Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways confirms all-new Indian cars in the market will have six standard airbags. In January, Gadkari approved a draft notification to attach six mandatory airbags in cars with eight people capacity. The update will come into action from October 1, 2022. This addition to the number of mandatory airbags will increase costs by a minimum of Rs.50,000/-. Currently, the models and variants which offer 6 airbags see a hike in the cost of Rs.10 Lakhs.
The recent announcement didn’t come with a timeline. However, the draft notification stated that new cars will follow the revised safety norms from the 1st of October, 2022.
Airbag Draft Notification
According to the draft notification dated January 14, 2022, vehicles manufactured after 1st October 2022 that facilitates up to eight passengers and weigh less than 3.5 tonnes, also known as M1 category vehicles, will have an extension with two front airbags and two curtain airbags. The necessity for the attachment of these airbags will be verified with deference to AIS-099.
Vehicle Safety in India
It is generally considered that India’s automotive standards aren’t the best. But from April 1, 2019, multiple safety features became mandatory, from a driver-side airbag to a passenger airbag. The government trusts that the addition of more airbags will make automobiles safer. In spite of its truth, the additional airbags will increase the cost of the vehicles by a minimum of Rs, 50,000.
As of today, some car manufacturers like Renault-Nissan, Hyundai, Tata, etc. fail to offer six airbags on all their cars. While there are other brands that do offer six airbags, they do it only in models and variants at an upward cost of Rs.10 lakh. A notable exception in this price range is Kia Carens offering six airbags in all their variants. The all-new 2022 Maruti Baleno offers six airbags only for the top-spec variant. Thus the update is not likely to ring a bell with the auto industry. But irrespective of that, it can still be a hook for the development of crash safety.