Mandatory dual front airbag deadline for existing cars pushed to December 31

Tuhin Guha Updated: June 30, 2021, 11:45 AM IST

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has extended the deadline for existing vehicles to be fitted as dual front airbags as standard to December 31, 2021. The earlier deadline for newly manufactured units of existing models to meet this deadline was April 1. This has been implemented for new models being launched but has been extended for vehicles already on sale in the Indian market. Currently, only the driver airbags is mandated to be fitted as standard on these vehicles. 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.

This extension to the mandatory front airbag deadline seems to be a result of negotiations between the government and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). The industry body had recently approached the government for an extension to this deadline, the new regulations becoming challenging to implement with the production disruptions caused by the pandemic and depressed sales over the last few years.

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. 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.