Honda Announces New Passenger Front Airbag

Honda has announced the development of a new passenger front airbag designed to better protect occupants in several frontal collision scenarios. Honda plans to begin applying the airbag design to new products in the United States in 2020.

Honda and Autoliv, one of the company’s safety systems suppliers, partnered to develop and test the new airbag. The USA’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in 2017, upwards of 37,000 people lost their lives on US roads as a result of motor vehicle crashes.

Honda’s next-generation airbag is designed to reduce potential injuries that can occur in a wider variety of frontal impacts. Honda believes that it’s particularly beneficial in angled frontal impacts, where lateral collision forces can cause an occupant’s head to rotate severely or slide off the airbag, increasing the chance of serious injury.

The new system utilises four major components – three inflated compartments, a centre chamber, and two outward-projecting side chambers that create a wide base across the dash. The fourth component is a sail panel, which stretches between the two side chambers at the outer edge, catching and slowing the occupant’s head while also engaging the side chambers. This pulls the head inward to cradle and protect it, mitigating the potential for injury.

IIHS Researchers Find Little Benefit From Knee Airbags

While airbags are essential, lifesaving devices that have prevented tens of thousands of deaths, a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States has found that knee airbags have a negligible effect on injury risk and, in fact, may even increase it in some cases.

Knee airbags usually deploy from the lower dashboard and are intended to distribute impact forces to reduce leg injuries. They may also help reduce forces on an occupant’s chest and abdomen by controlling lower body movement.

To find out if knee airbags improve safety, IIHS researchers examined both crash test data and information from real-world crash reports.

For the first part, they looked at injury measures from more than 400 frontal crash tests conducted as part of the IIHS vehicle ratings programme to see if injuries were less likely when vehicles were equipped with knee airbags.

To look at real-world outcomes, they compiled crash reports from 14 states and compared injury risk in vehicles with knee airbags to risk in vehicles without them.

According to the IIHS, knee airbags had only a small effect on injury measures recorded by dummies in IIHS driver-side small overlap front and moderate overlap front crash tests. In the small overlap test, knee airbags were associated with increased injury risk for lower leg injuries and right femur injuries, though head injury risk was slightly reduced. The airbags had no effect on injury measures in the moderate overlap test.

In the analysis of real-world crashes, knee airbags reduced overall injury risk by half a percentage point, from 7.9 percent to 7.4 percent, but this result wasn’t statistically significant.

“There are many different design strategies for protecting against the kind of leg and foot injuries that knee airbags are meant to address,” said Becky Mueller, an IIHS senior research engineer and co-author of the paper. “Other options may be just as, if not more, effective.”

The IIHS says one reason some manufacturers have been installing knee airbags is to help vehicles pass USA federally mandated tests with unbelted dummies. It’s possible that knee airbags would help unbelted occupants in real-world crashes. The IIHS study didn’t look specifically at crashes in which people weren’t using seat belts, and dummies are always belted in IIHS vehicle ratings tests.

Audio Version Of ‘The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops’ Out Now

Audio Version Available Now On Audible, Soon On iTunes

Dave Luehr, author of The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops, believes that right now is the best time in history to be in the collision repair business, but only for those with the right mindset. Luehr and his co-author, Stacey Phillips, announced the audio version of the highly-acclaimed industry book is now available to purchase.

“I felt that the book was very well received in the collision repair industry, and I could not be happier about that,” said Luehr. “However, understanding that many in the industry find it difficult to find the time to read, or just don’t like to read, we felt it necessary to make an audio version available.”

The audio version of the book is now available to purchase on Audible and will be available soon on iTunes. All three versions of the book – paperback, Kindle and audio – are available on Amazon and at www.bodyshopsecrets.com.

Throughout the book, which was released in April 2017, the authors share insightful lessons along with real-world stories of actual collision repairers who have discovered the six secrets that have propelled them to a much higher level than their competitors.

“I believe the book contains critical information for many shop leaders who are wanting to take advantage of the challenging times we face as an industry, so we decided we would do whatever is required to get this information out there to those who need it,” said Luehr.

Mike Anderson, Jeff Peevy and Petra Schroeder are among the industry experts included in ‘The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops’.

The authors invite body shop owners around the world to join the conversation and share their stories about how their business has changed since reading the book. Visit the book’s Facebook page and post a story and photo with the hashtag #myshopsecret.

Volkswagen Group Fined $1.55 Billion For Diesel Emissions Scandal

The Braunschweig public prosecutor in Germany has issued a fine of €1 billion ($1.55) in total against Volkswagen AG – consisting of the maximum penalty as legally provided for of €5 million and the “disgorgement of economic benefits” in the amount of €995 million.

According to the findings of the investigation carried out by the Braunschweig public prosecutor, there were 10.7 million vehicles in total with the diesel engines of the types EA 288, in the United States and Canada, and EA 189, world-wide, being advertised, sold to customers, and placed on the market with an impermissible software function in the period from mid-2007 until 2015.

Following thorough examination, Volkswagen AG accepted the fine and it will not lodge an appeal against it.

Volkswagen AG, by doing so, admits its responsibility for the diesel crisis and considers this as a further major step towards the latter being overcome.

As a result of the administrative order imposing the fine, the active regulatory offence proceedings conducted against Volkswagen will be finally terminated.

Volkswagen assumes that such termination of the proceedings will also have significant positive effects on further active administrative proceedings in Europe against the Volkswagen AG and its subsidiaries.