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Old 30th April 2011, 22:16   #1
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Default Optional safety features with base variants.

First thread ..So please bear with me.
Importance of basic safety features (ABS and Airbags mostly) is very much discussed/acknowledged in this form and overall.so now Its time to demand for choice.


At one side, car ads show importance of these features with some graphics also(Mostly when launched first), but on other side all car manufacturer offers these safety features only with huge PREMIUM.


We can understand that there is a cost associated with any feature, but We must have choice as a customer.
Toyota Etios is only car which comes with base model + optional safety kit.


We want ALL car models with optional safety kit kind of variants, e.g. swift ldi + ABS & front airbags with the price of Vxi(roughly), so it should be up to customer to choose between safety and luxury(?) features in case of limited budget.


I don't understand why I should buy power windows/body colored mirrors/body colored bumpers/OEM ICE/etc.etc.. first to qualify for safety features.

Also,this topic is already raised by many of our friends in various other discussions, but purpose of this thread is to put a unified voice before representatives of indian car industry who are part of our community.

What say friends??

P.S. Please suggest if similer thread already exists.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 01:17   #2
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

I agree. Atleast some features like the ABS should be optional in all variants and all models. I have known one too many people, who opt against these just because they need to pay a premium, not only for the feature, but for the additional bells and whistles they don't want or enjoy.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 01:33   #3
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Ideally yes - I expect all manufacturers to provide the safety features as optional at least! Some reasons I could think of them not providing these as options

1. Adds complexity to building the car with all the options. For eg. as of now Swift LDi does not have any safety options. So when an order is placed in the factory, they could just go ahead and adhere to their normal process and build it quick without checking for any options. If they have an option whether the safety kit could be added, then they will have to check it and then look for the related equipments which will take more time to finish assembling a car than the normal standard process.

2. I know for sure there used to be delay / shortage for ABS & Airbags in Maruti [not sure whether this is not an issue now]. So naturally the models with ABS used to take much more time for delivery since the kits were not available. In the same time frame, they could manufacture much more LDis which do not have ABS in it.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 02:49   #4
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Nissan Micra comes with Airbags in all variants.

The reason for the problem you allude to is one of demand and supply. Most people do not chose Airbags/ABS over a music system for example.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 10:22   #5
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vina View Post
Nissan Micra comes with Airbags in all variants.

The reason for the problem you allude to is one of demand and supply. Most people do not chose Airbags/ABS over a music system for example.
And none of the Diesel variant comes with ABS. Why do some Manufacturers think lives of Diesel car owners/Lower Variant owners are cheaper?
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Old 2nd May 2011, 10:35   #6
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

If cars did come with "optional" safety features like ABS, ESP, Airbags etc., they are fit by dealers, right?

Is fitment of these technologies easy once the car is out of the factory in the sense that the mechanic can install it without fiddling much with the factory wiring?

If "optional" features are simple to install, why do manufacturers don't bother to make them available for every variant!

Quite agree, why pay for body-coloured mirrors, bumpers and all the jazz just for some safety!
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Old 2nd May 2011, 10:42   #7
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

+1.
The only way this will happen is if the Govt. makes it a rule (like they did with the Seat belts). In my view, 2 airbags in a car must be mandatory. ABS could be optional.

Also, I would like to see crash test ratings for cars made/sold in India. Why don't we ever see this in India?
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Old 2nd May 2011, 11:08   #8
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
If cars did come with "optional" safety features like ABS, ESP, Airbags etc., they are fit by dealers, right?

Is fitment of these technologies easy once the car is out of the factory in the sense that the mechanic can install it without fiddling much with the factory wiring?

If "optional" features are simple to install, why do manufacturers don't bother to make them available for every variant!

Quite agree, why pay for body-coloured mirrors, bumpers and all the jazz just for some safety!
ABS/airbags etc. can not be fit by the dealers, they have to be done at the assembly line (otherwise the cost is way too much).

However most of the rest can be done at the dealer's level.


I think it may also have to do with the car companies margins, especially in small car segment the margins are pretty thin and more likely than not they don't make much money on the base varients. If things like ABS were provided on the base variant then sales would suffer even more.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 11:28   #9
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Safety features (seatbelts, airbags etc) should be considered as the utmost priority. These should come in as standard fitment albeit at a slightly higher cost. Other bells and whistles can be made optional which could be fitted by dealers too(yes, with warranty same as factory fitted one). Don't think I am asking for too much :-)
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Old 2nd May 2011, 12:06   #10
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

My Take on this topic -

We have close to about - 30*913 ~ 28K T-BHPian on board here, but how many have come across with a situation wherein the Air Bag has opened up or ABS has really been the deal breaker?

I guess (my assumption) less or around 1%.

