The addition of front passenger-side airbags will affect the price of entry-level models of cars like the Datsun redi-GO, Renault Kwid, Mahindra Bolero, Maruti Alto and Hyundai Santro
The Indian Govt had earlier announced that the dual-airbags will become mandatory in all passenger vehicles in the country from 1 April. However, because of the current situation created by the pandemic, car companies would need more time to implement the necessary changes in their production lines. Hence, as per the latest updates, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has extended the deadline for installing driver and passenger airbags on the ongoing models to December 31, 2021.
Afterwards, this date was extended by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has requested more time for implementation of the rule on existing models. Earlier, the government mandate the driver side airbag for all vehicles from July 1, 2019. Safety features like reverse parking sensors, seat belt reminder, ABS with EBD and speed alert system were also made mandatory. As per the government, the airbags are required to meet AIS 145 standards under the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specifications. Moreover, because of this new rule, the prices of the base trims are likely to be increased by Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000. This rule will directly affect entry-level variants of the vehicles.
Several cars offered in our market like Maruti Alto, Renault Kwid, Eeco, Mahindra Bolero, Datsun Redi-GO and Hyundai Santro do not feature passenger-side airbags in their entry-level trims. Till now, the only safety feature offered for the front occupant is a seatbelt. Offering an airbag for the front passenger will exponentially increase its safety rating. Many of you may not know that front airbag can decrease drive fatalities by 29 per cent and front-seat passenger fatalities by 32 per cent.
Earlier, the National Highway Traffic Administration estimated that offering a combination of airbags and seatbelts can decrease fatalities by 61 per cent. The airbags alone can reduce the chances by 34 per cent. Moreover, the Indian government is also working to make the Electronic Stability Program and Autonomous Emergency Braking mandatory with the new vehicles retailed in our market.
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