A GROUP of influential car dealers has recommended stripping exemptions given to vehicles if they do not meet the new safety standards.
Proton Edar Dealers Association (Peda) urged the Transport Ministry to revoke all exemptions given to 10 car models with more than 70 variants that do not meet the New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) safety requirements.
The call follows efforts by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros), an agency under the ministry, to lift motor vehicle safety standards and encourage a market for safer vehicles under NCAP.
NCAP is a collaboration signed between Miros and the Global New Car Assessment Programne on December 7 2011.
In 2011, the ministry issued a list of United Nation Economic Council for Europe (Unece) regulations for automotive assemblers and manufacturers in Malaysia to implement by January 2012.
The deadline was first extended to June last year.
Peda president, Armin Baniaz Pahamin, said to date, 70 car models and variants are still given exemption despite not complying with two items on the Unece list, namely UN ECE R94 (frontal collision system) and UN ECE R95.
The R94 and R95 are standards issued by Unece regarding the level of passengers protection in a car in the event of a front impact and a side impact.
Announced in 2007, the standards specified a minimum crash safety performance for frontal collision speed of 64kph and side collision speed of 64kph.
These standards are used for the issuing of safety ratings by the NCAP operated by regional non-profit organisations and funded by governments and/or insurance groups.
Armin said the essence behind the NCAP is to educate consumers in selecting the best crashworthy car.
But with 70 car models and variants given an exemption for non-compliance, consumers are "being blindfolded and their decisions impaired and misguided" with regards to the safety requirements.
"Since the directive was issued, the exemption is still valid and at the cost of the public's safety and life endangerment.
"The exemption will continue to model Malaysia as a dumping ground for foreign cars with sub-standard safety compliance," he said.
A global car manufacturer has to engineer a car to four different national specifications but usually it is designed in compliance to either the US specifications or the general market specifications.
There are also the European specifications and Japan specifications. The US specifications are usually the most expensive because of the high safety and environmental requirements.
Armin pointed out that the differences between those national specifications are so big that some carmakers produce different models of the same car for different regions.