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GM Pioneers The Front Center Air Bag


GM and Takata's front center air bag. Image: © GM Corp.

GM and Takata's front center air bag. Image: © GM Corp.

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General Motors will launch an industry-first center air bag in 2013 Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse midsize crossovers. The airbag will be standard on the Buick Enclave, and on all Acadia and Traverse models equipped with power seats.

The front center airbag is designed to protect drivers in an opposite-side crash, and will serve as an energy-absorbing cushion between driver and front seat passenger in all side-impact crashes. The tubular airbag is mounted in the right cushion of the driver’s seat, and will also provide an additional margin of safety in rollover accidents.

Although not required by federal regulations, GM feels the front center airbag will help increase vehicle safety and potentially reduce side-impact fatalities. Per National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, some 29 percent of belted front occupant fatalities involved being struck on the opposite side of the vehicle.

GM worked with industry supplier Takata over a three-year period to arrive at the best combination of packaging and protection for a variety of crash types and occupant sizes. GM and Takata will share patents on the design of the airbag cushion.

GM is quick to point out that the front center airbag is part of a comprehensive occupant restraint system, and won’t provide maximum benefit unless occupants are wearing seat belts. Gay Kent, GM’s executive director of Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness called the innovative airbag a “demonstration of GM’s commitment to provide continuous occupant protection before, during and after a crash.”
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Comments (4)
  1. How many airbags does one need to be safe?
     
    Post Reply
    +1
    Bad stuff?

     
  2. @Matt, just wait a few years. Automakers now have to design airbags to minimize injury to unbelted occupants, which isn't an easy task.
     
    Post Reply
    +1
    Bad stuff?

     
  3. I'm glad my automobile days of buying a vehicle are over. My 2006 has less than 25k miles so at this rate it will outlive me :-)
     
    Post Reply
    +1
    Bad stuff?

     
  4. @Matt, I hear you on that. The older I get, the more I want to restore something old and simple, that you can keep running forever with hand tools.
     
    Post Reply
    +1
    Bad stuff?

 

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