Manufacturers’ complaints about cost increases have been dismissed by the Minister of Roads on Six Airbags, Transport, and Highways.
The installation of additional airbags as standard equipment will be the next big change in Indian car safety rules. While the legal documentation for this new mandate is still being finalized, Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has announced that all cars must henceforth have six airbags.
Gadkari has advocated for all cars to be equipped with at least six airbags. In January 2022, the ministry issued a draught notification outlining new rules that will require all cars to have six airbags as standard. According to the notice, this rule will take effect on October 1, 2022, for all new cars.
In the past, India’s car safety regulations were not the finest. The installation of a driver’s airbag became necessary on April 1, 2019. Dual airbags were just made required in January. Along with dual airbags, the government mandated that all cars include rear parking sensors and anti-lock brakes.
Vehicle manufacturers reacted to the news with typical skepticism for a variety of reasons. The most obvious disadvantage of the new law would be the additional costs, which would invariably be passed on to the ultimate buyer, raising the price of each car. Making even entry-level cars a few tens of thousands more expensive would almost certainly result in a decline in demand.
The greater issue with this edict, from a practical sense, is that it will not be the most effective means of enhancing road safety in India. Some of the limitations of this new regulation are discussed in our in-depth examination of the derived benefits of six airbags vs other more proactive safety systems.
Gadkari’s most recent speech, made during the Lok Sabha session on March 22, 2022, was “Badne do” in response to concerns over rising costs. He underlined that his first priority, regardless of model or cost, was the safety of residents on the road.
According to sources, adding all six airbags, including side curtain airbags, might increase car pricing by at least Rs 50,000.
The new regulations will also ensure that all variants of every automobile sold in the country come with a minimum of six airbags as standard, as opposed to the existing system, which only includes the top-spec models with all available safety equipment.
Currently, luxury cars from European automakers such as Mercedes, Audi, and BMW appear to be the only vehicles that appear to have the full range of airbags in all variations. However, once the new standards are in place, all new automobiles on Indian roads will be required to have a minimum of six airbags as standard equipment, which will result in a price hike.
At the time of publication, no official document has been produced by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in response to Gadkari’s Lok Sabha declaration. We believe the finer points of the new regulation are still being ironed out, but we expect it to be revealed soon.
Thoughts on the government’s plans to require all cars to have six airbags?
Minister Gadkari has been a strong advocate for improving road safety in India. His most recent measures, initially announced in January and now approved by Parliament, will ensure that more lives are saved on Indian roadways in the event of a mishap or rollover. Any additional money paid on a new car to guarantee this is money well spent “as read and reported by www.cardekho.com”.