State High Court has banned sale of cars such as Swift, i10 and others in Assam since they failed in Crash Tests!

Now, this comes as a nasty surprise! According to ETAuto.com, Assam has banned sale of small cars that are unsafe to drive! Models which are listed include the largest sellers like Alto, Swift from Maruti, Eon, i10 from Hyundai and Jazz from Honda. This is a complete ban by the Assam High Court and doesn’t allow registration of these cars in the state. The report also mentions that this has affected about 140 models.

This comes as a big blow to automobile manufacturers and it could also instill a similar thought in other states as well. ETAuto says that Assam accounts for 12 percent of total sales in the country, but we believe this figure is incorrect! It should be a lot lower than this…

Which Crash Test to Follow?

Basically this ruling is in response to petitions filed to make vehicles safer. Now, since India doesn’t have any crash tests of their own, the petitioners want manufacturers to follow Global New Car Assessment Programme (GNCAP) of Europe. They say that extra safety is required for mountainous regions.

maruti-suzuki-swift-crash-test

Companies have confirmed the matter according to the report and they are trying to put up their word to revoke the order. In their defense, GNCAP is not applicable in India and we will have our own crash tests (including facilities) by 2017. They say, that all their cars meet local safety norms.

Now, it is unclear if all the variants of these cars are banned from sale or if the ruling allows the airbag/ABS loaded variants to continue on sale…

The next hearing is on August 27th which will tell which way is this case going. Just to give you an idea of how lame our so called safety-norms are – the Left Side ORVM is NOT a mandate in India! And this gives a leeway to manufacturers to sell cars which are way below levels according to more sensible standards! Ironically, cars manufactured in India for international markets are more robust and safer whereas the same models sold in India are ‘compromised’!

India-Hyundai-i10-crash-test-result-pic

But frequent instances related to safety must let manufacturers know that, though Indian rules do not discourage sales of these cars, generic Indian is warming up to this idea of ‘safe cars’ and they should NOT take us for granted!

At the same time, all you reading this, ensure we follow the basic rules of driving for our own and fellow road users safety, like

  • Always drive the car with both ORVMs open. Obviously, they are not a fashion accessory, use them as and when required!
  • Buy cars that offer some decent amount of safety like airbags/ABS etc. Even if this means going for a higher variant of a segment-lesser car than what your initial aim was!
  • Various manufacturers like Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen etc have started offering airbags as standard across the range on some of their cars. Ford offers the most affordable 6-airbag loaded cars in India (EcoSport and Figo Aspire). Consider them over cars from Maruti and Hyundai who still say – ‘Our cars meet all local safety regulations’!

Time to think…!


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