The government’s proposal to make dual front airbags mandatory will lead to increase in price and vehicle manufacturers should absorb the major hike in costs to prevent impact on sales, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) said on Tuesday. In a draft notification, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) proposed to make it mandatory for automakers to provide an airbag for the front passenger, over and above the existing airbag for the driver of passenger vehicles. The ministry has proposed April 1, 2021 as the date for implementation of the move for new models, while it has set a deadline of June 1, 2021 for existing models.
“FADA welcomes MoRTH’s intention for mandating dual front airbags. This is a much needed safety norm which India should adopt and be at par with global standards,” FADA President Vinkesh Gulati said in a statement. He, however, added that while the government’s vision to make driving safer for its citizens is appreciated, it will definitely increase the price of vehicles. The implementation of BS-VI emission norms led to a big price increase, and this will also come with a price increase, he added.
“We hope OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) should absorb the major cost of input due to the second airbag as it will impact the sales in short-term which will be bad for the industry, which is able to show growth on MoM (month-on-month) basis, but still lags in YoY (year-on-year) basis after COVID hit us hard,” Gulati said. MoRTH stated that the step for mandatory front passenger airbag is aimed at improving passenger safety in case of accidents.