The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has extended the deadline for mandatory installation of dual front airbags in existing car models by four months to December 31, 2021. The deadline has been extended in the light of the coronavirus pandemic that the country continues to reel under.
In a bid to promote passenger safety in cars, the Indian government, in March, had announced the mandatory provision of dual airbags in front row in all cars manufactured and sold in India. For newer models, the rule was already made mandatory from April 1, 2021. For existing models, only the driver's seat airbag is mandatory at present.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has asked for more time for implementation of the rule on existing models, a senior government official told PTI.
The mandate for dual airbags is based on suggestions of Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety and had been issued as an important safety feature for vehicles on Indian roads. The mandate notification added that the airbags will need to meet the AIS 145 standard under the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specifications.
(Also read | Carmakers should absorb cost increase on mandatory dual front airbag rule: FADA)
The mandate will boost safety in entry-level Indian cars which currently don't feature dual airbags in the front row. The addition of a new airbag will also directly affect the pricing of lower-segment cars in India.
After the government's announcement for all vehicles to be installed with front dual airbags, one of the global leaders in automotive safety systems - Autoliv - decided to set up shop in India. The company will build a new inflator manufacturing plant in the country. Inflator is a device placed inside an airbag which deploys during a crash. It triggers inflation of the airbag to cushion car occupants when involved in such situations.
(with inputs from PTI)