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Safety Canopy™ – Ford’s exclusive collision and rollover activated side curtain air bags feature “roll fold” technology. Ford was the first in the industry to offer rollover deploying side curtain air bags, known as Safety Canopy, beginning with the Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer in 2002. Today, Safety Canopy with rollover sensors – which helps protect vehicle occupants during side impact collisions and rollover accidents – is available on nearly all Ford Motor Company SUVs, and on certain vans and cars, including the 2008 Taurus and Mercury Sable, as well as the Taurus X crossover. By the 2010 model year, all Ford, Lincoln and Mercury retail SUVs, crossovers, vans and trucks are planned to have standard Safety Canopy. Ford Motor now has nearly 1.5 million vehicles on the road with Safety Canopy rollover activated curtains.

Volvo will be the second OEM that uses a door mounted head airbag that deploys from the top the door up to the roof rail. It will be used in the 2006 all new Volvo C70 convertible.

As far as I know only Porsche uses the same type of head airbag which deploys up and not down. Addionally there will be a seat mounted side airbag.
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The system is called "occopant position detection system" (OPDS) by Honda. I think it is built by Elesys, they call it SeatSentry Occupant Sensing System. Here is a picture:



You'll find more informations on their website www.elesys-na.com.
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Honda has installed some new safety feature on their 2006 Ridgeline. One new feature in an antenna built into the seat backrest that ensures the side airbag has a clear path to deploy. If something is blocking the signal such as somebody leaning against the door, the signal is interrupted and the antenna sends a signal to the airbag control module to turn off the side airbag.

The airbag control unit has also been moved from under the center console between the seats to a position under the left side instrument panel. This may have a huge effect on how we make relief cuts in the A-Post and how we lift or push the dash.
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 A NEW Hazard to worry about
The new Z06 Corvette is hitting the streets and there is a new hazard to worry about. Along with the Magnesium engine cradle and roof rails, the new Corvette uses an electronic switch to open the doors, no more door handles. If the power is cut to the vehicle you will not be able to open the doors. For the safety of the ocupants there is a release cable under each seat that will open the door from the inside. There is also a release cable in the rear compartment that will open only the drivers door. What will they think of next??
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Toyota now has the ERG for the Highlander Hybrid on their web site:
http://techinfo.toyota.com
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Yesterday Mercedes-Benz showed their new s-class on the 61st International Motor Show (IAA) Cars in Frankfurt. There is an interessting detail with this car that I like to share with you.
Here is a short part of the press release:

The comprehensive Mercedes safety system PRO-SAFE also takes into account the phase after the traffic accident. To prevent follow-on damage, the fuel supply of the engine is automatically blocked in the new S-Class in accidents above a certain severity. The hazard warning signal also switches on to warn drivers approaching from behind and to prevent new accidents.
After an accident in which airbags are deployed, all the side windows open just enough to leave a narrow space through which the interior can be ventilated. At the same time, the door locks are automatically released so that injured passengers can be rescued more quickly. Specially designed crash joints prevent the front and rear doors from becoming deeply wedged during an impact. The passengers can also open the doors after an accident, because Mercedes-Benz uses cables that remain intact after deformation for the internal activation of the door locks. The new S-Class is the first Mercedes passenger car to have markings on the front and rear windows showing the emergency services places where they can cut through the A- and C-pillars in the event of a serious accident to quickly reach injured passengers and provide them with medical care.
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Default New Airbags Make Extrication Safer

The new 2006 full-size Cadillac DTS sedan and 2006 Buick Lucerne are going to arrive in showrooms equipped with the dual-depth airbags that GM unveiled earlier this year. The airbags are designed to deploy in two sizes depending on variables such as crash severity and the position of the front seats. Instead of using 2 inflators that leave the question "Did the airbag go off on both stages or just one stage?" these new airbags have only 1 inflator that changes the size of the bag.

The dual depth air bag deploys from the front passenger side within the instrument panel. When the small air bag is required, a tether holds the air bag back to the smaller size, and gas is vented from the module housing. For the larger air bag deployment, the tether is released, the module-housing vent is shut off, and the air bag is allowed to expand to its full size. GM says that they will be using this system in all of their vehicles soon.

Driver's frontal airbag will still use a 2 stage system with 2 inflator charges
 
 
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