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Old 18th September 2009, 05:21   #1
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Smile Should lack of ABS & Airbags be good reasons enough to turn our heads away?

Hi,

I am posting this not to point fingers or argue but rather as an anxious person who has been wondering about - Should lack of ABS & Airbags be a good reason enough to eliminate a car from my list?

I agree ABS + Airbags are desirable to have. The better safety features a car has the better it is. But, should a good car be ignored because it doesn't have ASB & Airbags? When I was looking for a car, I TDed quite a few and liked the Vista the most. And the lack of ABS & Airbags never put me off. I still want to go with Vista because it suffices my other needs. We have been driving without ABS & Airbags for decades. Yes, they are available now and why should not we use them when they are there. But, the question is should the lack of it make a seemingly good car a bad one even if it scores well in other areas? I have seen people saying "No" because a particular car doesn't have ABS & Airbags even if it scores high on their other paramters of expectations. I am not trying to have a brand war here. Just used the example of Vista since I have experienced it.

What are your thoughts about it?
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Old 18th September 2009, 09:06   #2
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Hi Leonerd...

Hmm...just finished posting my thoughts on a similar post in another thread here. In my view, a vehicle should be chosen based on the objective of use. This is extremely critical, cause once you are clear on the use of the car, say city driving, then everything else sort of falls into place.

ABS is typically a system which prevents wheels from locking up under 'heavy' braking conditions, the type you probably will not see too much in intra city driving. Add to that, the fact that ABS works in tandem with the existing braking system on the car, so there is no change in the braking architecture of the vehicle so to say.

As far as airbags are concerned, these deploy based on the deceleration speed of the vehicle, but again, if you are a city driver, even a collision would be at reasonably low speeds normally (unless you are ripping on the sealink or worli seaface in Mumbai). That said, these technologies are obviously life saving in certain instances and are a 'good to have' option. In India, while ABS is now available in a few cars as standard (the new scorpio Mhawk, for instance), airbags are still a costly option. For the average city motorist, the following should be important in my opinion.

1. Initial cost
2. Ease of driving without having to downshift at low speeds
3. Ease of parking
4. Low cost of maintenance and peace of mind service
5. Fuel efficiency (well, last on the list cause driving in a city like Mumbai, the mileage difference between cars in the same segment is not all that much, in my experience)

So, lack of ABS or Airbags would certainly not put me off buying a good car unless I am going to be a regular highway user.

The vista is a superb VFM vehicle at that price point and I really like the way it looks. Enjoy your car and drive safe!

Last edited by shekharlele : 18th September 2009 at 09:09.
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Old 18th September 2009, 09:40   #3
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ABS and airbags are as optional to car drivers as helmets are to bikers. They will be optional until there is enforcement. Despite what many people might say lots of people still die in accidents within the city.

It is wrong to equate cost with safety. Therefore it is wrong to ask questions like whether Rs 50,000 is worth that ABS-airbag variant. It is like asking a person whether he prefers to die young and rich rather than old and poor. My 2 cents.
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Old 18th September 2009, 10:04   #4
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My brief message would be that they are not a compulsion when your choosing a new car especially if it is going to be driven occasionally on the highway ( like most of us do).

If other manafacturer offers in a comparitive pricing considering you like the other car, then that car would be preferably purely for the additional features offered.

I wouldnt purchase a car just because it has airbags and abs leaving out other more important critera's of a car purchase.
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Old 18th September 2009, 10:13   #5
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This is something that is highly subjective & depends on individual preferences. I can only speak for myself when I say I wouldn't buy a car which doesn't have these features.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shekharlele View Post
ABS is typically a system which prevents wheels from locking up under 'heavy' braking conditions, the type you probably will not see too much in intra city driving.
Over the past four years (period that I've been driving ABS cars), ALL my ABS usage & activation has been within the city, except for a couple of instances on my recent Leh trip. So, I'm not sure your generalization is accurate
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Old 18th September 2009, 10:27   #6
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I agree with Suman. Especially if you have a choice and your budget permits, you should not skip these features.

