In a ruling that is sure to have many high-end carmakers breathe a sigh of relief, the Government of India, on Tuesday, said that the M1 category of vehicles that come fitted with tubeless tyres and Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems no longer need carry a spare wheel and tyre if they are equipped with a tyre repair kit as standard instead.
“Provided further that in case of M1 category of vehicle fitted with tubeless tyre and supplied with a tyre repair kit as a standard item, it may not require a ready to use or temporary use the spare wheel,” a Gazette of India notification said.
As per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, all passenger vehicles with not more than eight seats are classified under the M1 category of vehicles. “For the purposes of this rule, tyre repair kit means an easy-to-repair kit stored in the vehicle, which in the incident of tyre puncture is used to seal the punctured spot in the tyre tread using specific sealant poured into the tyre along with compressed air,” the notification further read.
The latest ruling should see many luxury car manufacturers in the country, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, stop providing space-saver spare wheels in their vehicles. Until now, many carmakers, which brought cars to our shores through the CBU route, had to add a space-saver spare wheel in order to enable the cars to be legally sold in the country. The space-saver spare wheel is basically a wheel with much smaller specifications that enables a car to be driven under a strict speed limit for a specified distance. Using the spare wheel, a person can drive his vehicle for a certain distance until he finds a puncture repair shop.
However, as such high-end vehicles aren’t designed to originally carry such wheels, the space-savers are often added at a later stage and hence, eat up a considerable portion of the boot space. Now, however, thanks to the latest ruling, the high-end car manufacturers won’t have to equip their vehicles with such wheels in order to be able to sell them legally. As such vehicles already come equipped with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, the addition of a puncture repair kit should be sufficient to save the driver from a sticky situation if any of the tyres start losing air pressure.
“These rules may be called the Central Motor Vehicles (Seventh Amendment) Rules, 2020, and the vehicle categories M1 up to maximum mass of 3.5 T and N1 manufactured after October 1, 2020, fitted with tyre pressure monitoring systems, shall confirm to AIS – 154; as amended from time to time, till the corresponding BIS specifications are notified under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016. Provided that vehicles fitted with tyre pressure monitoring system approved as per AIS 110 shall deem to comply with requirements of AIS 154,” the notification added.