Indian cars are notoriously lagging behind their global counterparts in terms of safety features. Companies selling the same car in different markets are also missing out on some key safety features when they launch in India. The Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has called on car manufacturers to start offering more safety to even small and cheaper cars.
He claimed that most small cars are bought by lower middle class buyers, and these cars should also have a sufficient number of airbags. The minister also questioned why manufacturers only provide up to eight airbags in large cars which are often bought by the rich.
According to a PTI report, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways also stressed that his call for more airbags in small economy cars was to ensure safety and prevent possible fatalities in accidents.
The call for better safety standards in the industry comes at a time when manufacturers are demanding lower taxation and have also expressed concerns about more stringent safety and emissions standards. OEMs say these factors impact the price of cars.
Most people in the lower middle class buy small, fuel-efficient cars and âif their car doesn’t have airbags and if there is an accident it can lead to fatalities. I therefore call on all car manufacturers to provide a minimum of six airbags in all variants and segments of the vehicle, âsaid Gadkari.
He further underlined that “in our country, the poor should also benefit from protection (in case of road accident)”. He also recognized that additional airbags in small cars would increase their cost by at least ??3,000-4,000.
Gadkari said, âFor the wealthy you (the automakers) offer eight airbags, and for the economy model cars (used by lower middle class people) you will only offer two or three airbags. How is it? “.
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