Cars to get costlier as six airbags mandatory for passenger cars from October 2023

Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari today said that it has been decided to implement a proposal mandating a minimum of six airbags in all passenger cars (M1) category with effect from October 2023.
“Considering the global supply chain constraints being faced by the auto industry and its impact on the macroeconomic scenario, it has been decided to implement the proposal mandating a minimum of 6 Airbags in Passenger Cars (M-1 Category) w.e.f October 1, 2023,” Minister Gadkari said in a tweet.
The government had earlier issued a draft notification on January 14, 2022, and according to the draft notification the 6-airbag rule was supposed to be effective from 1 October 2022 but the domestic automotive industry had sought a re-think on the rule amid rising regulatory costs making passenger vehicles expensive.
The draft notification mandates that vehicles of category M1 (with up to 8 seats) shall be fitted with two side/side torso airbags, one each for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions, and two side curtain/tube airbags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions.
This new mandate of providing 6 airbags will apply to budget to mid-range vehicles that are not equipped with rear passenger airbags, most cars and SUVs on sale under Rs 20 lakh only provide rear airbags and side curtain airbags for the top-spec variants of their cars. This mandate will definitely make vehicles safer for occupants.
Two airbags in all passenger cars are already mandatory and now the average cost of adding up four more airbags would be around Rs 8,000-10,000, with each airbag priced at Rs 1,800 to 2,000 and the modifications costing Rs 2,000. The prices are expected to go up by around Rs 30,000 with the addition of four more airbags.

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