Russia Lowers Car Safety Standards Post Sanctions, Airbags and ABS No Longer Mandatory

Russia has relaxed safety standards for cars produced on its soil – such as scrapping the requirement for airbags – after Western sanctions on Ukraine caused a shortage of electronic components and auto parts. In a decree signed on May 12, the Russian government announced a list of reduced requirements for certification of some types of new vehicles produced in the country. The production of cars without sensors includes anti-lock braking system (ABS), airbags, or an emergency lock retractor (ELR) for seat belts. The decree is valid until February 1, 2023.

In accordance with the same decree, Russia will also significantly reduce its environmental standards for cars, the trade daily Kommersant reported in its Monday edition, bringing them back to the standards of cars produced in 1988.

After Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in late February, Western countries hit Russia with a barrage of sanctions, banning the import of auto parts among other measures. Several automakers have stopped selling their cars or parts to Russia – including Audi, Honda, Jaguar and Porsche, while BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Volvo have all halted Russian production.

Earlier this month, Russia allowed the import of hundreds of categories of goods, including major brands of cars and parts, without the consent of the intellectual property owner in order to bypass restrictions imposed on the conflict in Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that the Russian economy has weathered the sanctions well, but economists believe that the worst economic impact is yet to come.

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