A few months before, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways or MoRTH put a proposal for making front passenger airbags compulsory from June 2021. The draft has been passed and got approval from the Government. So all the new passenger vehicles will have front passenger airbags with effect from April 1, 2021.
Vehicle manufacturers will have to strictly adhere to the new Gazette notification. The airbags should be manufactured following the norms of Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) 145. Passenger vehicles built in India will have to follow this provision.
Most OEMs have already commenced with the offer of dual front airbags in a majority of their models. However, there are few models still left, which need to be updated in order to follow the regulation. Because of the inclusion of airbags in the models, customers may experience a hike in the price of about Rs 10,000. The price increase depends on the model and variant of cars.
All the existing models, which still do not offer airbag options for the front passenger, will have to fit the airbags by 31st August 2021.
Implications of the new front airbag rule
The new rule is part of a plan of Centre for improving the safety of car passengers in India. The Ministry put out a draft notification regarding the same for public consultation. The airbag on the side of the driver has been mandatory since July 2019.
The latest mandate is applicable to all the existing models which come under the M1 category. Basically, the M1 category means the vehicles which have eight or fewer number seats. The mandate hints towards the fact that in the next financial year, each of these models needs to have two airbags.
Vehicles like S-Presso, Maruti Suzuki Alto, Wagon-R, Datsun Redi-GO, Mahindra Bolero are being sold without a side airbag in the entry-level variant. All these models will have to comply with this new regulation. The manufacturers will get ample time up to 31st August 2021.