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As from New Year’s Day all cars made in Brazil have had to be equipped with ABS (anti-skid) brakes and dual front airbags. This road safety measure is an increase over last year when only 60% of cars were required to have these features.

The country’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega has emphasised the economic aspects in support of the scheme but others (including the Urban Ministry) point to the obvious road safety aspects. The new requirements will be adopted gradually to help manufacturers and avoid too sudden a surge in car prices. However, it’s inevitable that there will of course be some increase, estimated at between one and two thousand $ per vehicle.