EghtesadOnline: One-third of automobiles in Tehran failed emission and safety tests, during the first seven months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Oct. 22).
Hossein Moqaddam, CEO of Tehran Vehicle Technical Inspection Bureau, said that during the period under review, 928,000 vehicles visited the capital's technical inspection centers, of which 702,000 were under four years old and underwent their first technical check, ISNA reported.
"Thirty-one percent of the visitors, numbering 287,680 were rejected, 14% of which did not receive the certificate due to high emission, 9% for wheel alignment, 4% for shock absorber failure, 11% for brake system problems and 14% for appearance issues,” he added.
The official noted that during the period, 667,000 technical certificates have been issued, of which 529,000 were regular and 138,000 were premium.
The premium certificate has higher standards than the regular technical inspection certificate. While under normal tests, vehicles’ emissions are monitored in a low-speed performance, the carbon monoxide emission of cars is assessed at 2,500 rpm for receiving the premium certificate.
Announcing that cars visiting the inspection centers amounted to 5,100 per day, the official said the test duration has reduced to less than an hour after an online booking system was launched and centers were increased.
According to Moqaddam, 8,000 visits during the month ending Oct. 22 were booked online, which constitute 34% of the total online reservation system’s capacity.
The official noted that people can save more time by finding less crowded centers on the inspection bureau’s website.
The official said that during the period under review, 1,621 heavy-duty vehicles have also undergone road tests, out of which 24% did not have the mandatory technical license and 23% of all tested vehicles failed to meet the minimum test standards.
Since the beginning of the current year, 645 trucks have been fined for substandard operation.
Moqaddam said the commercial vehicles were subjected to tests in collaboration with Tehran’s traffic police in November 2018 to curb the suffocating air pollution in the metropolis.
Dangers and Measures
Vehicles that do not meet local emission and safety standards spew poison into the air, harm people’s health and damage the environment.
Tehran Municipality’s Transportation and Traffic Organization has estimated that air pollution in the capital costs $2.6 billion annually.
To curb the worsening problem, TM has devised several schemes to regulate vehicles plying the city’s roads.
In November 2018, the technical inspection certificate became mandatory for all two- and four-wheelers plying the capital’s streets.
The Air Pollution Reduction Scheme bars smog-inducing clunkers from entering the already clogged roads of the metropolis and those found in breach are fined.
As per the latest scheme dubbed Air Pollution Control, each vehicle can enter a "restricted zone" in central Tehran for a maximum of 20 days each season (three months), or 80 days a year for free.
Spread over 88.5 square kilometers in central Tehran, the zone is bounded by Imam Ali (AS) Expressway in the east, Navvab Expressway and Chamran Highway in the west, Besat Expressway in the south and Hemmat Expressway in the north.
As per the scheme, if motorists wish to enter the zone more than the number of times allowed without charge in the plan, they need to pay a toll fee.
Besides the two, the Traffic Scheme is being enforced in an area limited by Motahari Street (north), Shariati Street (east), Kargar (west) and Shoosh (south). Cars, except for public transportation vehicles, are barred from entering the area between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Private vehicles need to pay 550,000 rials ($2) to enter the zone.
These schemes have been implemented in the hope of easing Tehran’s air pollution. However, they cannot address the issue until a significant change is made in the quality of locally-produced vehicles.
Iran Standards and Quality Inspection Company has released its latest report on ranking locally-made cars, which indicate a slight improvement in vehicle quality during the Iranian month ending Sept. 21.
The vehicles are ranked from one to a maximum of five stars based on their quality.
The automobiles are divided into five price categories, with the least expensive costing 1 billion rials ($3,600) and the most expensive worth 10 billion rials ($36,100).
Following quality checks, the automatic Dena Plus Turbo made by the Iranian automaker Iran Khodro (IKCO) retained the five-star ranking on the list.
Quick, a small city car made by SAIPA, has kept its four out of five stars in the ranking.
Four- and three-star categories were the largest groups, mainly featuring IKCO and SAIPA models.
Peugeot 405 made by IKCO and SAIPA’s Pride models have been phased out, because they suffered from several safety failures and never earned over two stars in the ISQI ranking.
The former is a large family car released by the French automaker Peugeot in July 1987, the production of which was discontinued in Europe in 1997.
SAIPA’s small city car, Pride, had been produced in Iran for decades.
Pride was originally developed for Japanese and South Korean markets in the late 1980s. It entered the Iranian market in 1993 under license from Kia and continues to be a cash cow for SAIPA.
The phase-out of both has gone past the deadline because there aren’t any cheaper alternatives to these substandard cars.