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Old 4th August 2021, 10:19   #1
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Default MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags

Mr. Nitin Gadkari has urged the automobile manufacturers to increase the number of airbags to 6 as a standard fitment during his meeting with SIAM representatives. Understandably the cost will escalate but nevertheless it'll increase the safety level.

6 airbags

The mandatory 2 airbags rule comes into force after 31st December 2021. Looking at the way the cutoff for this has been extended multiple times, this 6 airbags suggestion will take ages to be enforced.

Quote:
It must be noted however that Gadkari’s statement is just an appeal and for now there is no plan for six airbags to be made mandatory.

A driver airbag had become compulsory for all passenger vehicles from July 1, 2019 and starting April 1 this year, a front passenger airbag became mandatory for all new cars launched, with existing models expected to comply from August 31 initially, though the deadline was then pushed back to December 31, 2021.

Challenges
Installation of additional airbags will help improve a vehicle’s crash safety, however there are many challenges. For one, the additional cost would be substantial especially in the budget segment. A front airbag in an entry level car can cost anywhere between 5,000 to 10,000 rupees and side and curtain airbags can cost double that.

Additionally, installing these airbags will involve a lot of reengineering in cars not originally designed to offer that level of protection. Changes to the body shell, as well as to the interior trim and fittings would be required to make sure that the airbags deploy effectively and safely. In some cases, the vehicles body shell and platform may simply not be able to support this and a manufacturer may simply have to wait for the next generation platform.

In reality, most manufacturers do offer six airbags in at least some of their models however these are all in the higher segments. The budget end of the car market, which also forms the bulk of the sales, do not have cars with six airbags while like Maruti Suzuki , Renault and Nissan, currently do not retail any models with six airbags.

Last edited by BoneCollector : 4th August 2021 at 10:33.
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Old 4th August 2021, 10:21   #2
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Default Re: Govt makes dual airbags mandatory. EDIT: Deadline extended to 31st December '21

The Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, has urged carmakers in the country to standardise 6 airbags.

MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags-smartselect_20210804102012_twitter.jpg

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Old 4th August 2021, 10:25   #3
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Default re: MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags

Urging is one thing, getting it done is different. I hope it comes out as a regulatory requirement than this friendly nudging. With all car makers cutting corners and stripping down features/safety etc to up their margins, it's safe to assume that this advocacy must have fallen on deaf ears. If not for the regulation, there would still be car makers out there who would happily be selling cars without even seat belts, forget airbags.

It took ages to even have a driver side airbag mandatory, then ABS and now two front airbags and so on.

Last edited by Bibendum90949 : 4th August 2021 at 10:28.
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Old 4th August 2021, 10:31   #4
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Default Re: Govt makes dual airbags mandatory. EDIT: Deadline extended to 31st December '21

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Originally Posted by Venkatesh View Post
The Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, has urged carmakers in the country to standardise 6 airbags.

Attachment 2188137

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With such a move, how much do you guys think the car prices can go up by? ₹50k or ₹100k?

With most cars having an unstable structure, can airbags become lethal? Just curious.
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Old 4th August 2021, 10:34   #5
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Default re: MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags

Good move if pushed hard and MoRTH is strict enough to implement the same.

My fear is more on the chassis strength than the number of airbags the car gets. An 'UNSTABLE' chassis won't be of much help irrespective of the number of airbags in the car. Manufacturers should stop the discrimination by providing different chassis for different markets that they cater to (Hyundai/Kia, are you listening?!)

PS: Seat belts needs to be worn too by all passengers to save themselves.

Last edited by a4anurag : 4th August 2021 at 10:35.
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Old 4th August 2021, 10:52   #6
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Default re: MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags

Already cars are unaffordable. These changes will further put them out of reach of the aspiring middle class. I'm glad that it's only an appeal and not a mandate. India isn't ready for this, keeping in mind the economics involved - I'm not stating this with safety in mind.

When you have most people riding 2 wheelers as entire families and when you have the car penetration at only 2-3% of the population, the next logical step toward safety for the masses is to shift many of them into affordable 4 wheelers (which was Ratan Tata's base use case for the Nano). That is a step that would save many more lives than 6 airbags that may not help in different instances (e.g., when a speeding low-slung car plugs itself underneath a truck without an underrun protection bar).

Of course, the market ended up rejecting the Nano for image/aspirational reasons. If we're lucky, we might have basic, affordable electric cars that people can buy instead of 2 wheelers...
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Old 4th August 2021, 11:01   #7
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Default re: MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags

Decisions like this will only push the price of the entry level cars even further, plus considering the fuel price, hike in toll charges, ever increasing insurance cost will only make cars a dream once again for the middle class, forcing them to do keep riding their unsafe Motorcycles.

