GM has announced that the 2013 Chevy Cruze is getting 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. NHTSA recently tested the 2013 Cruze with the new air bag technology and gave it 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.
"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."
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