The Tata Nano is a no-frills car, but one of the more well-equipped, pricier versions of the Tata Nano will feature dual front airbags. And with luck, they’ll only increase the cost of the car by a minimum. Autoliv IFB India on the request of Tata is trying to develop a US$10 airbag for the Tata Nano, less than 10 times the price of airbags in other compact cars which cost around US$150 per airbag.
Swedish-American company Autoliv currently supplies 28% of the world’s airbags. In our market, an Autoliv joint venture with a Japanese company called Autoliv Hirotako Sdn Bhd supplies airbags for Proton, and the upcoming Perodua MPV.
Given that even these normally priced airbags sometimes do not work completely as intended and may end up injuring or killing occupants rather than saving them, are US$10 airbags really safe to use?