The Effect of Airbag Suppression Systems on Durability and Safety-Related Testing Procedures
Over the last several years, designers have been working toward developing airbag suppression systems in order to satisfy the new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 208 - Occupant Crash Protection requirements currently being phased-in [1, 2]. By September 1, 2005, all vehicles are required to be in compliance with the new requirements. The new rule requires that vehicles must have an airbag suppression system that turns the airbag off in cases where a child or child seat is detected in the front passenger occupant position. Typically incorporated in the seating structure or cushion area, these suppression systems are activated each time the seat is occupied. More so than any other component, this feature makes safety, durability, and reliability testing of these systems critical to their functionality. This paper will discuss how airbag suppression systems have affected the standard testing procedures of vehicle components including seats and airbags.