Government proposes mandatory airbags for passengers in front seats of vehicles

The ministry of road transport on Tuesday proposed to make it mandatory for an airbag be provided for the passenger in the front seat of a vehicle next to the driver.

The proposed timelines for implementation are from April, 2021 for new models and June, 2021 for existing models, the draft notification issued by the ministry said.

The ministry has sought public consultation for the draft notification.

“Comments/ suggestions are solicited from all stakeholders at the following email address: [email protected] 30 days from the date of notification,” the ministry said.

The government’s proposal to make dual front airbags mandatory will lead to an increase in price, and vehicle manufacturers should absorb the major hike in costs to prevent impact on sales, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) said on Tuesday.

“FADA welcomes MoRTH’s intention for mandating dual front airbags. This is a much needed safety norm which India should adopt and be at par with global standards,” FADA President Vinkesh Gulati said in a statement on Tuesday.

He, added that while the government’s vision to make driving safer for its citizens is appreciated, it will definitely increase the price of vehicles. The implementation of BS-VI emission norms led to a big price increase, and this will also come with a price increase, he added.

“We hope OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) absorb the major cost of input due to the second airbag as it will impact the sales in the short-term. It will be bad for the industry, which is able to show growth on MoM (month-on-month) basis, but still lags in YoY (year-on-year) basis after Covid-19 hit us hard,” Gulati said.

By Hindustan Times

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