Car Occupant Safety
Most affordable cars come with only 2 airbags at the most

Car occupant safety would improve if all vehicles come with 6 airbags, but price would increase too

In a bid to improve car occupant safety, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, has requested automakers to equip passenger cars with a minimum of 6 airbags.

The minister met a delegation of CEOs of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in New Delhi on Tuesday and made this appeal.

Gadkari then sent out a tweet which read: “In the interest of passenger safety, I have also appealed all Private Vehicle Manufacturers to compulsorily provide a minimum of 6 Airbags across all variants and segments of the vehicle.”

At present, all new cars sold in India should be equipped with dual front airbags as standard, while the deadline for existing models to be mandatorily equipped with 2 frontal airbags ends on 31st December this year.

While, the Union Road Transport minister has only made an appeal to car manufacturers in the interest of improving car occupant safety, it is not known if the Centre would make it mandatory for all cars to have 6 airbags in the future.

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While some cars do come with 6 airbags, most cars these days only feature a maximum of 2. What’s more, only top-of-the-line variants are equipped with more than 2 airbags in most cases.

If carmakers decide to offer all of their vehicles with 6 airbags, the cost of affordable private vehicles will increase not only due to the addition of extra airbags, but also due to the fact that most models will have to be reengineered.

Moreover, the change would not take place in a jiffy. For example, automakers sought more time even to fit an additional frontal airbag as standard in all cars sold in India earlier this year.

One other thing that Gadkari discussed with the SIAM is with regard to the roll-out of flex-fuel vehicles that are capable of running on 100 ethanol and gasoline. The Union minister wants such vehicles to be introduced in the market within a year’s time.