Mandatory Airbag Requirements Might Put an End to These Cars
Government in its latest Auto Industry Development and Export Policy (AIDEP 2021-26) has decided that vehicles shall not be allowed to go on sale after June 30, 2022 whether locally manufactured or imported, which are not compliant of shortlisted WP29 regulations. The shortlisted regulations include the mandatory inclusion of dual airbags (for driver & front passenger) which might put an end to various vehicles on sale in Pakistan, unless the companies decide to upgrade them.
Thankfully the 5th generation Honda City and 2nd gen Suzuki Swift, both of which came equipped without airbags were discontinued earlier this year. While Honda has already replaced the 5th gen City with another globally retired product– the 6th gen City which comes blessed with airbags, Pak Suzuki will be introducing the 4th gen Swift towards the second half of 2022, the specs of which are unknown at this stage but it will have airbags to comply with latest WP29 regulations.
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Some of the new cars in Pakistan that come without airbags
However there are still plenty of vehicles on sale in Pakistan which come without airbags. In addition to Bolan & Ravi, which Pak Suzuki is reportedly working on to replace with newer Every models, cars such as Changan Karvaan, United Bravo, United Alpha, Prince Pearl, Alto VX, Cultus VXR as well as Suzuki Wagon R VXR & VXL are some of the models which still lack airbag protection for their occupants. The Wagon R VXL AGS however, comes equipped with 1 airbag which will needed to be upgraded to meet the standards.
It will be interesting to see if the companies are able to install mandatory airbags in these models, otherwise once the 30th June 2022 deadline is crossed, these cars won’t be able to go on sale in Pakistan. Interestingly, the UN Regulations R114 & R121 for airbags says to “ensures the incorporation of replaceable airbags as well as tests the functionality and reliability of the system” as well as R94, R95 and R135 governs “safety standards for the vehicle occupants in case of frontal, lateral, and rear collisions”, however it is yet unknown how these tests will be carried out on vehicles assembled locally.