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Mandatory safety features for Made In India cars

Snapshot: Lower variants of the entry-level cars in India if tested for safety, are likely to fail. For the simple reason that most do not offer a lot of safety equipment that could provide reasonable level of safety to the occupants. However, it's all set to change with new norms that would come into place in 2017.

Indian cars were in news again recently, and for all the wrong reasons. This time it was the Kwid and Mobilio which have scored rather low on the safety aspect in the recent tests conducted by NCAP. The Kwid has scored one star on the variant equipped with an airbag while Mobilio scored three stars.

It’s expected that the level of safety may improve significantly with the introduction of new safety norms that would make some of the safety features as standard on all cars.

1. Manual Override

2. Reverse parking sensors

3. Seat belt alert

4. Speed warning

Manual Override

In case of accidents, central locking sometimes makes it difficult to open doors that cause delay in rescue operations. All cars from 2017 will offer a “manual override” feature that would enable door opening even if there is no electrical power.

Reverse Parking Sensors

While many cars offer this feature in the top models, this would be made standard too. Rear visibility is an issue with all cars and increases chances of accidents with kids and objects that lie closer to ground. This should provide better alert system for cars and provide coverage of blind spots via sound and distance notification.

Seat Belt Alert

A safety belt is perhaps the most basic and effective safety system that’s present in the car. This is also one of the most basic safety feature that’s found in the higher variants of the entry-level cars. However, this would also be made standard. It's expected that the warning signal would be only for the front seat passengers only.

Speed Warning System

A speed warning system that goes off whenever the speedometer needle crosses a mark will also be made mandatory. Exact details about this has not been confirmed but it’s expected to be a two stage alarm that would sound brief beep at 80kmph and once the car crosses 90kmph there will be continuous beep. It should definitely be a welcome step considering the lack of rules and regulations on highways and over-speeding cars that meet accidents.

In addition to all these features, to further enhance safety, Indian Government in close collaboration with ARAI is in the process of setting up the crash test facilities at Manesar and Pune.

The new car assessment program – Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program will be officially operational from Oct 2017. Each car variant would be rated on a 1-5 star scale and the test would initially include the car performance rating for front and side crash tests. Gradually, other safety norms like pedestrian protection, child restraint system would be included too. It’s expected that the safety standards in place would provide greater transparency and would help customer choose safer cars.

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