Iran’s traffic police have criticized Iranian automakers for producing low-quality vehicles responsible for a high rate of road accident casualties.
The deputy head of Iran's traffic police Teymour Hosseini said on Monday that the Iranian-manufactured cars increase the number of deadly accidents and cost the country billions of dollars of capital. He blamed the low-quality of these vehicles on government-sanctioned monopoly that local automakers enjoy.
Hosseini added that the quality of Iranian cars have a “galactic” gap with the global standards, saying that it would be "very cost-effective" for the country if the managers and employees of Iran's two largest carmakers just "stay at home".
Hosseini said the era when automakers could make small changes and call the result a new car has long passed.
Many Iranian officials and authorities, including President Ebrahim Raisi, are critical of the local car industry, with pundits blaming a “mafia-like” influential group behind a ban on car imports to eliminate competition.
Traffic police chief Kamal Hadianfar once described Iranian cars as “death wagons”, and criticized manufacturers for importing parts from China, saying there is no effective quality control.
Iran's automotive industry, the county’s largest after oil and gas, employs 700,000 workers.
With around 20,000 annual deaths, Iran has a poor traffic safety record. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data published in 2018, road traffic accident deaths in Iran reached 21,831 or 6.5 percent of all fatalities.