Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, in a written reply in the Parliament stated that all the new cars manufactured from October 1, 2022 will come fitted with 6 airbags as standard safety feature. The Ministry of Road and Transport and Highways had released a draft notification on January 14, 2022 which read that vehicles of category M1 (carrying capacity of upto 8 occupants including the driver) will compulsorily be equipped with dual front airbags, two side/side torso airbags and two side curtain/tube airbags.
The two side/side torso airbags will protect the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions while two side curtain/tube airbags will be for the persons occupying outboard seating positions. "This has been notified to enhance safety for the vehicle occupants. In the event of lateral collision, the side/torso airbags act as cushion between the vehicle body and occupants and absorb energy of impact. The fixed cost of an airbag is a function of volume of the vehicle model produced and shall be determined by market forces. However, the approximate variable cost for 4 airbags [2 side air bags and 2 curtain airbags], may vary from Rs 5600 to Rs 7000. Comments and objections have been solicited from all stakeholders within a period of thirty days," the ministry said in an official statement.