Centre extends deadline for mandatory implementation of 6 airbags in a car by 1 year


Union Road Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday announced that the deadline for mandatory implementation of six airbags in a passenger car has been pushed by a year, i.e., with effect from October 01, 2023.

The deadline has been extended due to global supply chain constraints being faced by the auto industry and its impact on the macroeconomic scenario, the minister said.

“Considering the global supply chain constraints being faced by the auto industry and its impact on the macroeconomic scenario, it has been decided to implement the proposal mandating a minimum of 6 Airbags in Passenger Cars (M-1 Category) w.e.f 01st October 2023,” the minister tweeted.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in a statement said that in order to enhance the safety of occupants of the motor vehicle against lateral impact, it has been decided to enhance safety features by amending the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989.

“A draft notification has been issued on January 14, 2022, which mandates that vehicles of category M1, manufactured after October 1, 2022, shall be fitted with two side/side torso air bags, one each for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions, and two side curtain/tube air bags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions,” it had said.

January’s draft notification said that vehicles of category M1, manufactured after October 1, 2022, shall be fitted with two side/side torso air bags, one each for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions, and two side curtain/tube air bags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions.

This stance had raised concerns of higher costs with automobile manufacturers saying this measure would adversely affect the sales of low-cost automobiles. It was expected put more pressure on automobile companies who are already dealing with higher prices.

Gadkari had refuted these claims till early this month and claimed that each additional airbag fitted to a car costs only Rs. 900 to the automaker. He said that it is unfair that cars exported from India have more safety features than the same models that are sold in the country.

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, over 1.55 lakh lives were lost in road crashes across India in 2021 — an average of 426 daily or 18 every single hour — which is the highest death figures recorded in any calendar year so far.

According to the report titled ‘Road accidents in India — 2020’, more than 11 per cent of deaths and injuries were caused due to non-usage of seat belts.

“Safety of all passengers travelling in motor vehicles irrespective of their cost and variants is the foremost priority,” Gadkari tweeted.

Gadkari on September 13 said majority of automobile manufacturers in India are already exporting cars with six airbags, and there is a need to adopt similar safety norms for cars in the country, stressing that they should also think about safety of people using small economy cars.

Addressing the annual session of Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), Gadkari pointed out that every year, some 5 lakh road accidents kill 1.5 lakh people and injure over 3 lakh.

“Majority of automobile manufacturers in India are exporting cars with 6 airbags. But in India, because of the economic model and cost, they are hesitating,” he said.

Gadkari wondered why automobile manufacturers are not thinking about the lives of people using economy cars in India. Mostly, lower middle-class people buy small economy cars.

An airbag is a vehicle occupant-restraint system which interferes between the driver and the vehicle’s dashboard during a collision, thereby preventing serious injuries.





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