Ministry hopes car vendors will take safety labelling seriously

Chong (in white shirt) gives the thumb's up after placing the safety labelling on the Perodua Aruz on display at the showroom. Also seen are (from left) Ong, Rostam, Che Shukri and Tan.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Feb 22: Safety labelling, to provide information to consumers on the safety level of a car, will take effect this coming March 1, but industry players have a one-year grace period to comply before full enforcement of the new policy.

The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) launched the newly established New Car Assessment Programme for Southeast Asian Countries (Asean NCAP) Labelling Compliance Guideline for Malaysia earlier this month.

The guideline aims to provide guidance to related parties, who are involved in the sale of passenger vehicles in Malaysia, to comply with the safety standards that are recommended by the ministry.

KPDNHEP Deputy Minister Chong Chieng Jen, however, emphasised that compliance for the safety labelling would not be a mandatory obligation yet as industry players would be given time to make adjustments.

Officiating at the ASEAN NCAP Labelling at Perodua Sales Sdn Bhd here today, he said, “When a new policy is introduced, there should be some time given for industry players to make adjustments, and the regulations will take effect in one year’s time, which is March 1, 2020.”

NCAP, he elaborated, was about the safety of vehicles for the protection of drivers and passengers. Car manufacturers like Mercedes and Volvo often do this to promote their products.

“But so far, there is no standardised government agency to oversee this, except Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros), which conducts tests on how safe a car is in the last few years.

“However, the awareness on the compliance with the safety standards were not there. So, the main purpose of launching this programme is to create awareness among not only car vendors but as well as users and potential buyers.”

Under the NCAP guideline, Chong continued, stars of zero to five would be awarded to cars that had been assessed, including crash test. Three stars for meeting the basic standard requirement, while five stars for the highest standard of requirement.

“I believe the safety of a vehicle is an important consideration for buyers when purchasing a car. There will be demand for cars that provide high safety protection for its users and passengers,” he said while encouraging vendors to voluntarily adopt the system.

Despite so, Chong pointed out that a car could be safe by design but drivers were still the most important element when it comes to safety on the road.

“It doesn’t mean that you have the safest car and you can neglect safe driving,” he reminded.

He congratulated Perodua Aruz and MyVi for attempting the 5-Star rating. The latest Perodua Aruz’s rating was extended from the Toyota Rush model based on the documentation provided by Perodua.

The Aruz was awarded a 5-Star rating at an accumulated score of 86.49 points. The model obtained 43.25 points for AOP (Adult Occupant Protection), 21.01 points for COP (Child Occupant Protection), and 22.22 points for the SATs (Safety Assist) category.

KPDNHEP deputy secretary-general (Consumerism and Management) Datuk Rostam Affendi Dato’ Salleh, state KPDNHEP director Dato Stanley Tan, KPDNHEP Consumerism Standard director Dato Che Shukri Che Mat and Perodua Sales Sdn Bhd regional manager for East Malaysia Desmond Ong were among those present. — DayakDaily