Rajiv Bajaj responds to the concerns raised by consumer forums on the Qute.

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It’s been four years that Bajaj Qute is battling the allegations from the rivals & group activists.  And with the recent NCAP report, the discussion on the safety of vehicle resurfaced. This time, set of consumer associations/ forums wrote a letter highlighting their concerns on Qute’s safety

Read on to know about the official press statement that Mr. Rajiv Bajaj made in response to the rising concerns. It is also followed by the letter that was written to Bajaj Auto.

 

Rajiv Bajaj
Managing Director
20th April 2016

Dear Sirs,

Thank you for yours of 8th April. I welcome your views with an open and objective mind, and I trust that you will reciprocate likewise. You have made 3 broad points. One, that Qute has been awarded a 1 star rating in the Euro NCAP report. I agree.
May I point out that the same report also puts Qute on par or ahead of almost all quadricycles currently approved for European sales?
Trust you agree. Two, that Qute could be mistaken for a small car. Respectfully, I disagree.
Qute is almost half the size and weight of a typical small car, is speed restricted to 70kmph, again about half of what a typical small car is capable of, and its 13 bhp engine is meeker than that of a 150 cc motorcycle.
I would thus like to believe that given these sharp and significant contrasts the people of this country are wise enough to tell the difference between a Qute and a typical small car.
Third, that road safety is of great concern in India.
I couldn’t agree more.
I am less concerned though about the safety of the minority that are secure inside their fast cars, shielded by their airbags, strapped in in their seat belts.
I am far more concerned about those who cannot afford these cars, and who while walking, cycling, riding, or availing of a 3 wheeler are mauled by such so called safe cars.
These victims of road transport deserve a safer urban transport solution that they can also afford.
We are providing exactly that through the Qute.
I am confident that logic will prevail and that one day Qute will be approved for India.
That day when you bid goodbye to a loved one who is leaving in a Qute instead of on a scooter or in a 3 wheeler, I trust that you will think of us with gratitude.

Good wishes,

 

Quadricycle still being circumcised around the question of its launch, various activists had written a letter to Rajiv Bajaj through an official press statement. Here is what it reads:

 

