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Indian transport ministry to mandate at least six airbags in passenger cars from October

22. September 2022

India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is mandating that automakers install at least six airbags in passenger cars carrying up to eight people starting in October. According to the ministry, this is to improve the safety of occupants in the event of a collision. The requirement to install the airbags was made possible by an amendment to India’s Central Motor Vehicle Rules of 1989. A Jan. 15, 2022, draft law requires all M1 category vehicles produced after Oct. 1, 2022, to be equipped with at least six airbags, two on the side, two in the door frame and two for the driver and front passenger. Minister in charge of transport Nitin Gadkari told the Economic Times of India his ministry made the installation of driver airbags mandatory as early as 2019 and for the front passenger in 2022. The new regulation with six airbags is expected to increase the safety of vehicle occupants, Gadkari said. Especially in frontal and side collisions, the additional airbags could prevent serious injuries, particularly in the rear rows of seats. Cars and their components must be certified under AIS certification guidelines in India.

By contrast, the auto industry and automotive associations, as well as consumer advocates, criticized the additional cost of the airbags. Initially, automakers tried to apply the new regulation only to larger vehicles. Minister Gadkari countered that low-income families buying small cars in particular would be exposed to a high risk of fatal injuries by such an exemption. Therefore, all vehicles, regardless of size or price range, should soon be delivered with six airbags, Gadkari confirmed. The minister informed that the additional cost of airbags in small cars would only be between the equivalent of $25 to $45, outweighing the added safety.

AIS stands for Automotive Industry Standards, the technical automotive standards for India, while TAC stands for Type Approval Certificate. This kind of automotive product certifiation is conducted by authorities like the International Center for Automotive Technology (iCAT).

Depending on the product category, there are different certification steps. We will be happy to advise you on certification in India like AIS, BIS, WPC, TEC or PESO and are always available to answer your questions.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further details and consultation. You can contact us via e-mail, or call us (UK: +44 2071931135, Rest of Europe: +49 69 2713769261, US: +1 773 654-2673).
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MPR Author

About the author: Verena Numssen is managing director of MPR International GmbH
Publisher: MPR International GmbH

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