We all know that every vehicle sold here in Malaysia has to go through some sort of inspection and evaluation process before it is deemed safe and fit to be used by the consumer, but what exactly is it and who does the evaluation?
As many of you would’ve guessed by now, the organisation responsible for this is none other than the Road Transport Department (JPJ), through the process called Vehicle Type Approval (VTA) and homologation.
For the first time ever, JPJ gave a simplified demonstration of the VTA and homologation processes to the members of the press yesterday in Putrajaya, using the BMW iX xDrive40i electric SUV, in an effort to provide insight into the evaluation procedures that essentially ensure that a vehicle is compliant with the 1987 Road Transport Act and Road Transport Rules in Malaysia, before registration of the vehicle is allowed.
Simply put, if a vehicle doesn’t pass the test and have a VTA certification, it is not road legal, and therefore it cannot be registered, sold, or insured.
How the process works is that a “homologation unit” of a new model from the manufacturer will be evaluated by JPJ, and only if it meets the 114 requirements of the UNECE WP29 World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) which JPJ adheres to, the model can be registered and sold.
Cars that are brought in by parallel importers however, go through an evaluation process that is not as stringent as the one for cars sold directly by the manufacturer, and only JPJ knows why.
Anyways, a particular model, regardless of whether it is being sold by the manufacturer or an importer, will have to go through the VTA and homologation process only once.
As for the BMW iX, when asked if the homologation process for an electric vehicle is the same as a vehicle with an internal combustion engine, we were told that there are less parameters for an EV to follow in the VTA evaluation.
Dato’ Zailani Hj Hashim, Director-General of the Road Transport Department said, “As the authority to carry out the evaluation, testing and approval of a vehicle in Malaysia, the VTA procedure conducted by JPJ is a compulsory one that every new vehicle must undergo before it is cleared for road use in the country.”
“I hope that with the exposure to the processes today, it would provide deeper insight into the roles and functions of the Automotive Engineering Department, JPJ as well as the VTA procedures – which is a clear demonstration of the government and JPJ’s role to ensure the optimum level of safety for road users in the country.”
Hans de Visser, Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia said, “We are honoured that the JPJ has considered us at BMW Malaysia as a partner to demonstrate the official VTA and homologation process of a vehicle in Malaysia.”
“We are especially honoured that the JPJ is also taking the opportunity to demonstrate the process on an Electric Vehicle – the BMW iX xDrive40i – our first fully-electric SAV which will be introduced in Malaysia alongside a fleet of next-generation BMW i vehicles in the upcoming year.”
“The arrival of the new BMW i vehicles is part of our electrification strategy that will complement Malaysia’s electromobility goals for 2022, especially with the announcement of the new tax incentives and policies for EV manufacturers as well as owners in the coming year.”