Renault hopes to enhance its reputation for safety through developments in passenger restraint systems, including a front seat “anti-slide airbag” and a “frontal airbag” for the rear seats, writes Jonathan Thomson.

The French carmaker explained that although highly effective, existing double-pretensioners, (tightening the seatbelt from both ends on impact) “are not adaptable to all types of vehicles”.

As an alternative Renault has developed an innovative anti-sliding airbag for the two front seats. Housed inside the seat, it inflates in the event of an impact to “hold the occupant against the structure of the front seat”.

A deflation controller situated beneath the module ensures a constant pressure “reducing the level of risk to the abdomen and lumbar regions, and thus the danger of serious injury”.

Renault also expects to introduce its “back seat frontal airbag” by 2003. Incorporated within the safety belt, it will “result in the prevention both of children’s heads hitting their knees and of adults’ heads hitting the backs of the front seats”, claimed the company.

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