The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Chrysler Pacifica to Offer Three-Row Side Curtain Airbag

December 16, 2002

Early in vehicle development, the all-new 2004 Chrysler Pacifica was assigned the internal code, “The Protector.”

“‘The Protector’ is really about the driver and his or her responsibility for getting everybody home safely,” said Mike Donoughe, vice president-Family Vehicle Product Team. “Chrysler Pacifica provides the tools the driver needs to fulfill that role. The first-class seating position, cockpit-style controls, all-wheel-drive, and sport-sedan handling help the driver avoid accidents. If a crash does occur, safety systems such as the three-row side curtain airbags help keep occupants safe.

Chrysler Pacifica is one of world’s first vehicles to offer a three-row side curtain airbag, that will be standard equipment on the vehicle which goes on sale in the spring of 2003. The ceiling-mounted side curtain airbag deploys downward and provides full-side window coverage. The airbag was tested to the voluntary standards set by the industry’s Side Airbag Technical Working Group. In addition, Chrysler Group engineers also used the “pole test,” which mimics accidents such as hitting a telephone pole or tree, to evaluate the side airbag sensing system. These types of accidents may be severe because the crash forces are concentrated in a relatively small area of the vehicle.

Chrysler Pacifica’s advanced restraint system encompasses the seat belts, airbags, and sensors to optimize occupant protection in the event of a crash. In addition to the side curtain airbag, Chrysler Pacifica also provides the first Chrysler Group inflatable knee blocker. Located just below the steering column, the knee blocker helps to reduce potential leg injuries in a crash. It also aids in appropriately positioning the driver to get the full safety benefit of the total restraint system.

Enhanced multi-stage driver and passenger airbags deploy at various levels based on the severity of the crash. Two charges in the airbag module are triggered separately. A minor impact will trigger a low-power deployment while a severe impact will deploy a more high-powered discharge in order to optimize occupant protection. The sophisticated driver airbag works in conjunction with the energy-absorbing steering wheel, patented steering column, and inflatable knee blocker to provide supplemental restraints in frontal or near-frontal impacts.

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