Here is a damming report for automakers in India from the state of Assam. The high court of the state has banned over 140 models of cars which don’t meet international safety standards. The ban affects almost all carmakers in India including some very popular models like the Honda Jazz, Hyundai i10, Tata Nano, Maruti Swift etc.
Hearing a PIL on this matter, the High Court banned all vehicles weighing under 1500kgs and those which don’t pass international crash test norms. Thus, this ban doesn’t have any impact on bigger passenger vehicles i.e. SUVs. The court has further asked the central government to disallow permissions for cars under the 1500kg mark unless they pass international crash tests. Next hearing of the case has been scheduled for 27th August.
Car safety norms have always been a issue in India. The standard set by governments is nowhere compared to what is followed by more developed countries. Furthermore, implementation of these already watered down norms has always been lethargic. The high court order may not solve the problem altogether, but it may be act as a wakeup call for policy makers and they may look afresh on this issue.