GUWAHATI: The government has deferred the proposal of mandating a minimum of 6 Airbags in M-1 category passenger cars by a year and the new date is now October 1, 2023.
The announcement was made by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday.
In a tweet, the Union Minister said, "Considering the global supply chain constraints being faced by the auto industry and its impact on the macroeconomic scenario, it has been decided to implement the proposal mandating a minimum of 6 Airbags in Passenger Cars (M-1 Category) w.e.f 01st October 2023."
He added, "Safety of all passengers travelling in motor vehicles irrespective of their cost and variants is the foremost priority."
Earlier, this year the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in a statement said that in order to enhance the safety of occupants of the motor vehicle against lateral impact, it has been decided to enhance safety features by amending the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989.
Gadkari, till Thursday, had said that the government will implement the regulation regardless of concerns raised by automakers about the impact on the cost of manufacturing four-wheelers.
"The same company, when it exports those cars, puts in six airbags but when they make them for the locals, they only put four. Are the lives of the poor not worthy of being saved?" said Gadkari at an event recently.
Earlier the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways had made the driver airbag a compulsory fitment on all Motor vehicles of category M1 (motor vehicles).
Category M1 means a motor vehicle used for the carriage of passengers, comprising not more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat.
The rule was made for vehicles manufactured on and after July 1, 2019, to ensure the driver's safety.
An airbag is a vehicle occupant-restraint system that interferes between the driver and the vehicle's dashboard during a collision, thereby preventing serious injuries.
A draft notification was issued on January 14, 2022, which mandates that vehicles of category M1, manufactured after October 1, 2022, be fitted with two side/side torso airbags, one each for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions, and two side-curtain/tube airbags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions.
The ministry of road transport and highways, earlier this year, had made it mandatory for six airbags to be installed in all passenger cars that can carry up to eight people. The rule was to start from 1 October 2022. Many automakers had asked the ministry to reconsider its decision since it would have a drastic impact on the small-car market.
However, the notification for implementation has been deferred.