Just to highlight a recent experience that I had. My Santro Automatic has the ABS (very expensive at that time) option. The other day I was driving in Chennai and when you come down the Kodambakkam flyover from T-Nagar, there is a 90 degree turn to the right in Front of Brown Stone apartments). This road has a median and a father and son on a motorcycle was in the front left side of me taking the same turn as me. We were both not going too fast. Unfortunately heavy vehicle (maybe lorry/bus) had spilled a huge puddle of engine oil right at the 90 degree turn. The Bike was being tilted to the right by the rider to make the 90 degree turn and I was a few feet behind him. The bike slipped on the oil and toppled over right in front of my car. I slammed the brakes harder than I have ever done in my life and my heart stopped beating for a few seconds. When I stopped the car the child was a few inches from the vehicle. I still believe ABS made the difference. Even I used to question the rationale of ABS in the city, but this incident changed my perception. Agreed, this is a freak incident and many of us me included may never come across this scenario, but that is precisely what air bags, ABS, seat belts, head restraints are for !!. For those rare freak moments when they will make the difference.
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Old 18th September 2009, 10:44   #7
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I agree with Suman and 4x4addict.

When i bought the i10, i chose only the top end version since it offered these features.

@shekharlele, my abs has been activated many a times at very low speeds on wet roads and i must say it's very essential.

And to all, what price can you put on your life? 50,000 bucks?

I think that people should also be educated about ABS. It is not some highly served brake that your car will stop better. Many friends of mine drive really fast and say, no problem i have ABS. Abs will help prevent lock ups and give control, it will not reduce braking distance IMO.
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Old 18th September 2009, 11:08   #8
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IMHO, Airbags and ABS must figure in the list and should be given highest importance than Brand , Model , Luxuary etc. Unfortunately, I dont have those in my car , If it could be added easily , I would go for it . For sure. You never know with the life.

Safety isn't a luxury item.
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Old 18th September 2009, 12:09   #9
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If the Getz Crdi had ABS it would have been in my garage today. I made a mistake when I bought the i10 without it, and was not willing to repeat it when the Getz price was rationalized.

But, I understand your dilemma, if you are looking for a car from a manuf like Maruti, the waiting periods get multiplied n-fold the moment you utter ABS or Zxi.
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Old 18th September 2009, 12:21   #10
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Default It is worth putting that extra 20K for ABS

Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
Over the past four years (period that I've been driving ABS cars), ALL my ABS usage & activation has been within the city, except for a couple of instances on my recent Leh trip. So, I'm not sure your generalization is accurate
This is exactly what I wanted to say. ABS no matter is good to have, unless you face a situation when it becomes must have.

On city roads, when u have cyclist cris-crossing and people jaywalking, ABS help in suddent braking. I am not here to say that it reduces the distance or not. Thats another topic to discuss.

It is all about the control you will have on the vehicle in those situations.

The cars I liked but I never thought of buying - GETZ CRDi / VISTA / ACCENT / IKON - only because Lack of ABS

It's my personal opinion. Final decision depends on you.
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Old 18th September 2009, 12:21   #11
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I am NOW sure, that every car we buy will have ABS and Airbags. Regardless of the price difference of that variant over the 'unsafe' variants.
IMHO, all cars should come with these features as standard and companies should not levy stupid charges for them, treating them as extras/accesories.
Accidents can happen anytime . They can kill you if the car is not well equipped to protect you. Hence, it makes sense to get the safest car your money can buy you.
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Old 18th September 2009, 12:30   #12
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I think of it this way...

If ABS prevents one typical city accident, it pays for itself immediately.

Also, If the Getz CRDi had ABS/Airbags, I would have bought one.
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Old 18th September 2009, 12:31   #13
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I have a car that has the ABS and fortunately Disc Brakes in the rear too. If I were given an option of paying extra for the Airbags, I would have gladly done so. I would have scrounged on the ICE department or elsewhere.

For me the foremost thing is to ensure the safety of others, be it your co-passengers or other users of the road.

As others have made a mention, I am also of the opinion that ABS is a feature that is most required whether in the city or on highways.
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Old 18th September 2009, 12:39   #14
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laale di jaan,

It depends entirely on your pocket. Today, unless I was buying an old army jeep for timepass, any new vehicle would have to have it - I'm prepared to wait and save up. I've had more than enough scary situations with the Swift VDi not to wish for ABS/airbags
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Old 18th September 2009, 12:42   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
I've had more than enough scary situations with the Swift VDi not to wish for ABS/airbags
And, IIRC, in your case it was just impatience to get hold of the car that made you go in for the non ABS version
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