Imagine the cost of alto 800 with 6 airbags, ABS, EBD, traction control and automatic braking! Most of the current car platforms can't support 6 airbags, forcing them to develop a new one, which adds to the cost even more.

Last edited by giri1.8 : 4th August 2021 at 11:03.
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Old 4th August 2021, 11:46   #8
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Default re: MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags

There is no benefit in giving these type of 'Gyaan'.
Instead of merely suggesting, Transport Ministry can create a 'Policy', and that will be binding, not optional.

As per my knowledge, the crash testing facility at iCAT is already operational.

Hence, why not work towards a policy, which will ensure that each vehicle model is tested by an independent authority (iCAT or ARAI), and a score is awarded, before it goes on sale.
The Policy could define, the least accepted safety score, for a vehicle to go on sale.

Rather than 6 airbags, the focus should be on testing the structural rigidity, and making sure that manufacturers comply with it, rather than doling out such free gyaans.
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Old 4th August 2021, 12:14   #9
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Default re: MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags

I understand the concern with many of the fellow bhp-ians regarding the potential increase in car prices but the fact remains that many cars costing well above 10 lakhs come without 6 airbags as well and even those that do offer them only in top variants or in some specifications like Skoda not offering 6 airbags with their Kushaq automatic. Perhaps the government could provide a cut-off - ideally around 9-10 lakhs above which cars should come with 6 airbags.

But I really wonder how difficult it is really to offer 6 airbags at any price range since there was initial pushback to offer even 2 airbags & ABS but that hasn't affected prices much (as much as inflation, rupee depreciation, taxes & other equipment had).
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Old 4th August 2021, 12:19   #10
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Default re: MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags

Just "friendly suggestions" from government are of no use. These should be part of the policy framework mandated by strong laws to back it up. The Indian government has long allowed Automobile manufacturers to get away with passing-off shoddy offerings to Indian customers. These same brands bend over backwards when it comes to following the stringent rules in Western countries. It's one thing to accommodate legitimate business concerns of these companies, quite another to let them dictate government policies.
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Old 4th August 2021, 12:37   #11
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Default Re: Govt makes dual airbags mandatory. EDIT: Deadline extended to 31st December '21

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbohead View Post
With most cars having an unstable structure, can airbags become lethal? Just curious.
The Transport Ministry should introduce a policy framework that is backed up by a law, instead of "friendly suggestions". Personally think that structural stability should be the first step and only then will 6 airbags make a difference. One in absence of the other does not guarantee passenger safety.
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Old 4th August 2021, 12:52   #12
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Default re: MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags

I feel this would substantially raise the prices of entry-level cars, and in my opinion, preference should be given to ESP and better body structures.

Instead, a graded system could be adopted which goes like:
all cars above 4lakh ex-showroom should have the basics like fog lamps, rear wiper & defogger, 2 airbags;
>12 lakh cars should have ISOFIX, 6 airbags, ESP, hill assist etc.

But first and foremost, Bharat NCAP tests should be conducted, with the results available in public domain! It's been over five years since we have been hearing that crash tests are going to be mandatory.
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Old 4th August 2021, 13:18   #13
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Default re: MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags

I think it is a good idea to follow -Suggestion - Negotiation-Penalty and Disqualification as a policy in all such matters. At least the OEMs will now have one more stakeholder request to satisfy. Doesnt matter if the costs are higher. Our highway network is getting enabled for faster travel and therefore the need for better car technology is obvious.

Its actually sad that OEMs/SIAM haven't really taken a proactive lead in safety innovation.
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Old 4th August 2021, 13:49   #14
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Default re: MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags

India is a price-sensitive market. Standardizing 6 airbags will be too much to ask as per current situations. This will make cars more inaccessible. The inputs costs are going high and the tax structure remains ridiculous. BS6 and Covid related repercussions in various allied industries have already made cars expensive. BS6.2 which is due by 2022-23 will take it to next level.

If this is really a vouch for Safety, I find features like ESP should be mandated before 6 airbags. Preventing accidents from happening should come as first priority. Many of the accidents happen due to vehicles going out of control due to sudden maneuvers.
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Old 4th August 2021, 14:10   #15
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Default re: MoRTH appeals to carmakers to provide 6 airbags

The suggestion of providing airbags is a very welcome idea.
However, safety as a consideration shouldn't be implemented in isolation by looking at just 1 aspect.

Even if the manufacturers were to adhere to this rule of 6 airbags, then what about other aspects like the structural rigidity (NCAP), seat belt pretensioners, use of correct headlamps etc . The list of fundamental safety considerations is endless, atleast in the Indian market.

I would even go to the extent of saying we should get speed governors for cars below a certain engine capacity so that their propensity to increase speed beyond a limit and get involved in an accident - may reduce drastically.

If speeds can be limited in taxis, then why not in passenger cars?

Last edited by JoshMachine : 4th August 2021 at 14:11.
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