What is vehicle homologation?

The process of any official authority granting an approval for something after it passes the strict rules set by the organisation is known as homologation. The official authority might be the court of law, a department in the government, an academic organisation etc.

Before a vehicle is sold or marketed, its components have to be approved by multiple official authorities. The procedure for the approval of a vehicle’s components varies from country to country. Different countries have different standards for verification. The verification of the components before they are sold together in a vehicle is essential. These necessary checks improve safety while travelling in the vehicle, protect the environment better and improve the quality of components and the production process.

Vehicle homologation in India

Vehicle homologation is mandatory before the vehicle is sold or marketed. The procedure of for homologation of a vehicle is as follows:

  • All the components of the vehicle such as lamps, mirrors, tires, engine etc. are to be tested and verified.
  • After the components of the vehicle are verified, the fitting of components in the vehicle is to be tested. This includes the fitting of components like the car audio system, electronic sub-assemblies etc.
  • After the fitting of components in the vehicle is tested and approval is granted for it, the systems in the vehicle are next. Vehicle systems such as braking, exhaust emission engine cooling system, fuel supply system, suspension and steering systems are to be tested for proper working. If they pass the criteria of the tests conducted, an approval is granted.
  • The final test to be conducted before approval is granted to the vehicle for being sold and marketed is the Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA) test. It is also known as the ‘Vehicle Certification Test’.

Every component of the vehicle that is put to test is verified by the responsible authority. The authority responsible for granting approval to the specific component after the verification process is to be chosen by the manufacturer. The manufacturer will issue a system approval as per each applicable Central Motor Vehicle Rule (CMVR), 1989. The approval by the responsible authority is granted depending on whether or not the specific component clears the test developed by the officially recognised organisation. All the approvals have to be collected and then is to be determined whether the approval to the vehicle is to be granted or not.

The approval granted by the authorities responsible will be valid in all the countries that will be mentioned in the approval report.

Vehicle components that are tested

Vehicle items that are tested during the verification process for the granting of approval by the responsible authorities can be classified under four categories namely: Passive safety, Active safety, Components and Systems and the environment. The different items that come under the different categories are as follows:

  • Passive safety:
  1. Passenger protection. It is verified by a crash test.
  2. Child restraints.
  3. Working on seat belts.
  • Active safety:
  1. Steering system
  2. Brake system
  • Components and systems:
  1. Field of vision of the driver and glasses and wipers.
  2. General lighting in the vehicle.
  3. Horn of the vehicle.
  4. The mirrors in the vehicle.
  5. The warning triangle.
  6. The tires of the vehicle.
  7. The tank of the vehicle.
  8. The rear view system.
  • Environment:
  1. Amount of fuel consumed by the vehicle.
  2. The amount of pollution emitted by the vehicle.
  3. Noise emission.
  4. EMC.

Professional authorities that perform vehicle homologation in India

The list of professional authorities that perform vehicle homologation in India are:

  1. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), The Transport Divisional Council.
  2. The Ministry of Shipping, Road and Transport Highways. It is further divided into two different organisations that perform different categories of checks which are Emission and Safety. The emission checks are performed by the Standing Committee on Implementation of Implementation Legislation. The safety checks are performed by The Technical Standing Committee. Some of the members of the Technical Standing Committee include SIAM, ACMA, TMA, MoHI&PE, BIS and others. All these are testing agencies.
  3. The Ministry of Environments and Forests.
  4. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
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