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The Indian government has announced its decision to make passenger-side airbags mandatory on all cars. The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) in a gazette notification, stated the introduction of a new rule, according to which all new cars in India will need to have dual front airbags as standard across all variants, starting from 1 April 2021.
Similarly, vehicle manufacturers will be given time till 31 August 2021 to fit dual front airbags across all its existing models in the country. This includes entry-level cars and variants, which often miss out on this, offering a single airbag for just the driver.
The announcement to mandate the need for dual front airbags is part of the government's plan to improve the safety of passengers in cars. The new rule was also based on suggestions of the supreme court committee on road safety.
According to the new rule, the dual front airbags also need to meet the (Automotive Industry Standard) AIS 145 standards, till the corresponding BIS (Bureau Of Indian Standards) specifications are notified.
The need for dual front airbags as standard fitment has been a topic of discussion for quite a while now. With an increasing number of car buyers now prioritising vehicle safety ratings, it is important for manufacturers to offer this equipment as standard.
India had previously mandated airbags across all cars across the country. However, to keep the price in check, vehicle manufacturers offered the entry-level variants of their models with a single airbag, while the mid and higher trims of the same model received multiple airbags and safety equipment.
With the new rule mandating dual front airbags as standard fitment, it is beneficial for entry-level cars and variants. However, the addition of these features will lead to a marginal price hike as a result.
Thoughts On The Passenger Side Airbags Being Made Mandatory
The rule of making dual front airbags mandatory across all cars and variants is a good move by the government to improve road safety. With more and more car buyers now looking at safer cars, the inclusion of dual front airbags as part of standard fitment is a welcome addition.