In order to ensure adequate safety for the driver and occupants in a four-wheeler, the Government of India has made the front passenger airbag mandatory for all the passenger cars. The Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a gazette notification in this regard. With this new regulation coming into effect, a few companies with entry-level models will see a small price hike. We can expect the price of the car to rise between Rs 5000 - Rs 8000, once the change is implemented in the entry-level cars.
Until now, only the driver-side airbag was made mandatory by the Government. However, the Union Government has modified the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. The amendment now states that the co-driver airbag will have to conform to the AIS 145 (Automotive Industry Standards) safety norms till the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specifications are notified. All the new models that are supposed to be launched in the market in the upcoming financial year will come with dual front airbags as standard safety fitment. The new rule will be mandatory from April 1 in the case of new vehicles. As for the existing vehicles that are on sale in India, they have time till August 31, 2021, to get the necessary changes done.
Talking about the dual airbags, they are quite common in the top-end variants of mid and high-segment cars. In a country like India, if you need an extra airbag in low-budget vehicles then you will have to pay extra charges for that. Passenger vehicles like Maruti Suzuki Celerio, S-Presso, Alto, Wagon R, Hyundai Santro, Datsun Redigo, Renault Kwid, and Mahindra Bolero are still being sold either without a passenger airbag or with one offered as a paid option. Thus, this new rule will only provide an added degree of protection to the co-driver in case of any accidents.
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