Now, with the Air bags and ABS increasing the cost of a car by 1L minimum, in India where more often than not we drive in a Bumper - 2 - Bumper traffic with occasional highway trips, it makes no sense to pay a premium for these safety features.

OT - How I wish there could be a Cruze sans ABS and Air bags priced @ 10.5 OTR.

Happy Motoring !!
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Old 2nd May 2011, 12:10   #11
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkbkr1212 View Post
Safety features (seatbelts, airbags etc) should be considered as the utmost priority. These should come in as standard fitment albeit at a slightly higher cost. Other bells and whistles can be made optional which could be fitted by dealers too(yes, with warranty same as factory fitted one). Don't think I am asking for too much :-)

Seatbelts are compulsory anyway, ABS should be. Data on airbags is sketchy and at our speeds it may not make sense to make an expensive part such as this mandatory - though with more cars putting it the costs will go down and minus the alloy wheels etc. (which can and should be put by the dealer) people may not mind paying the differential.

Mahindra Thar made a big step in this direction (I believe out of the fact that they had no option), Tata/Maruti/Toyota offer ABS and Airbags on separate models in certain cars but even the ABS is not available on the low-end varients.

I think they should and would go further once there is spontaneous demand.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 12:14   #12
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquedo View Post
My Take on this topic -

We have close to about - 30*913 ~ 28K T-BHPian on board here, but how many have come across with a situation wherein the Air Bag has opened up or ABS has really been the deal breaker?

I guess (my assumption) less or around 1%.

Now, with the Air bags and ABS increasing the cost of a car by 1L minimum, in India where more often than not we drive in a Bumper - 2 - Bumper traffic with occasional highway trips, it makes no sense to pay a premium for these safety features.

OT - How I wish there could be a Cruze sans ABS and Air bags priced @ 10.5 OTR.

Happy Motoring !!
Oopsey, that's not a good reasoning.
Does anyone take term insurance "hoping" that it can be cashed at some stage?
Even if your car is hit by someone, seatbelts/airbags can save you, not necessarily one has to go and bang another vehicle.
At least in Bangalore roads, one gets to see lots and lots of maniacal cabbies and BMTC buses.
Please note, just my thoughts. For me safety comes 1st, that's it so not interested in war of words.
Finally it's up to the individual what sort of vehicle one wants to own/drive
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Old 2nd May 2011, 12:23   #13
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Guys, understand one thing. Safety is not a tool, its just a way of life rather style of living.

We have people who have Airbags in thier car and they keep zooming above 100kmph. Also we have people who do not have airbag and drive not more than 50kmph.
Now tell me which of these two are safer?

Understand, what we are suggesting in this thread is making life insurance compulsory in India. Note that its not the case even in developed countries.

Again, I am not saying that its not required. I am saying that one must leave this factor to the buyer not enforce it.

India is a country which at first cant afford cars in itself. That being the case, adding 50K more to the cost doesnt help.
We will surely reach a tipping point when atleast there are 30 cars per 1000 I guess then we can think of such a rule. Dont think at such priliminary stage we need to enforce a rule.

Understand just mimicking developed countries is not going to help the cause, in countries like US, there is a car for every person. With that, they can afford to have such a rule not in India.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 12:36   #14
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

This is for the first time that I have thought of having a basic safety feature (i.e. ABS ) while buying my next car. I have recently booked a swift vdi ABS . Although the dealer was adamant that I should book a non abs model by saying that "abs model will take one extra month than the regular waiting period for a non abs model" . But after giving a second thought I decided to go for an ABS version only. Hoping that my life worth a lot more than the 20k I will be saving for buying a non ABS car.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 12:52   #15
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquedo View Post
My Take on this topic -

We have close to about - 30*913 ~ 28K T-BHPian on board here, but how many have come across with a situation wherein the Air Bag has opened up or ABS has really been the deal breaker?

I guess (my assumption) less or around 1%.

Now, with the Air bags and ABS increasing the cost of a car by 1L minimum, in India where more often than not we drive in a Bumper - 2 - Bumper traffic with occasional highway trips, it makes no sense to pay a premium for these safety features.

OT - How I wish there could be a Cruze sans ABS and Air bags priced @ 10.5 OTR.

Happy Motoring !!

Two things -

Airbags by themselves probably wouldn't cost more than 30k (figo ZXI vs. titanium difference is about 45k, and that buys you ABS, airbags both). ABS is something you can use in city also (my uncle broke his arm when his scooter skidded on oil spilled on the road - he was on a flyover - a car might as well have jumped the flyover in that condition.) and is highly recommended.

I would rather more powerful cars keep coming by default with expensive features. It'll keep them out of more hands - keeping me safe from them.
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