New advanced air bags bolster top safety picks
General Motors has introduced two new industry-first air bags, the front center air bag and the flexible venting air bags that was developed in collaboration with safety restraint supplier Takata.
The front center air bag is designed to help provide an energy-absorbing cushion between the driver and front passenger in side impact crashes and rollover events, as well as added protection to the driver in far-side impacts.
“The front center air bag is not required by federal regulation, and no other air bag in passenger vehicles today offers the type of restraint and cushioning this air bag is designed to provide for front occupants,” said Scott Thomas, senior staff engineer in GM’s advanced restraint systems.
Meanwhile the flexible venting driver air bag is designed to effectively use the inflator output and the characteristics of the vent to manage the ride down of the occupant and help reduce the risk of inflation-induced injuries by allowing the occupant’s forward momentum to effectively push the gas from the inflated bag out and away.
“These new air bag technologies provide smart ways to manage crash forces, and are an integral part of Cruze’s continued success in safety testing and real world performance,” said Gay Kent, GM general director of vehicle safety and crashworthiness. “The latest safety rating reflects the confidence we have in its new and carry-over safety technologies and overall crashworthiness.”
GM currently offers the front center air bags on the 2013 GMC Acadia and 2013 Chevrolet Traverse equipped with power seats and all 2013 Buick Enclave midsize while the flexible venting driver air bag is available on the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze.