Maruti, Toyota, Mahindra give thumbs up to Bharat NCAP, India’s car safety test

Bharat New Car Assessment Programme, also known as Bharat NCAP, will be launched in India from October 1. Carmakers in India will now have to go through the tests to get safety ratings instead of the world agency Global NCAP. Ahead of the launch of Bharat NCAP, top carmakers in India have welcomed the new system. Carmakers like Maruti Suzuki, Toyota Motor, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, Skoda, Kia have given a thumbs up to the Bharat NCAP.

India will soon have its own car safety rating system when Bharat NCAP is launched from October 1.

Bharat NCAP will test cars made in India for the Indian roads. Carmakers who manufacture vehicles in India or import vehicles from other countries will need to undergo the safety test voluntarily. They will have to submit an application to the agency, which will rate the vehicles according to the test results. The ratings will be in accordance with the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS)-197.

Most of the major carmakers in India have said that the Bharat NCAP is a step in the right direction to improve safety in cars sold in the country. Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Motors, the two carmakers with most number of cars which have secured high safety ratings from Global NCAP earlier, have called it a bold step to introduce Bharat NCAP. Velusamy R, President, Automotive Technology and Product Development at Mahindra & Mahindra, was quoted by PTI saying, “We at Mahindra believe it is one of the bold steps by the Ministry of road transport and we welcome the implementation of Bharat NCAP. It is also expected that the government should give some benefits to OEMs that make safer cars to encourage them to continue to do so. This will encourage OEMs to make their cars much safer and offer them to Indian customers at reasonable prices.”

Maruti Suzuki is not known for cars with high safety ratings. Most of its models tested by Global NCAP earlier, have mostly returned with low star ratings. However, it maintains that Maruti cars sold in India are safe enough, and the new tests will help certify that. Rahul Bharti, Executive Officer (Corporate Affairs) at Maruti Suzuki India, said, “In principle, the customer information and empowering the customer through authentic information is always a positive and welcome step, so Maruti Suzuki will support it.” A Toyota spokesperson said, “We believe that Bharat-NCAP is a step in the right direction. While the industry has been proactively pushing for new benchmark safety standards, there is also a growing awareness amongst customers for better safety features which has put further impetus on advancements and introduction of newer norms in the country.”

Kia and Skoda are the other two carmakers who have officially welcomed the move. Petr Solc, Brand Director at Skoda Auto India, said, “Safety is an important aspect and active and passive safety features, along with the structure of the car keep the driver and their family safe. Skoda will continue focusing on safety to further grow the brand in the Indian market.” Skoda’s Kushaq SUV and Slavia sedan were recently tested by Global NCAP. Both cars were rated very highly by the agency. Tae-Jin Park, MD and CEO at Kia India, that the Korean carmaker is working on the basis of the draft notification on Bharat NCAP to make its cars safer.

Under Bharat NCAP, cars will be crash tested under different scenarios and will be rated from one to five depending on their results. The crash tests will include frontal, side and pole-side impacts at more than 60 kmph. The agency will then rate the vehicles on adult and child safety parameters.

First Published Date: 17 Jul 2023, 10:43 AM IST

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