All cars manufactured in India from August 31, 2021, will have to be mandatorily fitted with a co-driver airbag, the Central government has announced. In December 2020, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had proposed to make a co-driver airbag mandatory for all cars manufactured in India from June 1, 2021.
A draft notification, dated December 28, 2020, was issued by the MoRTH regarding the proposal and the stakeholders were asked to provide their suggestions within 30 days from the date of notification.
“Government has made it mandatory for vehicle manufacturers to fit airbags for the person occupying the front seat other than the driver,” the MoRTH said in a tweet dated March 5, 2021. “It is applicable on vehicles manufactured on & after 1st April, 2021 in case of new models, & 31st August, 2021 in case of existing models,” the tweet added.
The Central government had made safety features like speed alert system, driver and co-driver seat belt reminder, reverse parking alert system, manual override for central locking system and driver airbag, mandatory for all the passenger vehicles manufactured in India from July 1, 2019. However, a co-driver airbag was not required as standard safety equipment.
At present, a co-driver airbag is offered as an optional feature in lower variants of several vehicles.