Air Bag Deactivation: Future Air Bags
- Do I need an on-off switch if I buy or rent a vehicle with depowered bags?
- Will on-off switches be necessary in the future?
Most manufacturers have been installing depowered air bags starting on their model year 1998 vehicles. They are called "depowered" because they deploy with less force than current air bags. They will reduce the risk of air bag-related injuries. However, even with depowered air bags, rear-facing child seats still should never be placed in the front seat and children age 12 and under are still safest in the back seat. Contact your vehicle manufacturer for further information.
Manufacturers are actively developing so-called "smart" or "advanced" air bags that may be able to tailor deployment based on crash severity, occupant size and position, or seat belt use. These bags should eliminate the risks produced by current air bag designs. It is likely that vehicle manufacturers will introduce some form of advanced air bags over the next few years.
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