Road Transport Ministry has deferred the mandatory installation of dual airbags for front seats in existing car models by four months, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior government official said on Sunday. At present, only the driver’s seat airbag is mandatory for existing models of cars. In view of the prevailing pandemic situation, the ministry has decided to defer mandatory installation of front passenger airbags in the existing car models till 31 December 2021, the official said on condition of anonymity.
“The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has asked for time. For new models it’s already mandatory,” the official added.
The ministry on March 6 had said that vehicles manufactured on and after 1 April 2021, in the case of new models, and 31 August 2021, in the case of existing models shall be fitted with an airbag for the person occupying the front seat, other than the driver. The step is aimed at improving passenger safety in case of an accident.
Previously, the ministry had proposed 1 April 2021 as the date for implementation of the move for new models, while it was pushed to 1 June 2021 for existing models.
In December 2020, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) suggested that since the government’s proposal to make dual front airbags mandatory would lead to an increase in price hence vehicle manufacturers should absorb the major hike in costs to prevent impact on sales.
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