Proposal to require rigid barrier frontal crash testing for commercial use quadricycles (i.e., four-wheeled vehicles with unladen mass not more than 400 kg (550 kg for goods-carrying vehicles), not including the mass of batteries in the case of electric vehicles and whose maximum continuous rated power does not exceed 15 kW).
40. The experts from Global NCAP and from ANEC on behalf of Consumers International introduced GRSP-63-14 which proposes to include L7 (quadricycles) categories of vehicles in the scope of UN Regulation No. 137, in line with the recommendation of the WP.29 (GRSP-63-15 and ECE/TRANS/WP.29/1141, para. 41) aimed at offering a minimum protection to L7 vehicle occupants in case of a crash. They also mentioned GRSP-63-16, for information, concerning the “Public Interest Litigation Regarding Motor Vehicle Safety in India”. They added that quadricycles are not subject to the same legislation as conventional passenger cars and their crashworthiness should be addressed by GRSP as recommended by WP.29. They stressed the risk that consumers buy this type of vehicle to cater to an individual’s need for a car but without being informed about the lack of safety requirements in those vehicles which might expose them to serious injuries in case of a crash. They indicated that NCAP tests showed cases of safety-belts that snapped off and even ineffective airbags and revealing that these types of restraint systems and performance of this type of vehicles were far below similarly-sized passenger car. Moreover, they informed GRSP that L7 vehicles are becoming more popular, also because they are considered as new environmentally friendly mobility solutions and are expected to become more numerous in the future. They clarified that the proposal of Global NCAP and Consumer International to extend the scope of UN Regulation No. 137 to L7 vehicle would be in line with the test speed scenarios and biomechanical injury criteria that provide for the safety of occupants, as in other types of passenger vehicles.
41. The expert from the Republic of Korea was full in support of GRSP-63-14 since his country had recently experienced a surge of this type of vehicles on its roads. The expert from Italy argued that the mass and powertrain of L7 differ from those of M1 and that these factors should be analysed in crash test. The expert from EC reminded GRSP about a European Union study (see ECE/TRANS/WP.29/GRSP/61 para. 31) on an initial assessment of the additional functional safety of this category of vehicles. He explained that the study showed that the low frequency of crashes in Europe of these types of vehicle did not justify an urgent action plan. Moreover, he requested justification on why the L6 category was not included in the proposal. He reminded GRSP about the existence of many UN Regulations covering safety provisions of L7 categories. The expert from Japan agreed with him, however, he requested further investigations. The expert from the Russian Federation agreed with the expert from EC and expressed concern that more severe requirements would eliminate this category of vehicles. The expert from India agreed with a more in-depth investigation on actual safety issues for this category of vehicles and confirmed that these vehicles were becoming relevant in the market of his country. The expert from the Netherlands supported further in-depth study and finding a balanced solution. GRSP decided to resume discussion on this subject at its December 2018 session and to keep GRSP-63-14 as a reference document.