Road Transport Ministry proposes making dual front airbags mandatory starting April 1, 2021

Over the next 30 days, stakeholders are allowed to make their suggestions, the ministry has said.

December 29, 2020 / 04:23 PM IST

From April 1, 2021 onwards, it may become mandatory for auto manufacturers to fit both the driver’s side as well as passenger’s side of cars with airbags.

A draft notification on the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ website has proposed making dual front airbags mandatory in cars, a rule that may be implemented from April 1 and June 1, 2021.

Over the next 30 days, stakeholders are allowed to make their suggestions, the ministry has said. “It is a major step towards road safety. Automobile manufacturers are already offering the option of dual front airbags and so they know the importance of this aspect. We now propose to make it mandatory across models and variants,” a senior official of the Ministry said.

Even the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association has welcomed the proposal stating, however, this would be a second price increase in as short as four months. Auto manufacturers have already announced a hike starting January because of the rising cost of steel and a passenger-side airbag in entry-level cars could hike prices by as much as Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000.

The draft notification issued by the Transport Ministry reads, "Vehicles manufactured on and after 1st Day of April 2021, in the case of new models, and 1st day of June 2021, in the case of existing models, shall be fitted with airbag for the person occupying the front seat, other than the driver. The requirement for such airbag shall be as per AIS 145...under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016."
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