The government has announced that it will be mandatory for all new cars in India to have basic safety features such as air bags, anti-lock braking systems, child restraint systems, seat belt reminders and reinforced body structures from October next year. The government will also make crash test mandatory for all new vehicles. This would indicate a lot of old cars being scrapped from the Indian market on account of non-compliance with the new safety norms. The decision was made after two popular small cars, Maruti Suzuki Swift and Datsun Go, failed the crash test by global testing firm Global NCAP, on Monday.
Since Indian roads are considered the most unsafe in the world. 486,476 accidents were reported in 2013 and around 140,000 people die in accident every year. Thus the new NCAP regulations would make the manufacturers to reinforce the car’s structure in line with European standards, which will enable it to pass frontal and side impact crash tests at 56 kmph. At the moment, all passenger cars in Indian are equipped to withstand frontal crash tests at 46 kmph.
The prices for entry level car will rise by by Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 35,000 from October 2015. Prices of lower-end variants of some small and mid-segment cars could also rise by a similar amount once these safety features become the norm.
Five of the most popular small cars in India, Maruti Alto 800, Tata Nano, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Polo, failed Global NCAP crash tests earlier this year. Since then Volkswagen is offering airbags as standard feature in all models. Later last month, Toyota made it mandatory by offering airbags in its small car Liva and sedan Etios.
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