It seems that all the news about airbags is pretty much all bad at the moment, but Honda wants to change the direction of the conversation.
Via its American operation, Honda has lifted the lid on a brace of clever new airbag technology that could be rolled out as early as next year.
The new multi-stage front airbags have been designed chiefly to better protect occupants in the case of frontal offset-style crashes, where the car is impacted at an angle.
Current airbag tech uses a single inflatable ‘pillow’ that works most effectively when the occupant is propelled forward in a straight line, like the case of a nose-to-tail or direct head-on crash.
However, Honda researchers have found that in the case of more offset crashes, the single bag isn’t as effective at providing good coverage, and an occupant’s head could slide off the side of the bag or even over-rotate.
This massively increases the chances of head traumas, according to Honda.
The new airbag design works by incorporating a pair of small bags to the sides of the primary bag, while a fine mesh ‘sail panel’ links the two smaller bags together.
It works almost exactly the same way as a wicket-keeper’s gloves or a baseball catcher’s mitt; the head of the occupant is caught by the sailplane, which also works to wrap the smaller bags around the side of the head as it’s being directed towards the primary bag.
Development and testing programs for the new airbag were led by engineers at Honda’s research and development facilities in Ohio in partnership with Autoliv, one of the company's safety systems suppliers, using data based on real-world crash events as well as extensive studies into previous crashes.
Meanwhile, the Takata airbag recall rumbles on here in Australia, with Honda Australia recently adding more than 45,000 more of its cars to the worldwide recall that has claimed more than 30 lives.
The cars, which include the Accord Euro (2003-2009), City (2009), Civic (2001-2005),CR-V 2002-2006, 2008-2009) and Jazz (2003-2007, 2009), will have their updated Takata airbags removed and replaced with non-Takata items.
“Honda Australia’s current completion rate for the Takata Recall is just over 90 per cent, with over 63,000 Honda vehicles still to be rectified," Honda Australia's director Stephen Collins told WhichCar.
"It is imperative for all affected Honda customers to act on their recall notices and book their cars in as a matter of urgency. Honda customers can check if their vehicles is affected via the website: www.honda.com.au/recall.”
All vehicle owners who could be potentially affected by the Takata recall should visit the www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au website or text TAKATA to 0487247224 to check the recall status of their cars.
Read next: Takata airbag recall explained
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