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Six airbags could soon become the norm for safety in India.

  • Posted by https://carbike360.com/ On 04-Aug-2021 10:05 AM

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Nitin Gadkari advocates for higher safety norms by suggesting six airbags for all cars.

  • Dual airbags are mandatory from December 31, 2021.
  • The ministry appeals to carmakers to increase it to six.
  • Expect vehicle prices to rise substantially if it materializes.

The idea of having six airbags for the safety of passengers is welcome, but the challenges of implementing it are many.
Nitin Gadkari, the Honorable Minister of Road Transport and Highways, has appealed to all carmakers to enhance safety levels in all the vehicles sold in India. The first step towards doing so is to include six airbags in all vehicles. The Minister echoed his sentiments when meeting the representatives from SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers). He tweeted about his appeal to private car manufacturers to provide at least six airbags to enhance passenger safety.

However, one should note that it is an informal appeal, and there are no plans to make it mandatory. Nevertheless, all new cars manufactured after July 01, 2019, should mandatorily have a driver airbag. The Government extended safety norms for cars to include two frontal airbags for each vehicle from April 01, 2021. While the deadline for car manufacturers to comply was August 31, 2021, the Government has extended it to December 31, 2021.

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Costs can rise substantially

While no one can deny that having additional airbags can enhance safety levels for car passengers, there can be myriad challenges. The cost involved can be substantial, especially in the entry-level or budget segments. The frontal airbag could cost anywhere between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. Having curtain airbags could double the cost.

Besides, installing airbags in cars requires reengineering, especially in cars not designed to provide such high safety levels. For example, it could involve changes to the interior trim design for the successful deployment of airbags. But,
unfortunately, the vehicle platform and its body shell might not support these changes. Under such circumstances, the manufacturers have to wait for the launch of the next-gen platform.

Many car makers offer six airbags in their higher-end variants. However, the budget-end variants forming the bulk of purchases in India do not come with airbags. Moreover, India’s top manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki, Nissan, Renault, etc., do not offer any vehicle with six airbags.

Hence, this idea of having six airbags could take time for its implementation. However, the SIAM representatives have taken these suggestions positively. Therefore, the day could dawn soon when every Indian car would come with six airbags for enhanced passenger safety.