Car manufacturers in India will finally have to mandatorily equip their cars with airbags and anti lock braking systems (ABS) from October of 2015 onwards. Even now, on several budget vehicles, these features are provided only as optional extras and sometimes, not at all.
India will also get its own vehicular safety standards called the Indian New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), which will be similar to the United Nations NCAP and the Euro NCAP. These new regulations will come into effect from October 2015 and, apart from ABS and airbags, they also state that all car makers are required put their models through frontal and side impact tests at 56 kph. Up until now, the crash tests were done at a speed of 46 kph and manufacturers did not need to do side impact collision tests.
Automotive safety is being taken more seriously in India; a point made by the recent failure of the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Datsun Go in the Global NCAP crash tests. Earlier this year, several other cars also flunked this test including Tata Nano, Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Volkswagen Polo, Ford Figo and the Hyundai i10. Out of these, Volkswagen has kitted out the Polo with measures like dual front airbags and gone on to receive a 4 star (out of 5) safety rating.