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Old 10th June 2010, 21:20   #46
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I think the governement should take part in this and dictate the rules for basic safety which should include child safety, ABS airbags. Variants should be with or w/o passenger airbags, not entirely w/o them.
Sometimes I wonder we have strict rules for the infamous 'Saree guard' on 2 wheels which is implemented strictly, no matter which international player comes in India, the same should be done for 4 wheelers as well.

But then why should they give bribes to obtain licenses to do business in India right and then get dictated by rules and stuff. Thats just bad business you see.
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Old 11th June 2010, 20:45   #47
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Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
Just want to know why these are offered only on the higher variants. They are not luxury features, these are IMHO , essential items, which help save human lives

I would understand perfectly if manufacturers gave them as standard only on higher end variants, but cant they offer it as an option to those buying the lower end variants?

Are those who cant afford to buy all the gadgets they want to flog not worthy of these safety devices?

This is because manufacturers probably think that base models with these won't have too many buyers, but I'm sure they will.

Taking i10 as an example I'm convinced that a model, called say - 1.1 Era (SAFE) with A/c, PS and Airbags would cost slightly less than a 1.2 Magna, and would have many takers. Similarly, we could have something like a 1.2 Magna ABS, with all the present features + ABS and Airbags would cost as much as a 1.2 Sportz.
I feel cars like the alto too must feature airbags too, and can cost just about Rs 15-20000 more than, say, the Lxi.
I don't see why car manufacturers can't offer such features.

And yes,I agree with princepervez and others, govt. policies on safety must be upgraded.

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Old 11th June 2010, 20:58   #48
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a simple reason is INDIAN Government has no mandate of ABS or AIRBAGS.

Many countries who value the human value more than other aspects of motoring have the Airbags as mandatory.

Yes the price is also more, but govt can pass on subsidy for vehicles fitted with airbags.

even the basic variants of small cars, pickups, trucks etc that are exported from India have airbags fitted to them.
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Old 11th June 2010, 21:36   #49
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You are not alone dude, wearing seat-belts is almost non-existent among non-enthusiasts. I convince my parents, but they are not quite comfortable wearing it..

Weekend I had one of my friend from Australia traveling in my car, He wasn't wearing a seat belt, I asked isn't it compulsory down under, he said yes but still did not bother wearing.

The law should enforce it strictly, that is how one gets to wear the belts.
I seriously wonder what are the law enforcement agencies in big cities like Chennai or Bangalore doing? a few months back, when I was in Bangalore, I noticed almost everyone was not wearing seatbelts. When I asked my cab driver the reason for this, he said "Saab, police wala kis kis ko pakdega?? :-D

I belong to Chandigarh and I guess it wouldn't be possible to drive a distance of 10 Kms in Chandigarh without getting challaned 10 times for it! Ask anybody from Chandigarh, I'm not overstating the figures.
On top of that one gets challaned for touching the zebra crossing with his wheel at a Red Light, crossing an intersection when the light turns amber, high beam, driving on the wrong side in a service lane, using radar detectors, etc etc. Though it gets suffocating but if we give a thought to it, they are trying to do good work.


Although use of radar detectors is legal in India, one can't use them in the city for the fear of being caught by the police who use radar detector detectors and book the guilty under IPC186 Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions.

Last edited by Rehaan : 15th June 2010 at 19:28. Reason: 2 Smileys max as per the Team-BHP rules.
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Old 11th June 2010, 23:09   #50
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Time for radar detector detector detectors!

I only really know the city I live in: I'm encouraged to know there are places where traffic laws are properly policed.
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Old 12th June 2010, 07:20   #51
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Originally Posted by sugam View Post
I seriously wonder what are the law enforcement agencies in big cities like Chennai or Bangalore doing? a few months back, when I was in Bangalore, I noticed almost everyone was not wearing seatbelts. When I asked my cab driver the reason for this, he said "Saab, police wala kis kis ko pakdega??

