India is to introduce a safety rating system for passenger cars – a move it hopes will encourage manufacturers to offer advanced safety features and boost the “export quality” of vehicles products in the country.
The Department for Road Transport said in a statement it would rate the cars from one to five stars, based on tests assessing adult and child occupant protection as well as safety assistive technologies.
The new system is expected to come into effect in April 2023.
India, which has some of the deadliest roads in the world, has also proposed requiring all passenger cars to have six airbags, despite resistance from some automakers who say it will increase the cost of vehicles. Current rules require two airbags – one for the driver and one for the front passenger.
India is the world’s fifth largest automotive market, with annual sales of around 3 million units per year. Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS), majority-owned by Japanese Suzuki Motor (7269.T), and Hyundai Motor (005380.KS) are the top-selling automakers.