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RE: Air bags (again) (marginal Audi content)

"Shaun D. Mullen" <smullen@philly.infi.net> basically wrote (VERY edited
for brevity):

> The (K)linton administration seems determined to give motorists the option of switching off air bags.  An 
> accident last week should add fuel to the debate:  An 11-year-old was leaning forward to get a tissue when 
> his mother rear-ended a pickup.  The passenger air bag deployed, breaking the 11-year-old's neck.
> It is my view that very few people are better off without an air bag, but try telling that to the parents of > this 11-year-old, whose death can now be added to the following NHTSA stats:
> Drivers saved: 2,191/Drivers killed: 34
> Passengers saved: 314/Passengers killed: 46 children + 3 adults.

Yeah, our wonderful government decided that U.S.-spec airbags should be
designed to work when occupants are not using seat belts, even though
it's the law to wear one (is that a federal law, or just CA?). 
European-spec airbags are designed to work in conjuction with a seat
belt, and are less powerful.  Gotta protect the people from themselves!

So stupid, just like the nice DOT-approved headcandles we get on our
Audis, which are a big joke (and safety problem, IMO) compared to their
competent European equivalents.  Is the reason strictly beam pattern, or
because the eurolites are leaded crystal, and don't meet the U.S.
shatter spec (heard that somewhere)?

BTW, a pamphlet handed out at my work (we build components for airbags),
mentioned that for airbag-equipped cars, it is recommended that you DO
NOT wrap your thumbs around the wheel.  Yeah, like I feel like I can
competently control my vehicle in emergency situations with that kind of
a grip.


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