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Consumers not getting clear and accurate information on car safety

Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), Ahmedabad and Consumers International (CI) have teamed up to help Indian consumers choose safer cars, a purchasing decision that can be the difference between life or death on the roads. While CI has brought out a booklet ‘Guide to Buying a Safer Car’ in English, CERC has got it translated into Gujarati.

Consumers are not getting clear and accurate information about the safety of cars they are considering buying. There is a lack of awareness around what to expect and demand at the time of purchase. There is urgent need to both raise consumer awareness and undertake advocacy on the critical issue of car safety as currently almost all models of Indian cars manufactured for the Indian market get a zero star rating.
Buying a new car is a huge investment and there are many things you may consider before taking the plunge – performance, running costs, looks and reliability. But the most important aspect is SAFETY.

More than 1.25 million people are killed annually on the world’s roads. You will be shocked to know that 90% of road traffic crash deaths occur in low and middle-income countries! The reason for this is that car manufacturers are exploiting weak regulations in these countries to sell cars that could not be sold in better regulated US or European markets.

The car safety guide helps consumers understand the safety features to look out for when purchasing a new car. It explains that safety features are of two kinds - primary (that can help prevent accidents) and secondary (that can reduce the chance of death or injury if an accident occurs). Features that keep children safe in cars are also vital.

The guide lists questions you should ask in the showroom. But it is important not to totally rely on the information given by the dealer and to do your own research. The buying guide will empower consumers to avoid car models that are not fit for purpose when it comes to safety.

CERC partnered with CI in the New Car Safety Campaign in India. This involved advocacy to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India. Representations were also sent to the Government of Gujarat, manufacturers, various associations and voluntary consumer organisations (VCOs). CERC conducted knowledge sharing sessions in Gujarat. It also translated the Animation portion that was part of the car safety kit.

CERC continues its engagement with CI's efforts to have the New Car Safety Norms adopted in India through timely implementation of the BNVSAP (Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme). The scheduled date for implementing BNVSAP is October 2017. The CI-CERC campaign aims to ensure that this is not delayed as a result of lobbying from vested interests. CI and CERC together aim to ensure that consumers are treated safely, fairly and honestly.

The guide is free and can be downloaded from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inzX0vC5_DY&list=PL7YVP935ytF8-0EfDi6zkQc3i1M2h2CH_

Informatively, CI having 240 Members in 120 countries, is the only independent and authoritative global voice for consumers.


 

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