AUBURN HILLS, MI - Takata Corporation, a global supplier of automotive safety systems including seat belts, air bags, child seats, and safety electronics has announced it has commercialized a new front seat belt system for passenger vehicles that inflates like an air bag at the time of impact. The Takata "Airbelt" will provide occupants added safety and protection designed to reduce injuries and save lives.
The first commercially available vehicle to be fitted with the new safety technology will be the Lexus LFA, scheduled to be launched by Toyota Motor Corporation in December 2010. The Takata "Airbelt" system will be commercially known as the SRS Seat Belt Airbag.
The SRS Seat Belt Airbag being fitted to the Lexus LFA has an airbag built into the webbing of the seat belt, which inflates on impact to provide additional protection to the shoulder and critical head area. The system is the first of its kind in the world for passenger cars, and provides additional protection in both frontal and side impacts through a single safety product.
In the case of a frontal impact, the belt expands directly to spread the shock-load over a wider area of the occupant's chest. In a side impact, the belt inflates between the shoulder and head to reduce lateral head movement and provide protection from impact with the side window or colliding object.