is interesting!

A High court bans the sale of largest selling vehicles in India.
If this order is implemented, supported with facts, I guess Maruti has to phase out Alto just like it did for 800. Probably other cars can be upgraded with enough safety features similar to the versions that are already available in other countries.

However, unless the Government comes up with an elaborate plans about which version of NCAP Crash tests a car must pass, what are the basic safety features a car should contain, what should happen to the existing models etc, this will not happen any time soon.
The manufacturers will of course go to supreme court, and debate on which rules state that the cars should pass a crash test conducted by Global NCAP!
Let us hope that this judgement comes as a wake up call for the Government to revise its laws in order to increase road safety.
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Old 20th August 2015, 12:04   #6
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

Agreed that the cars sold in India are not safe, manufacturers take us for a ride and water down the safety standards of their cars, many cars failed the crash test etc etc. But I don't see the point of a court in a particular state banning sale of cars because they failed international crash tests or the roads in those state are dangerous.

Any car sold in India is sold because it passed the regulatory requirements of the country. I don't understand why any car manufacturer has to prove to a court that their cars pass the standards in India.

That way, any court in India can ban sale of anything which does not meet international standards (cars are definitely not the only consumer goods which fall in this category!). This is not putting the pressure on the government in any way, it is just a waste of time.

People have to stop buying cars which are unsafe. That is the only way we will ever get safe cars.

Banning seems to be the in-thing these days. Anyone who is someone will do what they can to impose a ban!

NGT wants to deprive people of their 10 year old cars (even if they run perfectly), State Governments want to decide what people eat (beef ban in MH), Central Government although unsuccessfully and stupidly tried to stop people from watching porn (come on!) and now this.
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Old 20th August 2015, 12:09   #7
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

When ARAI, the statutory board in India has approved the manufacturing and selling of these products then i don't see anything in particular for the instituted ban. Manufacturers would have to waste time in countering the case and maybe an appeal in supreme court. Lets keep our hands crossed on this.
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Old 20th August 2015, 12:25   #8
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viju View Post
Banning seems to be the in-thing these days. Anyone who is someone will do what they can to impose a ban!
Let us not be cynical. Not sure about other bans, but this ban certainly is a step in the right direction. Although this ban will most likely be struck down by the Supreme court, this incident will be a wake up call for the automobile manufacturers as well as the Central Govt.
I am just happy about the repercussions that this move will have on the Indian automobile industry. It is hightime the Govt and car manufacturers change the current trend and start working towards making the cars as safe as they are elsewhere in the world.

The safety regulations in India are weak and the car makers are making the best use of it. I hope, Incidents like these will bring in the much needed correction in our attitude towards safety.

Last edited by n_naik : 20th August 2015 at 12:28.
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Old 20th August 2015, 12:27   #9
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

This is great move, should have been applied all over India long ago, but I don't get logic of excluding 'SUV' from the ban. Most of the popular Indian SUVs are much bigger disaster than many of the failed cars. And what about the killer trucks and buses which have platform height of more than car roofs?

Last edited by tbppjpr : 20th August 2015 at 12:33.
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Old 20th August 2015, 12:32   #10
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

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Originally Posted by n_naik View Post
Let us not be cynical. Not sure about other bans, but this ban certainly is a step in the right direction. Although this ban will most likely be struck down by the Supreme court, this incident will be a wake up call for the automobile manufacturers as well as the Central Govt.
Sure, let us all be optimistic that this order will be the first step in getting us cars meeting global safety standards.

But to be honest, in our country, most of the functionaries (judiciary, government, police) don't seem to know what their actual role / responsibility is.

Did the honorable High Court ensure that they have heard all the cases which are pending in front of them since the past 15 or 20 years? Or are there still hundreds or thousands of people stranded, waiting for justice? If yes, why doesn't the court just do their job a bit more efficiently and give respite to those people than going after the car manufacturers for selling unsafe cars?

Anyway, let us be optimistic!
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Old 20th August 2015, 12:37   #11
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

Brilliant move. When our politicians are busy canoodling with the car lobby, the judiciary is the only viable option. Hopefully this order is upheld by SC and is replicated by other states also. Kudos Assam.
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Old 20th August 2015, 12:44   #12
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viju View Post
Agreed that the cars sold in India are not safe, manufacturers take us for a ride and water down the safety standards of their cars, many cars failed the crash test etc etc. But I don't see the point of a court in a particular state banning sale of cars because they failed international crash tests or the roads in those state are dangerous.

Any car sold in India is sold because it passed the regulatory requirements of the country. I don't understand why any car manufacturer has to prove to a court that their cars pass the standards in India.

That way, any court in India can ban sale of anything which does not meet international standards (cars are definitely not the only consumer goods which fall in this category!). This is not putting the pressure on the government in any way, it is just a waste of time.

People have to stop buying cars which are unsafe. That is the only way we will ever get safe cars.

Banning seems to be the in-thing these days. Anyone who is someone will do what they can to impose a ban!

NGT wants to deprive people of their 10 year old cars (even if they run perfectly), State Governments want to decide what people eat (beef ban in MH), Central Government although unsuccessfully and stupidly tried to stop people from watching porn (come on!) and now this.
I completely agree with you on your points that why should a court intervene in such a thing that too using the International crash tests as Yard stick and ideally it should be the customers who need to teach manufacturers a lesson ultimately by avoiding bare bone variants.

But still I would say that this move is a good one on the positive direction for manufacturers to sit back and unlearn the Indian scenario and change their attitude towards customers and their safety. I personally feel that this move by Guwahati high court should create a spark and urge the Central government to fast track the introduction of crash standards ASAP rather than having unrealistic long term dead lines which itself will dilute the plan.
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Old 20th August 2015, 12:50   #13
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

Fantastic move by the court however, I don't see this lasting for too long. Car manufacturers have enough clout to influence government thus Assam High-court (even with the best of intentions) might not be able to get this implemented.

The argument used by certain manufacturers and their supporters is that all current norms are met. It sounds same as that they are offering the least amount of safety measures they can legally get away with. More than the manufacturers, it's the consumers that need to be educated about importance of safety features. People spend thousands on a jazzy ICE but will not spend that amount to go for the next best variant with ABS (and hopefully Airbags).

PS: If Swift, Alto, i10, Eon, and Jazz didn't make the cut, how did Wagon-R make it? It's one of the best selling models in similar price-bracket. I will be surprised if it offers any better safety than Swift.

Last edited by Biraj : 20th August 2015 at 12:55. Reason: Adding an opinion
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Old 20th August 2015, 13:04   #14
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

Before you laud the judiciary for this 'progressive verdict', kindly remember that the same institution (judiciary, not the assam high court) also banned Sun Control film sometime ago.

The role of the judiciary is not to legislate but to ensure that existing laws are adhered to.

To me this 'judgement' is as disconnected from reality as the NGT's 'off with their heads' pronouncements from time to time.
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Old 20th August 2015, 13:20   #15
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Default re: Assam bans sale & registration of Alto, Swift, i10, Eon, Jazz

Another day, another ban.

Quote:
The order came in as a response to PILs filed which suggests that cars sold in Assam must meet Global NCAP requirements, due to the higher safety requirement in mountainous regions
Not sure how this will pan out, but, what if someone files a PIL tomorrow asking the manufacturers to sell the same spec models in India as they sell in Global markets?

That aside, why only these particular cars? And not *every* vehicle that is sold in Assam. Don't they need as much safety as these?
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