“Dear Rajiv Bajaj,
Re: misleading claims about the safety of the RE60 Qute
We, the undersigned, represent consumer organization’s who are working actively together on vehicle and road safety concerns in India. We are also members of Consumers International, the international federation of consumer organization’s, which advocates for vehicle safety globally.
We are writing to express our concern about the safety of this RE60 Qute, in light of the recent crash tests conducted by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) which have resulted in the vehicle receiving a one (out of five) star safety rating. We are also concerned about certain public statements that Bajaj Auto Ltd has made regarding the safety of the Qute, many of which are misleading to consumers. ,
Euro NCAP’s verdict on the Qute clear and unequivocal; this vehicle is not safe. The organization has found there to be “major shortcomings in safety” in all the quadricycles they have tested, and that “the standard of protection offered to the driver is still generally very low, leading to serious risks in collisions with other vehicles or obstacles.”
This clearly contradicts certain claims that Bajaj Auto Ltd has made in the public sphere regarding the level of occupant safety offered by the Qute. For example, in an advertorial attributed to Bajaj Auto Ltd, it is claimed that the Qute is “perhaps the safest…4-wheeler anywhere in the world”. Furthermore, the ‘Free the Qute’ website states that the “Qute is truly the safest vehicle for everybody on city roads”. The website goes on to make a number of further claims regarding the levels of safety provided both to occupants and to pedestrians. For example, it is stated that the Qute has been “rigorously tested…for structural durability”. However, Euro NCAP judges the structure of the Qute to be “unstable”, as well as observing that “many spot welds had released and deformation of the structure indicated that it could not have withstood a higher degree of loading.” Euro NCAP also found there to be a “high probability of serious or fatal injury in a human” in both frontal and side collisions.
A major concern about the quadricyle vehicle category in general is that consumers will assume that these vehicles provide the same level of safety as small cars. Many quadricycles appear very similar in appearance to vehicles that fall into heavier categories, and which therefore must comply with more stringent safety standards. Indeed, as Euro NCAP point out: “these vehicles look like small city cars and are likely to compete for sales”. In an article attributed to you in 2013, you personally admit that it is “absolutely correct” that the RE60 is “not as safe as a car in some respects”. Yet, although in Bajaj Auto Ltd’s promotional activity has been clear in positioning the Qute within its a separate category, it is plain to any observer that the vehicle very closely resembles a small car.
According to the most recent WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, more than 200,000 people are estimated to die on our roads every year. Unsafe vehicles are a major contributor to this tragic situation, causing of thousands of preventable deaths and injuries. In recognition of the urgency of this challenge, the Government of India has taken steps to improve the safety of new cars and to raise consumer awareness. New car safety standards will be introduced in 2017 and will require all new cars in India to offer enhanced protection to passengers and pedestrians in line with global vehicle safety regulations as set by the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29). In addition, the Government of India is in the process of establishing the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme (BNVAP), the first Indian NCAP. As a consumer information programme, BNVSAP will be widely disseminating independent safety ratings of new car models sold in India and in doing so raising the awareness of the importance of vehicle safety among consumers. We welcome these advancements, which will help to save lives. However, as it currently stands, these new initiatives will not apply to quadricycles.
Given that the profile of car safety is likely to be elevated in the minds of the general public, and the aforementioned similarities in appearance between quadricycles and cars, we are very concerned about the risk that consumers will be misled into purchasing the Qute as an alternative to a small car on the assumption that it is also subject to the same safety improvements
Bajaj Auto Ltd has also publicly highlighted be that the Qute complies with applicable safety standards in India, as well as European vehicle safety legislation. As you know, the new Indian safety standards for quadricycles have been challenged in a number of public interest petitions on the basis that they will not establish a sufficient level of safety, and the Supreme Court is currently considering these cases. The relevant European legislation has also been the subject of criticism, and in 2014 Euro NCAP highlighted the fact that although all the quadricycle models tested that year complied with mandatory standards, “quadricycles in general offer a significantly lower level of occupant protection than is offered by cars”. We are therefore of the view that, although the Qute is compliant with minimum regulatory requirements, this is not enough to justify its portrayal as “the safest vehicle for everybody”. Indeed, Euro NCAP believed stronger standards are need in Europe, and has called on “regulators to take consumer safety seriously and on manufacturers to invest in safety and to offer customers vehicles, which are fit for modern traffic conditions”.
Consumers have the right to fair and accurate information in order to be able to make informed choices, and must not be misled. In our view, Euro NCAP’s assessment of the level of occupant safety provided by this vehicle clearly indicates that the statements attributed to Bajaj Auto Ltd and referred to in this letter regarding the safety of the Qute are misleading. We, the under-signed, therefore urge you to remove all misleading statements from websites operated by Bajaj Auto Ltd, and to cease making any further public claims that would mislead audiences into believing the Qute is a safe vehicle.
Furthermore, we urge you not to bring the Qute to market until such time that necessary adjustments have been made to its design to ensure it provides an adequate level of safety for occupants and pedestrians. In order to verify these safety improvements, the Qute must be re-submitted for crash testing either by Euro NCAP or another reputable organisation that applies comparable testing protocols.
Yours sincerely,”

 

Qute has been carefully built for the needs of the Indian city roads. We hope that soon logic will win and Qute’s bumpy ride will come to an end. If you believe in us, help us by showing your support- http://freethequte.in/bajajqute/voice-your-opinion.php

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18 Responses

  1. Ranjan Banerjee

    Better than a rickshaw and an auto-rickshaw.Best suited for rural India where Traffic is less.Not to be driven in highways.

  2. Amarnath Mukherjee

    It is safer than auto, motorcycle, scooter and rickshaw.

  3. Parbat Singh Panwar

    People like to pay for quadricycle and enjoy all benefits of small car as it looks similar .

  4. K K Mishra

    This is india.jugad technology survives and serious efforts of bajaj auto is being thwarted by some so called intellecruals who only drive in mercs…
    The roads are pathetic and the so called neo rich drive in big cars leaving general masses for public transport, autos, and gas guzzling diesel vehicles with no concern to pollution…if general masses get an affordable personal transport for city commute then what is the harm after all we crawl in cities
    Rajeevji, barring the safety concern so raised by these intellectuals, you should go ahead since you have a quaLified r&d team to sort out such issues

  5. K.V.Muthukumar

    Qute is to be released for the sake of the Aam Admi. The high priced small car Lobby don’t want this quadricycles dimish their market
    size and their profits and what not.
    The article suggested to offer the Qute to crash test. Tell us the number of labs which has got this facilities and how many car makers
    in India are really carrying out this test and giving the reliability factor and giving Confirmance for the occupants safety. Sorry folks You guys
    are wrong and make rules for every one who makes the car in India. Bajaj has not developed this quadricycles just for fun, it is for the
    people who travel in open environment to have safe guard themselves from the pollution created by your fuel clobbering cars. Please
    welcome the Innovations.

  6. Jayapaul Johnson

    Shortly, I hope, you will be in the market with enthusiastic buyers. Three cheers!!!

