The Centre has decided to extend the implementation of a proposal mandating a minimum of six airbags in passenger cars to October 1, 2023, in the wake of “global supply chain constraints”.
Taking to Twitter on Thursday, Union Road Transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari 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.
“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) had 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.
“A draft notification has been issued on 14 th January 2022, which mandates that vehicles of category M1, manufactured after 1st October 2022, shall be fitted with two side/side torso air bags, one each for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions, and two side curtain/tube air bags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions,” said the Ministry in a statement on January 15, 2022.
“Side/side torso air bag” means any inflatable occupant restraint device that is mounted to the seats or side structure of the vehicle interior, and that is designed to deploy in a side impact crash to help mitigate primarily torso injury and/or occupant ejection, for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions,” it said.
Similarly, “side curtain/tube air bag” means any inflatable occupant restraint device that is mounted to the side structure of the vehicle interior, and that is designed to deploy in a side impact crash or rollover to help mitigate primarily head injury and/or occupant ejection for the persons occupying the outboard seating positions.
The Ministry made the driver airbag a compulsory fitment on all Motor vehicles of category M1 (motor vehicles used for the carriage of passengers, comprising not more than eight seats, in addition to the driver’s seat), manufactured on and after July 1, 2019, in order to ensure the driver’s safety.
Thereafter, it mandated implementation of the front airbag for the person occupying the front seat, other than the driver, in all M1 category vehicles with effect from January 1 this year.