The government has asked automobile manufacturers to stop selling vehicles with downgraded safety standards in the country. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) Secretary Giridhar Aramane said during a seminar on the implementation of vehicle location tracking devices that only a few car makers have been able to adopt vehicle safety rating system, and that too is limited for their higher-end models only.
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"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," Aramane said. He further added, "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."
Global NCAP, the international charity and network of global crash test programmes, under its safer cars for India campaign found that some lower range car models sold in the Indian market were seen to have inferior safety ratings against the same model which is sold in the foreign markets, especially in developed countries.
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Aramane also highlighted an 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."
He also urged automakers to share technology and patents in the area of safety. Mentioning an example of Volvo's three-point seat belt, Aramane said, "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."