Most 2010 Vehicles to Have Standard Side Airbags - BodyShop Business

Most 2010 Vehicles to Have Standard Side Airbags

Though often optional in past model years, most automakers will make side airbags standard on 2010 vehicles, which are rolling into dealerships this month.

As part of an agreement made in 2003, models from GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Kia, Mazda, Daimler AG, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, BMW and Volkswagen will feature standard head-protecting side airbags in a bid to make vehicles safer in front- and side-impact crashes, the Detroit News reported. The agreement was also signed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

“The automakers researched this issue, identified ways to reduce the risk and agreed to appropriate measure – and they did this all faster than the government could have through regulations,” said IIHS President Adrian Lund.

The agreement, which excludes fleet vehicles such as rental cars, also required that 50 percent of vehicles had the airbags by the 2007 model year. The Detroit News says the agreement’s criteria improves vehicle safety in a number of ways, including better-matching front structural components among different vehicles, which will provide for better absorption of crash energy.

Manufacturers will have to go even further with airbag installation in the coming years. Government regulations mandate that by the 2013 model year, all automakers must install standard side curtain and side torso airbags on smaller vehicles, along with electronic stability control. For heavier vehicles, the deadline is for the 2014 model year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that once in place, this regulation will save more than 300 lives and 260 serious injuries per year.

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