The Central government is all set to make airbags for front passengers mandatory for all the new car models manufactured in India from April 1, 2021 and all existing ones from June 1, 2021.
"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," read a draft notification, issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on December 28.
For the uninitiated, airbags have been made mandatory for drivers from July 2019. Also, safety features like speed alert system, driver and co-driver seatbelt reminder, reverse parking alert system, manual override for central locking system were also made mandatory.
Meanwhile, the Central government is open to hearing suggestions from stakeholders regarding the proposed mandatory provision within 30 days from the date of notification.
If the proposal is implemented, it will affect small automakers like Maruti Suzuki Alto, Hyundai Santro, Renault Kwid etc. The production costs of several small automakers is bound to go higher.