If the Road Transport and Highways Ministry has its way, automakers could soon be forced to equip cars with airbags, rearview sensors, speed warning systems and more on their cars in India. The Road Transport and Highways Ministry in a draft notification said that it will make it mandatory for all automakers to equip not just new cars but even existing models with the above mentioned equipment, making them standard fitments from October 2017.
This long list of safety equipment would now include airbags, rearview sensors, speed warning systems with audible beeps and even seatbelt reminders. According to multiple sources, October 2017 would be the date beyond which the above mentioned equipment would have to be standard on cars launched and sold by automakers.
As for the existing or recently launched models, manufacturers will have to figure out workarounds for the same and ensure that the on road models do have the equipment fitted into place by October 2018.
With that in mind, manufacturers will have to head back to the drawing board to make the necessary changes in order to accommodate such equipment in existing models. This applies more to the budget segment than any other category because most cars in this segment come devoid of all these features. To be fair, many of these automakers import and export cars to and from countries where these safety features come as standard, so it shouldn't be that hard to comply with these standards in the near future. However, the cost of these updates will be high and it remains to be seen how much of it is passed on to consumers.
A PTI report also pointed out that the government plans to set up its own safety authority called the Bharat National Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) that will have its own rating for vehicle safety.
Updated Date: Nov 10, 2016 18:27 PM