Centre Permanently Delists 13,118 Listings Of Seat Belt Alarm Blockers From Five E-Tailers In Road Safety Push

Amit Mishra

May 12, 2023, 01:11 PM | Updated 01:21 PM IST

A passenger fastens the seat belt in a car (Representative image).
A passenger fastens the seat belt in a car (Representative image).

In a major push for road safety, a total of 13,118 listings of car seat belt alarm stopper clips have been delisted from top five e-commerce platforms, for violation of consumer rights and unfair trade practice under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

The issue of the sale of car seat belt alarm stopper clips came to the notice of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) by the Department of Consumer Affairs through the letter of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

The letter highlighted the issue of blatant sale of car seat belt alarm stopper clips and requested for action on errant vendors/online platforms and issuance of an advisory.

“Rule 138 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 makes it mandatory to wear seat belts. However, online sales of such items that compromise passengers’ safety by stopping the alarm beep when not wearing seat belts can be unsafe and dangerous to the life and safety of consumers,” the CCPA noted.

Taking cognisance of the matter, the Consumer protection regulator referred the matter to DG Investigation (CCPA).

“Based on the recommendation in the investigation report and submissions made by e-commerce entities, CCPA has issued directions to the e-commerce platforms where they were directed to permanently delist all car seat belt alarm stopper clips and associated motor vehicle components which compromise the safety of passengers and the public,” the statement added.

As a result, 13,118 car seat belt alarm stopper clips have been removed from the five e-commerce platforms.

While Amazon has delisted 8,095 such clips, Flipkart has delisted 4,000-5,000, Meesho delisted 21 and Snapdeal and Shopclues one each, the regulator said in a statement.

CCPA said it took cognizance of the issue of the sale of car seat belt alarm stopper clips and "found that said clips were being blatantly sold on several e-commerce platforms in an easy-to-access manner resulting in direct violation of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and pose a high risk to the valuable life of the consumers".

It was also found during the proceedings that some sellers were selling the clips by camouflaging them under the garb of bottle openers or cigarette lighter, etc, it added.

Stopper Clips

Seat belt alarm stoppers are clips, found in physical as well as online markets, which when inserted into the buckle of the seat belt, stops the constant beeping to remind passengers and the driver to wear their seat belts.

On the other hand, using seat belt acts as a restraint that allows the airbag to provide proper cushion and not hit the passengers at full force which also works as a protective shield in case of collisions.

Further, these stopper clips can also be a hurdle for consumers seeking claim amounts in the cases of motor insurance policies, wherein an insurance company may deny the claim by citing the negligence of the claimant for using such clips.

The action taken in the present cases assumes significance given that as per the latest report published by the MoRTH more than 16,000 persons were killed in road accidents in 2021 due to not wearing seat belt, of which 8,438 were drivers and the remaining 7,959 were passengers.

Moreover, approximately 39,231 persons were injured out of which 16,416 were drivers and 22,818 were passengers. The report further said that young adults in the age group of 18-45 accounted for more than one-third of victims in road accident cases.

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