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SASO sets standards for cars

RIYADH: The Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) has directed manufacturers and their agents in the Kingdom to strictly follow the safety regulations for the new cars to be marketed to the Kingdom beginning 2017.
In a statement released on Monday, SASO said that the new regulation should conform to the guidelines set out in the GCC technical regulation section 42 under the special requirements for the cars.
In addition to the existing requirements, under the new regulation, air bags for passengers on the front seat including the driver, smart braking system anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability are some of the requirements under the proposed system.
The SASO pointed out that there are more than 480 Saudi standards that include 102 items related to tires and spare parts, which come under its technical regulation, in line with the global regulations of developed countries in the auto industry.
The statement said that from 2017, no car will be allowed into the Kingdom unless these requirements are met. The car dealers should support the import of the cars with the certificate of conformity.
A car dealer said: “Many accidents and problems plaguing vehicles in the Kingdom stem from product deficiencies that cannot be identified without accurate scientific methodology. With the increasing number of vehicles on our roads, and with problems that cannot be checked conventionally, such regulations are a must.”
“Such regulations will improve vehicle safety, particularly in the light of increased horrific accidents, and especially those accidents attributed to vehicle and specifications defect,” he said.
The Saudi Standards, Quality and Metrology Organization (SASO) recently signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with a large number of light vehicle manufacturers, which use the Saudi corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard.
The first stage of the Saudi CAFE will apply on all imported light vehicles starting January 2016. Saudi CAFE’s aim is to improve the fuel economy average in light vehicles across the Kingdom by four percent annually, to move from its current level of 12 km per liter of fuel to more than 19 km by 2025.
About 12 million vehicles roam the Kingdom’s roads on a daily basis, consuming 811,000 barrels of oil and accounting for about 23 percent of the total energy consumption in the country.
Experts have estimated that light vehicles comprise 82 percent of all cars plying the roads while the more than 20-year-old vehicles total 2.2 million.
They predict the number of vehicles to grow beyond 26 million by 2030 and the daily consumption of oil to increase to 1,860,000 barrels a day, if there were no measures undertaken to raise energy efficiency levels.
The National Energy Efficiency Program of the Saudi Center for Energy Efficiency, they added, has cooperated with the concerned parties across the Kingdom to define the reasons for the low level of energy efficiency in the land transportation sector. The program concluded that the low level of fuel efficiency is the reason for energy wastes.
The fuel economy of an automobile in the Kingdom stands at 12 km per liter of fuel, compared to 13 km per liter in the United States, 15 km per liter in China, and 18 km per liter in Europe.

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