7 Feb 2024 10:42

Avtovaz completes switch to new airbag supplier

MOSCOW. Feb 7 (Interfax) - Avtovaz , Russia's leading carmaker has switched to an alternative supplier of airbags for its Lada Granta and Lada Vesta cars, thus resolving problems with supplies of these safety system components caused by U.S. sanctions, the company said.

Airbag supplies were disrupted in the middle of last fall, when Avtovaz's foreign supplier refused to deliver product due to U.S. sanctions imposed against the automaker. Avtovaz had a stockpile of airbags that covered its production needs until the end of 2023 and found an alternative supplier, the company said without naming this supplier.

As of February 7, all Lada Vesta coming off the assembly line are equipped with two airbags. Following the completion of the necessary round of testing and calibration, the company plans to bring back driver airbags on the Lada Granta by the end of February and front passenger airbags in March.

"Another achievement was the switch to a reliable supplier of airbags, which was made in record time. A process that usually takes at least a year was completed in literally three months, with all necessary trials, virtual and real crash tests completed and the right calibrations found," Avtovaz president Maxim Sokolov was quoted as saying in the press release.

He said the company will continue efforts to outfit its Lada model line with the necessary options.

"In March we will already begin producing Vestas with the updated Lada 1.8 EVO engine and automatic transmission, and in the third quarter we plan to bring back ESP systems, rain and light sensors and many other comfort options to the Lada Vesta. By the end of the year we expect to outfit the Granta with climate and cruise control systems and update interior finishing materials," Sokolov said.

"But perhaps the most important will be increasing the safety of the automobiles of the legendary Niva family. Testing and work on outfitting the Legend and Travel models with airbags are in the active phase," he added.