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Amid Sanctions, Russia Lets Carmakers Skip the Airbags

And antilock brakes and standard safety belt features.

Auto manufacturing accounts for many safety systems, and the incorporation of such technology has gone far in reducing the number of road deaths. But without those systems, it’s anybody’s guess how a passenger might fare in a crash – an experiment most countries will never have to explore.

But global sanctions in Russia may make it an unfortunate reality for the country’s citizens who need to buy a domestically produced vehicle in the near future.

CBS News recently published a report detailing the lesser known impacts of a swath of sanctions hitting Russia as a result of its action in Ukraine and while the economy is surely suffering now, the Russian people will be seeing the effects for years to come.

CBS says a Western ban on exports of auto components to Russia has coincided with many global automakers either ceasing production in Russia or refusing to sell vehicles there and the resulting shortages in auto availability means Russian produced cars are being modified.

According to the report, the Russian government last week announced reduced requirements for cars which drops regulated safety systems like antilock brakes and even airbags. The decree, which also permits producers to skip the automatic locking feature on a standard safety belt, is in effect until February of next year.

Citing the Kommersant business daily, CBS says the order also reduced emissions standards, enabling cars to be certified that comply with standards established for vehicles produced in 1988 – standards so ancient that Russia even had a different name back then.

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