Cruze debuts industry-first flexible venting driver air bag
The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze introduces an industry-first driver-side air bag that uses a flexible venting technology designed to deploy more efficiently while providing equivalent crash protection to more expensive and complex air bag systems.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently tested the 2013 Cruze with the new air bag technology under its New Car Assessment Program. 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, 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 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 crashworthiness."
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 co-developed 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 and represents Chevrolet's commitment to continuous safety – before, during and after a crash. Standard features include StabiliTrak electronic stability control, Panic Brake Assist and Enhanced Smart Pedal / Brake Override. When it was introduced, the Cruze was the first car in its class with 10 standard air bags, including front knee air bags – a segment first. OnStar safety and security is standard for six months as part of the Directions and Connections package.
The 2013 Cruze also maintains the highest-possible 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.