Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has announced changes to the requirement of six airbags in cars in India. The announcement coincides with the launch of the Bharat New Car Assessment Program (BNCAP) scheduled for October 1, 2023, which follows the latest global NCAP standards.
Under the new BNCAP protocol, cars must feature six airbags to achieve a 4- or 5-star safety rating. Minister Gadkari's rationale for this change is that it is voluntary for car manufacturers to provide this important safety feature, making the mandatory inclusion of six airbags unnecessary. The decision is influenced by changing market dynamics, where manufacturers opting for more airbags are gaining market share, while those reluctant to adopt the trend face sales challenges.
It is noteworthy that Minister Gadkari had initially insisted on mandatory inclusion of six airbags in all new cars as a measure to increase safety. However, due to opposition from the automotive industry, the implementation of this regulation was postponed by 12 months from its original deadline of October 1, 2022. The move towards voluntary adoption of six airbags is in line with growing consumer preferences that prioritize vehicle safety. As the BNCAP safety tests come into effect, manufacturers will be expected to respond to this demand by offering better safety features, which will benefit car buyers across the country.
Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the Command-and-Control Centre for Bharat NCAP at CIRT Pune, facilitating star ratings for vehicle safety. Learn about the BNCAP testing protocol's impact on car airbag regulations.More