Over three dozen cars to undergo crash tests under Bharat NCAP

Starting December 15, more than three dozen cars from mostly Indian, Japanese, and Korean companies will start crash testing under India’s first car-safety rating programme.

India launched in August the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP), which is modelled on the Global NCAP and tailored for Indian standards. This is aimed at improving the safety standards of cars produced in the country.

Bharat NCAP came into effect from October 1 but the tests will commence only after Diwali in December, said a government official citing festivals as the reason for the delay.

Currently, India has mandatory crash test norms for cars for structural safety. The BNCAP rating will assess a car based on three features – adult occupant protection (AOP), child occupant protection (COP) and safety assist technologies (SAT). Carmakers or importers will have to apply in Form 70-A to the agencies designated by the Centre. The agencies will assign star ratings to the vehicles ranging from zero to five as per the Automotive Indian Standard (AIS) based on their performance in the tests.

“Even though the safety ratings are not mandatory, we have got an excellent response from the car manufacturers and all of them are vying for a five-star rating,” the official said.

Tata Motors is the first company to have applied for the BNCAP rating, the official added. The company’s newly launched Harrier and Safari will be the first to undergo the crash tests, said another government official.Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motor India will send three models each. Mahindra and Mahindra will send four models. Spokespersons at these companies said they will disclose the name of the cars that would be tested at an appropriate time. In line with the GNCAP norms, the testing agencies will pick three units of the base variant of each model.

Meanwhile, European carmakers including Renault India, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India, and Stellantis Group are not rushing to get their cars safety-rated just as yet. While some said they have yet to take a call on the models they would want to be rated for safety, others said their models have already been assigned safety ratings by Global NCAP and therefore, will not opt for BNCAP ratings immediately, said people aware of these companies’ plans. Spokespersons at these firms declined to comment.

The government’s testing agencies – Automotive Research Association of India (ARAIi) and ICAT (International Centre for Automotive Technology) and Global Automotive Research (GAR), among others, have been entrusted with the task of carrying out the crash tests.

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