Mumbai: Automobile industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers or Siam has written to the Karnataka state government, requesting a reversal of a directive issued earlier this week, it said in a statement on a Friday.

Citing safety reasons, the directive prohibits the registration of two-wheelers with less than 100cc engine capacity with a pillion seat.

Siam’s letter cites the central government’s powers to create rules under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989. As per these rules, all motor vehicles are to be tested at one of the notified test agencies of the central government to ensure compliance with all emission and safety regulations notified by the central government from time to time. Thus, the central government law “allows two riders on all two-wheelers," said Vishnu Mathur, director general, Siam.

The state made this policy change citing the rising number of fatalities to pillion riders on two-wheelers, according to a Business Standard report on 23 October.

“The central government rules take precedence over an individual state’s rules. Therefore, we are seeking a revision of this directive," he added.

The order is set to impact most of the two-wheeler firms that sell models powered by sub-100cc engines. Market leader Hero MotoCorp Ltd that accounts for half of two-wheelers sold in the country, is going to be most impacted. Spokespersons at TVS Motor Co and Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (Pvt.) Ltd declined to comment on the share of the region in their entry level models’ sales.

A Hero official, who did not wish to be identified, said on Thursday that the company would see a “significant short-term impact and may take legal recourse to resolve the issue." The company sells five of its motorcycles, including the Splendor+ and PassionPro, in the sub-100cc category.

Bajaj Auto Ltd said it would not be impacted by the ban because all its motorcycles are above 100cc.