A new approach in numerical occupant simulation using the dynamic coupling of the nonlinear explicit finite element code PAM-CRASH and the crash victim simulation program MADYMO has been validated and is presented.The new technique combines the advantages of the finite element method for the solution of dynamic problems with large structural deformations with the merits of validated occupant models. It uses the full capabilities of both industrial programs PAM-CRASH and MADYMO, and is therefore well suited for an industrial environment. A description of the coupling method will be given in this paper.The study to be presented investigates the interaction of a Hybrid III dummy and a passive restraint system consisting of an airbag and a kneebolster in a frontal impact situation. Both, the airbag and the kneebolster are discretized using finite elements; the dummy model consists of 20 rigid bodies with attached contact ellipsoids.The inflation of the airbag and the structural deformation of airbag and kneebolster upon impact of the dummy are calculated by PAM-CRASH. The resulting impact forces and torques are used by MADYMO in the equation of motions of the occupant model to determine the kinematics and dynamic behaviour of the crash victim.A comparison of numerical and experimental results is given. In addition, results of preliminary validation studies of the interaction of a free-flying impactor with the airbag, and of the impact of a pendulum into the kneebolster using the PAM-CRASH code, are shown.