Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Appeals For Cars With Mandatory Six Airbags
Modified On Aug 04, 2021 02:42 PM By Tarun
Recently, the government had passed an order making dual airbags compulsory
The Union Minister has appealed to carmakers to make six airbags a standard feature.
If implemented, cars could become costlier by almost Rs 30,000.
Ford Figo, Kia Sonet, and Mahindra XUV300 come with six airbags.
In a recent meeting with the Society Of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has appealed to carmakers to provide six airbags as a standard safety feature across models and their variants.
Maruti Suzuki is the only company in India that does not offer more than two airbags on any of its cars. "It is all good to talk about more features but it all adds to the cost. Policymakers need to think in terms of the consumer -- how much is he willing to pay and for what," says R C Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. "That is my biggest grouse. Just because it is prevalent in some other market doesn't mean it should be here. The per capita incomes are vastly different. Cars should not become so expensive that the masses cannot afford them," adds Bhargava.
Six airbags include two front, side (front seats only) and curtain airbags. The carmakers might need to make engineering changes to fit more airbags in select models, especially the entry-level ones or those not designed for the same. Also, the addition of four airbags will increase the prices, possibly by around Rs 30,000.
While it is a premium feature, budget cars of around Rs 10 lakh also come equipped with six airbags. The most affordable car to offer the same is the Ford Figo. Other models with the safety feature are Kia Sonet, Kia Seltos, and Hyundai Creta.
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Carmakers like Maruti Suzuki, Renault, and Nissan don’t offer six airbags on any of their models. In April this year, the government mandated front passenger side airbags, which will increase the prices of many entry-level cars like the Hyundai Santro, Maruti Wagon R, and S-Presso.
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