The Government of India has announced that the front passenger airbag is mandatory for new cars. The new rule was announced in a gazette notification issued by The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). As per the rules, all new passenger vehicles should be equipped with dual front airbags as standard from April 1, 2021.
The existing passenger vehicles should be sold with driver and front passenger airbags as standard from August 31, 2021. The notification also stated that the new rule was implemented, based on the suggestions from the Supreme Court Committee on road safety. The notification also states that the co-driver airbag should comply with the AIS 145 safety norms.
Previously, the driver airbag was made mandatory for all cars from July 1, 2019. Now, both the driver and co-driver airbags are mandatory for vehicles. In recent years, most of manufacturers have been following the trend of dual front airbags as standard fitment. However, there are some entry-level models, which still miss out on co-driver airbags.
The new rule will also affect the pricing of the entry-level cars as we can expect a marginal price hike due to the new mandatory safety feature. Apart from dual front airbags, other standard safety features include ABS, front seat belt reminders, high-speed alert system and rear parking sensors.