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The answer to this may lie in the same area as the delayed
introduction of airbags on North America bound Audis and VWs.
It seems that the originally offered European airbags were indeed
a supplemental restraint system, not passive restraint. (The only
restraint is the automatic seatbelts.) The original airbags were small
and the safety belts kept the occupant in position so the airbag did
them some good. If they were to deploy without the belt on, they
did much more harm than good. They would do crazy things like
push the driver's head out the side window on a low impact crash.
All the US domestic vehicles had much larger airbags which
would give you protection even without seatbelts. This may be the
reason. I don't know.
Another idea I just had is that, in very low speed crashes (parking lots,
air bags are blamed for more harm than good. In a low speed crash, the
belts alone would give enough protection without the risk of airbag
Thus, if there is a link between vehicle speed, seatbelt, and airbag, the
airbag wouldn't deploy except when necessary. Also saves the price
of airbag replacement in the case of a low speed crash. I remember
seeing a BMW 3 series that had deployed the passenger airbag. The
cover off of the airbag slapped the windshield with enough impact to
shatter it in that area. Another extra expense for what could have
been a needless deployment.
Paul Anderson:Please send any direct mail to my private address as I
keep up with the list very well.
Private email AndersonPaul@juno.com
On Wed, 04 Mar 1998 15:35:15 -0500 Ramana Lagemann <email@example.com>
>> I was just reading my A4 brochure, and it indeicates that the
>> airbag system seems to be tied to the seatbelts. This seems
>> kinda dumb, but.....
>Geez, who needs seatbelts when you have so many airbags to protect
>* Ramana Lagemann
>* 1990 CoupeQ20V
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