I belong to Chandigarh and I guess it wouldn't be possible to drive a distance of 10 Kms in Chandigarh without getting challaned 10 times for it!

When I used to live in Mysore,(2-3) and used to travel to Bangalore, I used to see almost all car drivers wearing seat belts, but now, when I live in Bangalore, I see next to no one wearing them. I'm going to request my driver to start wearing his seat belts today.

Because of me, my dad drives strictly following the lane system, and always wears his seat belts. I've also convinced him sucessfuly to buy a newer car with ABS and Airbags.
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Old 12th June 2010, 10:02   #52
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At the risk of repeating what has been said umpteen number of times in this forum, there is no use of providing Airbags/ABS if the consumers dont know what it is for.

People dont like to wear seat belts because they feel it restricts their movement within the car [Why do they need to move?]. People think airbags are a waste because whenever it comes out, it costs a bomb to put it back in. They forget the fact that the air bags are a probable reason why they are alive in the first place. Another thing to consider is that the average driver thinks that nothing will happen to him.

Mandating the car companies to provide both the items as standard will only partly solve the problems. Educating the consumer about their importance is more important as for example the people might still not wear seat belts even when they have an airbag equipped vehicle [which in the end may not even deploy due to the very reason].
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Old 12th June 2010, 15:46   #53
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Why ABS, airbags etc are available only in high end cars??

Simple:

1. The business model and market dynamics for smaller cars do not make it a requirement for OEM's to incorporate these essential items into standard scope. So, they make it as an optional item. The common man looks for 1. Cheap car 2. AC 3. Music system 4. Colour.......... 99. Safety (What is that??)

2. The government has not made these mandatory (which they should). I remember that a few years back even seat belts were featured as an optional accessory!!!

3. The argument against ABS goes like this: "ABS works only at higher speeds and small cars usually do not go at these speeds. So there is no point supplying ABS in small cars"... (I think the people who came up with this argument have not seen our little M800 travelling at 100kmph!!!!)

4. Value for life is bare minimum in our country. So safety will always come as an additional feature...


We just got a new Honda City at home. My dad (an older generation driver) is happy about the City except for "the car keeps beeping if you dont wear seat belts and it is very annoying".... The good thing is that he has not figured out how to disconnect the beep and so he wears the seat belt always...

So unless its forced down our throats, safety will always remain an accessory for us Indians.
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Old 13th June 2010, 14:16   #54
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IMHO, the feature set of a car also depends on buyers. If there's a demand, supply will follow (see what's happened with Power steering / AC? only recently these were 'luxury features'. Now you'd be hard pressed to find a car without either of them).
I remember waiting an extra month because I wanted a car with ABS. The sales manager at the dealership is a close friend of mine and he told me that mine was the only ABS equipped Santro he had sold in the entire month! In such a scenario, whom would you blame - the manufacturer or the consumer?

Also, why just restrict to Airbags / ABS - which cost in the tens of thousands to equip? How many cars have rear wiper/defoggers as standard? very few! This costs maybe a couple of thousand at most and is a vital piece of safety equipment every car should have. Unfortunately, this is found only on the highest spec cars. Again, a function of demand. Most buyers are interested in 'electric mirrors' etc which they can show off as opposed to something like wipers/defoggers which can't be shown off!

I guess legislation is the only way to get all cars to have airbags, abs, wipers and defoggers std. Not just have them, but also get them connected to the ECU so that without wearing seat belts, the car should refuse to move!
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Old 14th June 2010, 13:37   #55
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Nearly all cars that cost over 8 lakh rupees are equipped with ABS anyways. The real concern is over hatchbacks & entry-level sedans.

Should we leave it to the manufacturers then? Well, you really can't blame them. It is the buyer who is responsible. The 3 - 7 lakh rupee segment is so price sensitive that, even on variants where ABS is optional, a very small percentage of customers place an order for the same (Just ask Maruti). Thus, the manufacturers reasoning is : If few are choosing ABS on the premium variants, would anyone pay for the same on entry / middle trim levels? Rs. 15,000 - 20,000 can make or break a deal in the sub 5 lakh market, and that's a fact.

