Antonio López Díaz
Expert Contributor

NOM 236: A Standard That Seeks to Save Lives

By Antonio Martin López Díaz | Mon, 07/25/2022 - 11:00

“Concern for man and his safety must always be the primary interest of all efforts.” (Albert Einstein)

No one can question the importance of avoiding accidents on the streets and roads. It is literally a national security issue. The protection of people's lives and property must be sacred.

This topic comes to mind because on May 3, the decree of the Official Mexican Standard NOM-236-SE-2021 was published in the Official Diary of the Federation in Mexico, which covers the review of physical-mechanical conditions of vehicles with gross vehicle weight not exceeding 3,857kg.

At the time, the publication of this Official Mexican Standard was cause for celebration for the most important automotive associations in Mexico, which had been promoting this project for many years; however, the joy soon ended because a few days later, the application of NOM 236 was suspended by the highest government spheres, claiming that it harmed the economy of families with fewer resources.

The main objective of NOM 236, on the mandatory review of the physical and mechanical conditions of vehicles, is to care for the integrity of the occupants of vehicles and passers-by, rather than pursuing a merely commercial interest, which, by the way, it undoubtedly has. In essence, NOM 236 has a primarily humanitarian character.

The rule would apply as follows:

Private transport vehicles: Four years after the date of its commercialization as a new vehicle and, from then on, every two years until the ninth year.

Private transport vehicles 10 or more years after the date of their sale as a new vehicle: Every year.

Intensive use vehicles: One year after the date of sale as a new vehicle and every year thereafter.

What points would NOM 236 review?

Exterior fittings, interior fittings, lighting system, steering system, suspension system, engine and transmission.

Fixed tanks and pipes in vehicles that use gas for fuel.

A World Standard

The physical-mechanical condition review standard has been applied successfully for many years in Europe, Africa and some Latin American countries, and in Mexico it is undoubtedly a pending task. We are certain of the undeniable benefits that it brings, in such a way that hopefully our country adopts it and inserts itself once and for all in the international arena.

All those driver education efforts that lead to saving human lives, as well as avoiding injuries that disable people for life, are more than welcome. The economic losses caused by accidents, which reach multimillion-dollar figures, also deserve a separate mention.

It is for all these reasons that we sincerely hope that NOM 236 receives the green light in the near future, because it will save lives, it will provide a strong boost to the spare parts market and to the automotive workshops of our country, which will greatly help the national economy, improve the safety of mobility on streets and highways, and above all, support the well-being of our people.

Photo by:   Antonio López Díaz