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‘Poor should also get protection’: Gadkari asks small car manufacturers to include more airbags

The appeal for better safety standards in the industry comes at a time when the manufacturers are demanding lower taxation and have raised concerns about the stricter safety and emission norms (Mahindra)Premium
The appeal for better safety standards in the industry comes at a time when the manufacturers are demanding lower taxation and have raised concerns about the stricter safety and emission norms (Mahindra)

  • Even in cars priced above 10 lakhs, only top-end variants get all safety features such as more than two Airbags

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Indian cars are famously behind their global counterparts in the terms of safety features. Companies that sell the same car in different markets also miss out on some key security features when launched in India. Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari has asked car manufacturers to start providing more safety to even small and less expensive cars. 

He claimed that most small cars are purchased by lower-middle-class buyers and these cars should also have an adequate number of airbags. The minister also wondered why the manufacturers are providing up to eight airbags only in big cars which are often purchased by rich people.

According to a PTI report, the Road Transport and Highways Minister also emphasised that his appeal for more airbags in small economy cars was to ensure safety and prevent possible deaths in accidents.

The appeal for better safety standards in the industry comes at a time when the manufacturers are demanding lower taxation and have also raised concerns about the stricter safety and emission norms. The OEMs claim that these factors are impacting the price of the cars. 

Mostly, lower middle-class people buy small economy cars and "if their car won't have airbags and when accidents happen, then it may result in deaths. So, I appeal to all car manufacturers to provide a minimum of six airbags across all variants and segments of the vehicle," Gadkari said.

He further emphasised that "in our country, poor should also get protection (in case of road accidents)". He also acknowledged that additional airbags in small cars will increase their cost by at least 3,000-4,000. 

Gadkari said, "for rich people, you (auto makers) offer eight airbags, and for economy model cars (used by lower-middle-class people), you will offer only two-three airbags. How come?". 

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