Mahindra Scorpio-N 4WD circumvents new safety rules and hits showrooms ahead of deadline

Indian carmaker Mahindra’s first new model in a decade has evaded new requirements for advanced safety technology by falling just months short of a deadline set by Australian regulators.

He Mahindra Scorpio-N India’s four-wheel-drive SUV will miss out on life-saving autonomous emergency braking systems and crawl into showrooms before the technology is made mandatory for all new vehicles unveiled in Australia.

the first novelty Mahindra model for Australia in a decade, the Scorpion it’s a four-wheel-drive wagon bigger than a Toyota RAV4 but smaller than a Ford Everest.

It is planned to launch in Australia without any of the advanced safety technology available on most new cars, including autonomous emergency braking, which slams on the brakes if a crash is imminent and the driver isn’t paying attention.

Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) became mandatory for all newly introduced vehicles certified for sale in Australia from March 1, 2023.

The Scorpio-N will be in showrooms in the coming weeks.

However, Mahindra has taken advantage of a loophole that only requires the vehicle to receive approval for sale in Australia from the federal government before the March 1 deadline to be legally available for sale, even if the cars do not arrive. to the exhibition halls until after that date.

The Scorpio-N now does not need to meet the AEB requirement until March 2025, when the technology will be required for all vehicles for sale, regardless of when they were introduced or approved for sale.

The Mahindra Scorpio-N will be the only model in the ‘midsize SUV’ class without autonomous emergency braking, and probably the last all-new vehicle to be launched in Australia without the technology.

AEB is a standard accessory on the country’s cheapest new cars, from the diminutive $19,000 Kia Picanto city hatch, to the entry-level $32,000 Isuzu D-Max and ‘traffic controller’ Toyota HiLux.

The only other vehicle in the midsize SUV class not equipped with AEB is the Vi version of the base model Honda CR-V, but all other variants in the range are equipped with the technology.

The potentially life-saving safety feature is not listed as available on Mahindra’s Indian website, nor are any other advanced driver aids such as lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control or blind-spot monitoring.

The model meets all other government safety requirements for new vehicles sold in Australia and is equipped with six airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, tire pressure monitors and a driver fatigue warning.

A spokesman for the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) said Drive: “ANCAP is aware of Mahindra’s recent announcement to launch the Scorpio-N in the Australian market.

“As with all new models, ANCAP wishes to have a locally applicable safety rating available to Australian consumers.

“We are in contact with the local dealer to determine the safety specifications and availability of their upcoming models, and the potential for testing and qualification,” ANCAP said.

As an independent crash safety body, ANCAP can buy vehicles through new car showrooms, just like a customer would, to send vehicles for test drives.

Other times, car manufacturers pay for ANCAP tests, but regardless of who foots the bill, the results are independently assessed and the vehicles selected at random by the safety authority.

A significant portion of the latest ANCAP test criteria is assigned to crash avoidance technology that the Mahindra Scorpio-N lacks.

In the absence of autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist or a speed limit warning system, the Mahindra Twins would likely perform poorly in the ANCAP “Safety Assist” category and could receive an overall score of zero stars.

A statement from Mahindra to Drive said: “According to current certification, Scorpio[-N] it will not be equipped with AEB at launch.

“We are aware of the new regulation in Australia on Mandatory Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and are planning to proactively transition our products gradually.”

Mahindra XUV700.

Meanwhile, hitting Mahindra Australia’s showrooms later this year is a Toyota RAV4-sized family SUV known as the XUV700.

The Australian Government Vehicle Certification Database shows that both the XUV700 and Scorpio-N have failed to comply with the Australian Design Rule (ADR) for AEB in passenger vehicles.

However, Mahindra Australia has confirmed that the XUV700 will be equipped with a full suite of advanced safety systems, including AEB, unlike the Scorpio-N.

The Indian automaker will need to submit the XUV700 for approval with this regulation within the next two years if it wants to remain on sale after March 2025.

A spokesman for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts said in a statement to Drive when asked about the condition of Mahindra vehicles:

“ADR 98/00 – Advanced Emergency Braking for Passenger Cars and Light Vehicles applies to all new model passenger cars provided in Australia from March 1, 2023.

“This is a mandatory standard and the Department of Infrastructure, Transportation, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts does not exempt vehicle providers from complying with this requirement on a discretionary basis.

“The XUV700 and Scorpio-N have not been evaluated for compliance with ADR 98/00. Both models were approved before March 1, 2023.

“If, in addition, they were first registered in the Register of Approved Vehicles [the government database] before March 1, 2023, they would not be required to comply with ADR 98/00 until March 1, 2025, when this standard is applicable to all vehicles,” the statement concluded.

Mahindra vehicles aren’t the first to come in before the new standard: the sporty Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ twins went on sale last without autonomous emergency braking on manual models, as well as manual versions of the Subaru WRX sedan.

However, the Scorpio-N is believed to be the only vehicle to receive approval for sale without AEB before the March 1, 2023 deadline, but it won’t hit showrooms until after the rule comes into effect.

Government approval for the Scorpio-N was issued on November 24, 2022, followed by the XUV700 on January 9, 2023.

Mahindra will have until March 1, 2025 to develop the autonomous emergency braking technology for its two new vehicles and certify them to the relevant Australian safety standards, if they are to remain on sale after that date.

More details about the Mahindra Scorpio-N, including pricing and standard features, will be confirmed later this month.

The government database listing shows there can be up to three model grades, with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive, six seats on all models, and a 129 kW 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine and automatic transmission. six-speed standard. .

FURTHER:Search used Mahindra cars for sale
FURTHER:Search used Mahindra cars for sale

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed to Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flipping through car magazines to an early age to grow around performance. vehicles in a car-loving family.

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