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Old 9th February 2021, 16:39   #1
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Default Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

"I am deeply perturbed by some news items that Indian models are purposefully downgraded by auto manufacturers' safety standards in India. This practice needs to be stopped...," he said.

Quote:
New Delhi: The government on Tuesday expressed concern over reports that automobile manufacturers are selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards in India and asked them to stop the 'unpardonable' practice.

Speaking at a seminar on implementation of vehicle location tracking devices in order to enhance the safety on road, organised by auto industry body SIAM, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) Secretary Giridhar Aramane also noted that only a few manufacturers have adopted vehicle safety ratings system and that too used only for their high-end models.

Stating that the vehicle makers play the most significant role in road safety, Aramane said,"...auto manufacturers could not spare any efforts in offering the best quality vehicle in India and it is unpardonable that few of them are downgrading to sell in India."

He further said, "Also (I am) very disturbed by the fact that very few have adopted the safety ratings system which is used by very few manufacturers for their high-end models."

Aramane suggested that maybe it is essential for all the auto manufacturers to get safety ratings for all their vehicles "to ensure that the consumers are aware of what they are buying and what its implications are."

Over the past few years vehicle safety group Global NCAP, under its safer cars for India campaign had found in various tests that some models sold in India were found to have inferior safety ratings as compared to the export version of the same model sold especially in developed markets.

Citing the example of the US and India, he said, "In the US, approximately 36,560 died in 2018 in about 45 lakh accidents. Whereas, 1.5 lakh died in only 4.5 lakh road accidents in India. Number of accidents is ten times less but the number of deaths in India is around five times and this fatality is despite having slower cars and slower roads in India."

Asking automobile manufacturers to share patents if it is in the area of safety, he cited the example of three-point seat belt invented by Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin.

"The reason why the seat belt is adopted so quickly is because Volvo shared the patent and Mr Bolin also shared the patent for all part manufacturers to be used in their design. The significance of such measures shall not be lost on auto industry majors working in India," Aramane said.

These kind of technological measures will only bring in higher vehicular safety and lesser deaths on roads of India, he added.

Stating that some active safety systems which respond in event of accident such as anti-lock braking system and seat belts have been implemented in India, he said there is "some gap" and India needs to "implement all of these fully for all of the vehicles on the roads, not merely the new higher end models".

Commenting on measures taken up by the government to improve road safety and reduce fatalities, he said the centre is in the process of notifying a scheme of emergency care and cashless treatment for accident victims and vehicle location tracking (VLT) will be an integral part of such a scheme.

Stating that VLT system with CCTV camera is already being used by insurance companies, Aramane said, "Auto manufacturers can also provide emergency care in vehicular systems."

"We have already mandated establishment of data centres in all states and UTs so that the messages can be received at control centres and emergency care be dispatched to the location of the vehicle," he added.

Apart from this, the centre is contemplating a tolling system based on GPS, which will also require installation of devices in all the vehicles and automobiles in the country, Aramane said.

If a system has to be brought, existing vehicles on roads will also get the benefit of such a system. The new system based on GPS will reduce the toll charges of the commuters and also ensure the loophole, leakage in the system of toll collection is also plugged. This will reduce the cost of the government and cost incurred by the commuters also, he said.

"VLT system is an important issue right now that the government of India is considering for incorporation in all the vehicles," Aramane added.
Source

Note to moderators: Felt like posting the full article here, trim it or move it to other section if needed.
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Old 9th February 2021, 16:50   #2
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

It's heartening to see MoRTH recognizing the importance of safety and the below statement sums it all:
Quote:
implement all of these fully for all of the vehicles on the roads, not merely the new higher end models
However, it's all sugar candy until some regulations are actually in place.
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Old 9th February 2021, 17:21   #3
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

If they want to ensure vehicle safety then they need to make stricter laws that ensure a basic level of safety. This statement is vague and does not seem to have any real heft. I hate to say it but manufacturers will always push for profitability while staying within the stipulated law. It's a market driven world and they have no moral qualms about that choice.
If govt want safer cars all they need to do is amend some of these laws by ensuring airbags are standard along with an acceptable minimum requirement for structural stability. It's the start they must focus on but a compulsory crash test certification could also help in making the buyer feel more confident.
As buyers we too can make a difference by shunning vehicles that are clearly below the bare minimum safety standards. I doubt that is happening anytime soon.
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Old 9th February 2021, 17:34   #4
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

Either its propaganda or the fellow is watching one of those news channels.