  7. Jayapaul Johnson

    ok

  8. Jayapaul Johnson

    Alright

  9. PRAVEEN KUMAR

    I THINK THIS CAR IS VERY GOOD FOR THOSE WHO TRAVEL BY SCOOTERS AND BIKES AND SUFFER POLLUTION / DUST / CARRY HEAVY METALS IN THE AIR AFFECTING THEIR HEALTH BADLY. IT CAN BE AVOIDED STRICTLY ON HIGHWAYS BUT IN CITY LIKE DELHI WHERE ONE HAS NO PARKING SPACE / HEAVY TRAFFIC WHERE SPEED OF VEHICLE IS VERY LOW…THIS CAR IS BEST…FOR PROFESSIONALS LIKE ADVOCATES / DOCTORS SHOULD OPT FOR THIS CAR AT THEY HAVE TO JUST MOVE FROM THEIR HOMES TO THE COURT OR TO THE CLINICS THE RUSH WILL BE REDUCED PARKING SPACE WILL BE SAVED MONEY WILL BE SAVED POLLUTION LEVEL WILL GO DOWN…WHAT ELSE YOU EXPECT FROM A CAR WITH LITTLE BUDGET …MORE OVER ONE CAN CARRY THEIR BELONGINGS EASILY …….NANO IS ALSO DOING WELL IN DELHI WHY NOT QUTE THEN ……..OPTION IS VERY GOOD IT SHOULD BE EXPLORED RATHER THEN SUPPRESSED…..

  10. Utpal Dave

    I am waiting for Qute

  11. Please Place some Glass or Plastic shutters, it is more better than the one now you’re having

  12. hemant jambhale

    i think govt should give approval for qute , it is better and safer then two wheeler , govt pls. open ur eyes and see how people with large family travels on scooter with 2-3 kids . govt pls listen , I know u have pressure from auto riksha and two wheeler companies ..but if u really care for ur aam admi
    ..right now approve qute .. consider this is request or Indians wish…
    govt.people use inova and fortuner for ur use on tax payers money like us , let us use this safe transport atleast..
    also Bajaj pls. fix glass instead of rexin covered window to ur window , this future riksha and aam admi deserve protection from dust and rain
    thanks

  13. Bhairab Nath Dutta

    we want qute qs soon as possible in indian road

  14. Bhairab Nath Dutta

    pls pls pls pls tell me the distributor list in west bengal or jharkhand of qute. i want to buy qute.

  15. It is best to position it as a replacement of Auto-rickshaw. Let the real cars be a separate category and Bajaj need not try to venture into their market. Only then the true potential of this vehicle can be derived. It will be safer, better, comfortable and cleaner THAN AN AUTO-RICKSHAW.
    But by doing this, Bajaj will themselves have a conflict of interest – competing with its own products. With time, as the market matures, this will eventually be a rewarding strategy.

  16. Narasimha Rao Tanuku

    Yet another story where the govt-body/buracracy delaying common-man’s interest, convince, time & county’s advancement(cost saving, time savings, better quality of life) & to the world to the extent, all for some vested interests of a handful few !

  17. I fail to understand, how can Qute (a 4 wheeled quadricycle) be less safer than 3-wheeled autorickshaws and bikes/scooters.
    i has 4 wheels, seat belts, speed limit (70kmph).

    i think the Govt of India who is promoting Make In India so much should also support in gettings this to Indian people. They should help in fairly validating all the safety concerns of Qute and clear doubts of people.
    Qute is already running on road in many European countries (which are much more developed than India) after approval, obviously it cannot be that unsafe as it seems.

    Eagrely waiting to see Qute set free.

  18. Segun Isakin

    I hope this car will be released soon. I was travelling recently in a Bajaj tricycle and the thought came to my mind of a car just the size of a Bajaj tricycle. I asked the driver how many stroke (plugs or piston) drives the tricycle he responded only two, then I said how much gasoline it consumes per day he responded 20 litres. This was wonderful. I imagined to have a car that consumes only 20 litres per full day journey. I went on the internet and discover Cute but it is a 4 stroke engine. How I wish a two stroke engine car could be manufactured. Or if the engine of Bajaj tricycle should be used in the manufacture of a car with four wheel. The fuel economy will be fantastic. I leave this data for Bajaj manufacturers to work on.
    As for Cute, Im confident it will make the market in Africa where affordability for a car is a concern. The fuel economy is a plus. The speed is adequate for intra-city taxi. Women taking kids to school and market will not need the fuel consuming SUVs. AC inclusion can boost the market.
    I wish I will be able to speak to any of the manufacturers soon, I will like to enquire if a two stoke engine version can be worked out. I practically know that emission will be a concern for such engine because of incomplete combustion. Cute is a right move. Yes speed safety is a concern. It may not be suitable for intercity highways because of speed limitation.

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