Government Recognized Concerns Of Automobile Industry, R C Bhargava On Deferring of Six Airbags Norms The Maruti Suzuki India chairman also said that next year may be adequate for some car manufacturers but would not be enough for the companies who would need to make structural changes in the car to accommodate the six airbags
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Maruti Suzuki India chairman R C Bhargava, on Thursday, said that the government has recognized the genuine concerns of the automobile industry by deferring the implementation of the norm to make six airbags mandatory in passenger cars by one year to October 1, 2023. The government had earlier planned to make six airbags mandatory in eight-seater vehicles for enhanced safety of occupants from October 1, 2022.
"Industry had been seeking postponement because there was not enough time to comply and the market was down and it is great that the government has recognized the validity of what we were saying and they have acted very supportive of the industry," said Bhargava, in a statement.
He also added that the next year may be adequate for some car manufacturers but would not be enough for the companies who would need to make structural changes in the car to accommodate the six airbags.
"Those cars which require modifications to the body to accommodate the airbags will take a longer time, other cars can be done in the timeframe," said Bhargava.
Announcing the government's take on this matter, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari, had earlier tweeted that, "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 six airbags in passenger cars (M-1 category) from Ist October 2023."
Mentioning about the same in an industrial event held in New Delhi, Gadkari said in a statement that, "The majority of automobile manufacturers in India export cars with six airbags. But in India, due to the economic models and costs, they are hesitating." The minister also significantly pointed out that, the safety of all passengers travelling in motor vehicles irrespective of their cost and variants is the foremost priority.
Earlier when the government issued the airbag norms, Bhargava had said that such a move will hurt the sales of small, low-cost cars and put more pressure on companies already facing high costs.
According to reports, over 1.55 lakh lives were lost in road crashes across India in 2021, that measures an average of 426 daily or 18 in every single hour.