The overwhelming majority of road accidents , whichever way you slice - is two wheelers, Pedestrians, Bicyclists.

Of course, much like the misdirected fix for air pollution, it is the poor private car owner that is going to pay for this as well. They would now want all cars to be like a BMW.
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Old 9th February 2021, 17:46   #5
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

Quote:
Originally Posted by chittybang View Post
I hate to say it but manufacturers will always push for profitability while staying within the stipulated law. It's a market driven world and they have no moral qualms about that choice.

As buyers we too can make a difference by shunning vehicles that are clearly below the bare minimum safety standards. I doubt that is happening anytime soon.
I agree that a carrot (consumer demanding safety) & stick (GoI statutory requirements) are the need of the day.

However, I'm surprised with such pessimistic views of the intent. Are people expecting the GoI (through MoRTH) to announce draconian safety requirements for all cars? That will immediately make the same people cry that we are in a dictatorship.

Manufacturers also need to show responsibility, and not be forced to meet only minimum baselines. Similarly, consumers should shun unsafe cars! Even many highly educated people think that airbags are a replacement for seat belts, and that a sunroof is a place for kids to stand.

I welcome the need for MoRTH to get much more stricter quickly.
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Old 9th February 2021, 17:57   #6
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

I am sorry, when you have the power & feel the need, then why asking? Just use your power to implement a mandatory rule.

What's more effective? crying & wishing or mandatory rules?
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Old 9th February 2021, 18:14   #7
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

Why isn't the onus on the consumer to set the tune of the market? Why is he/she hell bent on rewarding the manufacturer who gives the most hollow bang for their buck, while convincing with a 'you can't go wrong with this brand' and 'best resale'.
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Old 9th February 2021, 18:15   #8
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

All said and done, despite the constant criticism from keyboard activists, India is moving forward in terms of safety regulations one step at a time. While what we need is a quantum leap, we cannot afford that and thankfully someone in the deciding group is aware of that well enough and luckily is able to convince others from making a mess.

If Car manufactures can constantly crib about taxes, price rice of components and import duty etc while not even passing benefits to dealers forget the customers, someone in government can crib about how manufacturers are fleecing the public as well. There is no black and white here. All are equally responsible.
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Old 9th February 2021, 18:46   #9
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

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Originally Posted by VKumar View Post

IMO, it's just the secretary saab indirectly demanding some more grease in the palms, of course, from the manufacturers of the vehicles with compromises!
Wow. This level of cynicism is what's going to drive our nation forward, for sure.
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Old 9th February 2021, 19:19   #10
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

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Originally Posted by railfanwithk750 View Post
It's heartening to see MoRTH recognizing the importance of safety
This is the same government that proposed 2 airbag minimum with BS6 but then easily got lobbied by SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) to reduce that number to 1. There was also a proposal to make AC mandatory in Trucks because the drivers work is so gruelling and it would allow them to pay better attention on the road instead of suffering from heat exhaustion but again SIAM easily lobbied them down to just a fan blower being mandatory instead of AC.

I now just see these statements as requests from Govt to SIAM to send some gifts for them.
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Old 9th February 2021, 19:46   #11
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

Well this is just some cheap talk IMO and does not carry any weight. That person is just expressing his opinion and nothing more.

If the government is serious how about passing a law to make the crash rating visible for all models sold in India, just like speed limit alarm, making airbags mandatory or even making. the reverse parking sensors standard?

Last edited by Aditya : 10th February 2021 at 07:04. Reason: Spacing error
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Old 9th February 2021, 19:53   #12
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

Good to see that at least someone is talking about this. However people in position like him should actually work on improving things on the ground.

