New rule out to curb side-window ejections

  • 15-Jan-2011 11:41 EST

Under a new rule issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicle manufacturers must implement technology to prevent passenger ejections through side windows. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 226, Ejection Mitigation, will be implemented in phases and will apply to all new passenger vehicles of 10,000 lb or less starting on Sept. 1, 2013, with full compliance by MY2018. The rule mandates that the technology employed prevent the equivalent of an unbelted adult from moving more than 4 in past the side window opening in the event of a crash. The agency anticipates that automakers will meet the standard by modifying existing side-impact airbag curtains, and possibly supplementing them with advanced window glazing. The curtains will be made larger so that they cover more of the window opening, made more robust to remain inflated longer, and made to deploy in both side impacts and in rollovers. They must provide protection for the first three rows of seats regardless of how much, if at all, windows are open.

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