India to introduce mandatory side and curtain airbags in all cars from October

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NEW DELHI: India, which has among the deadliest roads in the world, on Saturday proposed mandating at least six airbags in all passenger cars made from October 1.

The government wants automakers to provide two side airbags and two curtain airbags, to protect people in the rear seats, in addition to the two airbags already required for all vehicles.

Side airbags are to “help mitigate primarily injuries to the torso” in a side crash, while curtain airbags “would deploy in a side impact or invert to help mitigate primarily injuries to the head”, the Ministry of Road Transport said in a statement. notification.

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The draft rules are designed to bring down the number of fatalities on Indian roads. In 2020, nearly 132,000 people died in more than 366,000 road accidents, according to government data.

The additional airbags would increase the cost of vehicles in the price-sensitive Indian market, where most cars sell for less than $10,000. The low cost car market is dominated by Maruti Suzuki, majority owned by Japanese Suzuki Motor, and Hyundai Motor.

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The government is seeking feedback from businesses and the public over the next 30 days, after which the draft rules will be finalized.

(Reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by William Mallard)

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