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FORD ANNOUNCES EUROPEAN AIR BAG SYSTEM

 FORD ANNOUNCES EUROPEAN AIR BAG SYSTEM
 PARIS, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- At the Paris Motor Show today, Ford


announced its new air bag-based Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) which will be introduced as part of a major safety initiative.
 Ford is committed to introducing air bags throughout its European model range. The system has been engineered specifically for Europe, taking into account the very high usage rate of seat belts and the size and packaging requirements of European vehicles.
 The air bag is intended to supplement the protection already provided by properly worn lap and diagonal seat belts. Improvements have been developed in parallel with the air bag to make the seat belts themselves even more efficient. Both driver and passenger-side air bag systems have been developed.
 On the driver's side, in a frontal and semi-frontal impact at over 30 km/h, the air bag is designed to inflate automatically within 40 milliseconds then to deflate progressively, as the driver's head meets it, to cushion the impact. The system is microprocessor- controlled with failsafe circuitry designed to ensure that accidental inflation is virtually impossible.
 The processor receives a continuous flow of electrical signals from an electronic sensor which it compares against pre-programmed settings derived from crash test information. In this way, the system cannot be triggered falsely by rough roads or minor impacts. In addition, a mechanical spring-mass type mechanical deceleration sensor is used as a check. The air bag is inflated only if the signals from both the electronic and mechanical sensors correspond.
 The driver's air bag is contained in the center of the steering wheel and is inflated by triggering electrically a small quantity (eight grams) of solid propellant to generate gas under high pressure. The gases produced are passed through a catalyst system that promotes a chemical reaction to produce carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapor, as the gases enter the air bag.
 The hub of the wheel, which is specially split along "split lines" hidden by the surface trim opens to release the 30-liter air bag which begins to inflate very rapidly. The bag is completely inflated before the driver's head has started to move forward under deceleration forces.
 -0- 10/6/92
 /CONTACT: Judith Muhlberg of Ford International, 313-322-4466/
 (F) CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT


DH -- DE010 -- 6947 10/06/92 09:58 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 6, 1992
Words:392
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