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India proposes mandatory side, curtain airbags in all cars from Oct -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: On August 11, 2019, cars are spotted parked at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar facility in Haryana. Picture taken August 11, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

Aditi Shah

NEW DELHI (Reuters), India’s most deadly road, has proposed on Saturday that at least six passenger cars be equipped with air bags starting in October.

Two side air bags are required by law for every vehicle. The second is mandatory to ensure the safety of those in the back seats.

Side air bags will “help mitigate principally torso injury” in side crashes, and curtain bags “deploy during side impacts or rollover to help mitigate primary head injury”, according to a notification from the ministry of roads transport.

These draft rules aim to reduce the number of Indian road fatalities. According to official data, close to 132,000 people were killed in over 366,000 accidents on roads between 2020 and 2021.

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India is a price-sensitive country and the additional air bags could increase vehicle costs. Most cars in India sell for below $10,000. Maruti Suzuki is the dominant player in India’s low-cost vehicle market. It is majority owned by Suzuki Motor of Japan and Hyundai Motor.

The government welcomes public comments and company feedback over the next 30-days.

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