Autoliv and Volvo Cars Launch New Airbag
(Stockholm, Sept. 14, 2005) – – – Autoliv Inc., the worldwide leader in automotive safety, and Volvo Car Corporation have together developed a new airbag, specially designed for convertibles. The new airbag will be available in Volvo’s new convertible, the C70, which will be shown this week for the first time at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
The airbag is a new type of curtain airbag that – unlike existing curtain airbags – can be installed also in open-roof vehicles such as convertibles. In side-impact collisions, standard curtain airbags are estimated to reduce the risk for fatalities by 50% by protecting the head. These airbags were invented by Autoliv and introduced in 1998 by Volvo Cars and Mercedes Benz. Currently, they are installed in more than 50% of all new European vehicles and attracting interest in all major markets. However, these “traditional” curtain airbags can only be mounted in cars that have roofs from which the curtains can be deployed. Convertible vehicles have therefore been equipped with “combo bags” for side-impact protection. These bags combine chest side airbags with an extension that inflates upwards to protect the head. The head extension does not, however, cover such a large area as a curtain airbag. In square-on side impacts, this difference is not important. But in oblique side-impact crashes when the occupant is hurled towards the windshield pillar, a larger bag may provide better protection. The new airbag has an extra-stiff structure. Using a three-layer-weaving technology it has double rows of cells that partly overlap one another. As a result, the new airbag can stay upright and help protect the head effectively even if the side windows are open i.e. down. What is more, they deflate slowly to provide added protection in the event of a rollover accident. The dual-layer structure is manufactured using Autoliv’s one-piece weaving technology at Autoliv’s European weaving plant near Manchester in the U.K. For Illustrations: - Autoliv’s corporate website www.autoliv.com For questions and comments, please contact: - Jan Olsson, Vice President Research, Tel. +46-322-62 62 60