The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze has introduced an industry-first driver-side air bag that uses a flexible venting technology.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently tested the 2013 Cruze with the new air bag technology under its New Car Assessment Program, and the Cruze received NHTSA’s maximum 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score, the same rating it received in 2011 and 2012 when the small car used a dual-stage air bag system.
Unlike more complex dual-stage air bags that use one inflator for low-speed crashes and another for high-speed crashes, say Chevy officials, the Cruze’s new single-stage “smart air bag” uses one lower output inflator to manage both low-speed and high-speed crash forces.
The more compact, lighter weight system’s flexible vent, say Chevy officials, reduces the risk of inflation-induced injury by allowing the driver’s forward momentum to effectively push the air out and away.
GM testing shows the single-stage driver air bag provides excellent cushioning for drivers of varied sizes in both low-speed and high-speed crash events. “This new air bag technology is a smart way to manage crash forces, and is an integral part of Cruze’s continued success in safety testing,” 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 crash-worthiness.”
Cruze’s flexible venting driver air bag is the second new air bag technology General Motors has announced for 2013.
The new Chevrolet Traverse crossover helped introduce the industry’s first front center air bag, an inflatable restraint designed to help protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle.
GM and safety restraint supplier Takata codeveloped the flexible venting driver-side air bag and the front center air bag.
The 2013 Cruze continues to offer more standard safety features than many vehicles in its class, Chevy officials say, and represents Chevrolet’s commitment to continuous safety – before, during and after a crash. StabiliTrak, Panic Brake Assist and Enhanced Smart Pedal/Brake Override are standard.
When it was introduced, the Cruze was the first car in its class with 10 standard air bags, including front knee air bags.
The 2013 Cruze also maintains the highestpossible ratings of “Good” in front, side, rear and rollover crash protection tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which recognized Cruze as a 2011 and 2012 Top Safety Pick.
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