Provide at least six airbags as standard in all cars and SUVs: Nitin Gadkari to car manufacturers

In a bid to boost road safety and make vehicles more secure, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has urged carmakers in India to offer at least six airbags as standard on all variants of each model they produce, regardless of body style or which segment they’re positioned in. At a meeting with the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Gadkari discussed the prospect of adding more airbags as standard to all vehicles on sale, as well as the introduction of flex-fuel vehicles in the coming year.

"Met a delegation of CEOs of SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) in New Delhi today. Emphasised on the need for a quick roll-out of Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) capable of running on 100 percent ethanol and gasoline into the Indian auto market within a year's time," the minister said in a tweet.

"In the interest of passenger safety, I have also appealed all private vehicle manufacturers to compulsorily provide a minimum of six airbags across all variants and segments of the vehicle," he added.

At present, most vehicles on sale in India priced above Rs 10 lakh offer six airbags, at least with the top-spec variant. However, most vehicles positioned at the budget end of the segment come with only two airbags at most. All cars sold in India will need to have at least two airbags starting 31 August, 2021, and most models – including some of the most affordable cars on sale today – are already equipped with two airbags. The two-airbag requirement was only made mandatory recently, before which some vehicles were even offered with no airbags at all.

The SIAM delegation also requested deferment of upcoming emission-based regulations such as BS6 Phase 2, CAFÈ Phase 2 and OBD regulations for two-wheelers, according to the official statement.

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