Car makers are not noted for ethics. Take the situation in India. "Reputable" manufacturers have actually removed safety features for the Indian market. So much for the pursuit of safety.
What are statistics that demonstrate that airbags lead to less fatalites in an accident, the severity of injuries, etc.
Carrying airbags adds weigth to a car, which leads to higher fuel consumption. That should also be taken into consideration, since this is also an safety hazard as it increases air pollution. Never mind the maintenance issue. If a car has airbags but they malfunction what's the use then?
But since you mention India. Once I arrived in Mumbay 2am, obviously everything dark. Had to take a taxi. The roads had on many places the lights turned off (or maybe not existing). Anyhow, most of the time the taxi driver turned of all lights on the car. Occasionally he turned them on though. I inquired about this. His answer: "I turn on the lights whenever I see something, so they know I am here.."
I felt it of no use to ask him how he knows that something else is on the road.. Anyhow we made it safely to our destination. Or should I mention train tracks there. I had once a chance to inspect a train overpass, on a route which we just passed with the train maybe 15 minutes before. What I saw just stunned me. About half of the screws holding down the track were loose.
Or then on my way to work here where I live, I can easily have 10 accidents if I want. Many motorbike drivers just dart into the road. If I don't expect that to happen then I'd be going to crash with all these people, The government considered to prohibit anyone over 60 to ride motorbike as they are the bulk of this mindless behavior. For obvious reasons that law never passed legislation
And I think many of us can tell similar stories from many other countries. In the end it appears to me that safety standards are rather dependent on the peoples awareness on the road, than any built in safety features. My driving instructor was an old man, one of his advices stuck to me. It served me rather well : "On the road, think for the others too. Assume that everyone else is an idiot at driving".
So let the manufacturers do what they feel is best for them, wrap it in some nice PR. For safety issues however, in the end, I am the driver and I am responsible. That I drove in many countries without major issues has precisely to do with that. Most of us who know what they are doing can drive anything safely. Many people are different sadly. But what the manufacturers offer to us is in many ways irrelevant. In a country where safety issues have high priority, it does not surprise me at all that they are a major selling point. However in many countries, safety isn't top priority, and it shows.
And well with the Aston Martin global recall of yesterday ( http://money.cnn.com....html?hpt=hp_t3 ) it should be obvious that safety is partially a feeble issue of the mind.
Edited by HP, 06 February 2014 - 06:08.