India Delays Mandatory Six-Airbag Rule For Large Cars By One Year

India's six-airbag rule for eight-seater cars was to come into effect from Oct. 1, 2022.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>For representation purpose only. (Source: Honda Cars India)</p></div>
For representation purpose only. (Source: Honda Cars India)

India has delayed by one year the implementation of the mandatory six-airbag rule for large cars due to global supply-chain constraints.

"It has been decided to implement the proposal mandating a minimum of six airbags in passenger cars (M-1 Category) w.e.f. 1 October 2023," India's Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted on Thursday. "Safety of all passengers travelling in motor vehicles irrespective of their cost and variants is the foremost priority," he said.

'M-1 Category' vehicles comprise not more than eight seats, in addition to the driver's seat, according to the government's Vahan website.

The six-airbags rule was to come into effect from Oct. 1, 2022.

Earlier this year, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had in a statement said that in order to enhance the safety of occupants of a car against lateral impact, it has been decided to improve safety features by amending the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

"A draft notification has been issued on Jan. 14, 2022, which mandates that vehicles of Category M1, manufactured after Oct. 1, 2022, shall be fitted with two side/side torso airbags -- 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."

India's car safety norms -- or lack thereof -- have been in focus of late due to industrialist Cyrus Mistry's death in a car accident on Sept. 4. The former Tata Sons chairman, who was 54, was sitting in the rear of a Mercedes-Benz SUV that veered off the road and hit a divider on a bridge near Mumbai. He wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

Also Read: Cyrus Mistry's Death Prompts India To Tighten Lax Driving Rules

According to National Crime Records Bureau data, over 1.55 lakh lives were lost in road crashes across India in 2021—an average of 426 lives daily or 18 every single hour—which are the highest death figures recorded in any calendar year so far.