Hyundai Airbag Targets Secondary Impacts

January 25, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Hyundai Motor Co. has developed an airbag system that deploys after a more serious secondary collision if the initial crash isn’t severe enough to trigger deployment.

Current airbags typically don’t open in such events because the first collision may leave occupants out of position, causing potential safety risks if the they were struck by an airbag.

Hyundai says its new technology evaluates occupant position following a crash and recalibrates the airbag to deploy when appropriate in a subsequent impact.

The carmaker defines multi-collision accidents as those in which the primary impact is followed by collisions with secondary objects, such as trees, electrical posts or other vehicles. About 30% of the 56,000 accidents between 2000 and 2012 in the U.S. involved these types of accidents, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Hyundai and its Kia affiliate plan to offer the technology in unspecified future models. Company officials indicate that the system likely will be introduced in the U.S.