Thursday, 22 September 2011

Safety agency with power to recall defective automobiles, NABARD likely to be set up




National Automotive Board is likely to be set up in India, which will act as a supreme authority over the Automobile Manufacturers in India.  The agency will have powers to recall cars suffering from engineering defects, modeled on the lines of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US, a government official said. Engineering defects in most new-generation cars have been on the rise in recent years, raising safety concerns and sometimes forcing manufacturers, such as Honda Siel Cars India and Maruti, to call back vehicles voluntarily. However, manufacturers have escaped government scrutiny in the absence of any legal framework.

The National Automotive Board, which will begin operations in a few months, will be a single-window authority overseeing the country's automobile industry, addressing safety issues ranging from crash-testing of yet-to-be launched models to certification of all types of vehicles. The proposed board would also look at commercial vehicles, though recalls in this segment are rare.

The board also would oversee critical issues of crash testing of cars, which has been delayed in the absence of proper facilities in the country. All these tests--frontal and side impact--are mandatory in developed markets like Europe, Japan and the US and were supposed to be enforced in India by 2012, but have now been pushed back to beyond 2014. 

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