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A concern for human life: Nitin Gadkari questioned Why the cars have 6 airbags on export versions but only 4 on cars sold in India.

Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Roads, Transport, and Highways, questioned the producers of budget automobiles on Monday out of concern for human life in India, stated, “The same company, when it sells those cars for the local market, it only puts in four airbags. Are the lives of the underprivileged not deserving of saving?

The recent Mercedes Benz crash that killed billionaire businessman Cyrus Mistry brought safety back into the spotlight. The minister has questioned why automakers equip identical automobiles with 6 airbags on export versions but only 4 on cars sold in India.

Mr Gadkari continued by saying that each extra airbag installed in a car only costs the automaker Rs. 900 and that legislation requiring six airbags in all vehicles produced in India will shortly go into force. Despite Mr Gadkari’s demand for six airbags to be included as standard equipment on all automobiles sold in India, automakers contend that doing so would drive up the price of entry-level vehicles. Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava has previously been quoted as saying that a car is intrinsically safer than a two-wheeler and that the goal should be to get more people off of two-wheelers and into cars. It would be crucial for this to keep entry-level cars cheap, according to Mr. Bhargava.

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