Last week, the Assam High Court issued an interim order to ban the sales and registration of up to 140 car models that failed to pass the international crash test norms. The ban led to a lot of trouble among mainstream carmakers such as Maruti, Hyundai and Tata. Now though, the manufacturers can breathe a sigh of relief as the High Court has permitted sales of vehicles that meet crash test and emission norms in India.
According to the new court order, there cannot be any restrictions in sale and registration of four-wheelers weighing up to 1,500kg and quadricycles that have undergone the crash and emission tests conforming to the criteria set by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
The decision to ban sales of cars including the Maruti Swift, Hyundai i10 and Tata Nano was big enough for the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) to step in and file a petition. Earlier, the Assam state transport department cited a court ruling that said cars must meet crash test norms compliant to the European New Car Assessment Programme, which are not applicable in India at present.
Followed in Europe and other developed markets, these crash test norms are not applicable in India although car manufacturers have time until 2017 because that’s when the Indian Government will adopt more stringent crash test and pedestrian safety standards.