Front passenger airbag to be mandatory in India from April 1

Tuhin Guha Published: March 08, 2021, 09:35 AM IST

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a gazette notification clarifying that front passenger airbags will become mandatory on all new cars sold in India from April 1, 2020. The ministry had late last year issued a draft notification to this end but this has now been implemented in law with an amendment to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. The April 1 deadline is for all new models launched in the country, existing models have until August 31, 2021 to meet this new regulation.

This is the latest ruling in the ministry's push to improve the safety standards of passenger cars sold in India. A slew of safety measures have been implemented since 2019 like making the driver's airbag, ABS, seatbelt reminders, rear parking sensors and a 120 kmph speed warning mandatory fitment on all vehicles sold in India. The government is also looking at implementing tech like electronic stability control and autonomous braking to further improve the safety proposition of cars sold in India.

This move will have the most effect in the lower, most price-conscious segments of the Indian car market. Most mid to high spec cars in India already come with a passenger airbag fitted as standard. Expect prices of these entry-level vehicles to increase marginally as it is unlikely the carmaker will absorb the added cost this move entails.