Quote:
vehicle location tracking (VLT) will be an integral part of such a scheme.
...
Apart from this, the centre is contemplating a tolling system based on GPS, which will also require installation of devices in all the vehicles and automobiles in the country, Aramane said.
It seems, these systems can also be used to track vehicle speed and once implemented they may not need those speed cams anymore and insurance companies can use the data to deny claim if over-speeding is proven?
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Old 9th February 2021, 20:06   #13
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

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Originally Posted by VKumar View Post
IMO, it's just the secretary saab indirectly demanding some more grease in the palms, of course, from the manufacturers of the vehicles with compromises!
I am sorry but how do you know that the concerned person is demanding for bribes? Do you know him personally or have proof that he has taken / takes money on the side?

This is deeply offending to people whose relatives do honest service in the government. They may be in the minority, but it doesn't help to paint everyone with the same brush.

As for industry policy making and tweaking, it always starts with statements in such forums. Laws aren't / can't be written in a day. Successive Indian governments have shown willingness to balance safety with affordability in their policies.

Last edited by andafunda : 9th February 2021 at 20:07.
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Old 9th February 2021, 20:33   #14
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

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Originally Posted by andafunda View Post
I am sorry but how do you know that the concerned person is demanding for bribes? Do you know him personally or have proof that he has taken / takes money on the side?
Dear mate, I have simply put ahead an opinion, I don't see a scope of presenting proofs or talking about proofs over that here. Forums are there for the discussion, opinion sharing, and peer learning; not for investigation. Isn't it?

Quote:
This is deeply offending to people whose relatives do honest service in the government. They may be in the minority, but it doesn't help to paint everyone with the same brush.
I agree with you, and would like to take my words back. Would request the mods to remove the post if they feel the need of the same.

But my point is rather clear, you can call me a cynic, but being a contractor, connected to a political background, and looking all these things day in and day out, I do look at things with a bit of suspicion. There can be multiple angles to every story, not seeing, or ignoring one of them; is not going to change the outcome (Just like, a pigeon does not defy its death by ignoring or closing the eyes towards the cat).

Quote:
Laws aren't / can't be written in a day.
They don't take years either, the subject here does not require a special majority of the parliament to pass the law, a simple majority does, and this isn't a state list subject either. The forum rules don't allow me to discuss parliamentary process over here, but I will be happy to take this discussion ahead over the PM.

Quote:
Successive Indian governments have shown willingness to balance safety with affordability in their policies.
Where is the law till date? Willingness is in the place, but willingness, without action; does not impact the status quo, does it?

From here, comes my another question, what's stopping the BNVSAP from getting implemented since years? Our entire constitution was written and implemented in a time, lesser than what has taken for this act to be even presented before the parliament, passing it is an entirely different ball game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeva View Post
Wow. This level of cynicism is what's going to drive our nation forward, for sure.
The level at which these processes are carried out, stakes are really high, even the presence of a comma changes the policies, only the presence of cynics is the one, that actually helps people control their horses, at times. There are multiple parties involved after all, and each of them has the right to think of their own welfare.

Last edited by VKumar : 9th February 2021 at 20:46.
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Old 9th February 2021, 22:57   #15
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Default Re: Govt asks automakers to stop selling vehicles with purposefully downgraded safety standards

I was amused seeing the heading, but after I read in detail, my enthusiasm was watered down. This whole article will be countered by the great Mr. RCB of Maruti with this dialogue "We comply with Indian crash test norms" "We meet all requirements of CMVR/AIS in providing safety features". And then we will go on for a few more years arguing about lack of safety or safety features. So this esteemed person speaking in the government is asking manufacturers to not skimp on country specific changes. He is completely right in what he says. Thats morally wrong by manufacturers to do this and offer inferior safety on the cars sold here. But leave manufacturers, how many such morally and ethically sincere businesses do we have in our country? Maybe very few.

The day when the government rolls up its sleeves, we can expect higher number of airbags mandatory, upgrading the current crash test norms in India, making features like Brake assist at least standard on heavy vehicles, etc. But we all know what the consequences would be. Costs of cars will get higher, there will be protests from lobby groups for Commercial vehicle related changes, some lobbying from manufacturers itself in their own interests and so on.

Hence, due to these factors, the day when the government really rolls up its sleeves, we actually get that speed alarm, sunfilm ban, banning vehicles irrespective of condition etc. Of course our rules and regulations are catching up with much developed countries, but the bigger problem of the mindset of few people has no solution so far.
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