Volkwagen's Brazilian arm would soon make airbags and ABS standard throughout its range. The latest entrant to the VW family, the Polo would come with airbags and ABS standard even in its Base variant. Base variants of the VW Cross Fox and Golf would also get these as standard.
However for India, the base variant Trendline does not come with airbags and ABS. Not only VW India, all the major players in the volume market do not offer airbags on the Base and Middle variants. Only few manufacturers offer Airbags and ABS on the top-end variants, while some offer them only as options.
The reason for this is that there are no strict guidelines set by the Indian Transport Authorities on standardized safety equipment in cars. The Brazilian government is taking strict measures to ensure the safety of vehicles sold in their country and they have fixed a deadline of 2014 for all carmakers to offer airbags and ABS as standard in all cars.
We would really wish to see such regulations in India so that carmakers do not take the Indian car buyer lightly and should move from offering 'value for money' products to offering safe, quality motoring to the Indians.
The Nissan Micra which is to be launched on July 14, has a driver side airbag standard, even on its base variant. This would go down the Indian history as the first small car to offer airbags as standard on the base variant.
We wish VW India would at least be offering airbags and ABS as standard even in the base variants of the VW Polo Sedan (Vento) which could be launched during Diwali.