Is it a lack of awareness then? Absolutely! And that's where mediums such as Team-BHP come into the picture. The lay man simply couldn't care less about safety features (they are allergic even to seatbelts & helmets!!) and won't think twice about saving a couple of thousand rupees on "a useless feature". Team-BHP, alongwith other websites & publications, do play a role in educating our readers, but thats still a very small % of the Indian market.

Solution = Government should step in and make ABS compulsory. As simple as that. Some countries are working toward / have already implemented ABS as standard equipment for all 4 wheelers. Why shouldn't India? Think about it:
- Indian emission law standards have matured over the last decade. We are now at the BS IV level, which is on par with Euro IV. In 10 years, we've come from no standard to Euro IV
- Did manufacturers adopt fuel-injection tech of free will? No way on earth!! If it weren't for the strict emission norms in the late nineties, Maruti & gang would have been selling carburetters till this date.
- Until April 1 2010, even premium manufacturers such as Skoda were selling outdated PD diesel engines. Its only after BSIV was made mandatory, that the 15-lakh-rupee Laura got common-rail tech.
- Mahindra used to sell vehicles without seatbelts in the nineties. They only made it standard equipment AFTER the govt passed a law.

Point? The only way to get ABS & Airbags to the masses is via Government legislation. Again, if we've come from smokey exhausts to BSIV in a decade, why not move ahead with ABS & Airbags as standard equipment? Across the board and on every vehicle sold in India!
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Old 14th June 2010, 14:20   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Solution = Government should step in and make ABS compulsory. As simple as that. Some countries are working toward / have already implemented ABS as standard equipment for all 4 wheelers. Why shouldn't India? Think about it:
- Indian emission law standards have matured over the last decade. We are now at the BS IV level, which is on par with Euro IV. In 10 years, we've come from no standard to Euro IV
- Did manufacturers adopt fuel-injection tech of free will? No way on earth!! If it weren't for the strict emission norms in the late nineties, Maruti & gang would have been selling carburetters till this date.
- Until April 1 2010, even premium manufacturers such as Skoda were selling outdated PD diesel engines. Its only after BSIV was made mandatory, that the 15-lakh-rupee Laura got common-rail tech.
- Mahindra used to sell vehicles without seatbelts in the nineties. They only made it standard equipment AFTER the govt passed a law.

Point? The only way to get ABS & Airbags to the masses is via Government legislation. Again, if we've come from smokey exhausts to BSIV in a decade, why not move ahead with ABS & Airbags as standard equipment? Across the board and on every vehicle sold in India!
Agreed 100%. Also, unlike seat belts these need not inputs from the user. Only enforcement required, is that BAN tiny tots from the front seats. Airbag deployment can be lethal for them.
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Old 14th June 2010, 15:14   #57
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That thought sends a shiver up my spine.

With compulsory air bags in Indian cars we could see a lot of dead children. Even Europe had to learn this lesson the hard and tragic way.
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Old 14th June 2010, 15:27   #58
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That thought sends a shiver up my spine.

With compulsory air bags in Indian cars we could see a lot of dead children. Even Europe had to learn this lesson the hard and tragic way.
A more chilling site will be one kid before papa and the other between moma and papa riding on a motor cycle !
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Old 14th June 2010, 15:46   #59
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That is an everyday chilling site. Even worse is the smaller child in the mother's arms: she has, of course, no conception of the energy with which that kid would be torn from her grip in even a slow-speed accident.
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Old 14th June 2010, 15:56   #60
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Agreed 100%. Also, unlike seat belts these need not inputs from the user. Only enforcement required, is that BAN tiny tots from the front seats. Airbag deployment can be lethal for them.
But Sir, the Front Passenger Airbag can be disengaged, right?
This may not be applicable in cars with 4 and more airbags though.
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