After the dismal performance of Indian cars in recent safety tests, the government is considering a proposal to introduce a new star rating programme for passenger cars on the basis of safety features, the Parliament was informed by the Ministry of State for Road Transport and Highways on Thursday.
Cabinet minister Pon Radhakrihsnan said in a written reply to Lok Sabha, “Proposal of Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) -a star rating programme of new passenger cars based on safety performance is being reviewed by the government.”
Initially, carmakers could be asked to implement the programme on a voluntary basis. Safety performance of the cars will be rated based on factors like offset frontal crash, slide impact crash, child safety requirements and pedestrian safety requirements, with several other safety features like anti-skid brakes and seat belt reminders.
As of now, the government has notified car manufacturers of mandatory crash norms for frontal and side impact crash, under the UNICEF regulation for implementation. These will apply to cars in India from October 2017 for new car models and to all car models from 2019.
Earlier this year, global NCAP released the results of a total of seven Indian cars that underwent crash tests. To the shock of many, all these cars, including popular ones like the Renault Kwid and the Mahindra Scorpio, earned big fat zeroes in safety ratings while child protection ratings were equally disappointing.
There were soon cries for an indigenous car assessment programmes in the country as the Automotive Research Association of India also supported the cause. With the government now getting its act together, it finally seems like things could actually come to fruition.