Issue: Dec 2010


Takata First to Commercialize Front Seat Safety 'Airbelt' for Passenger Cars



Seat Belt Containing Integrated Airbag Designed to Improve Safety and Save Lives

by Nick Palmen

Takata Corporation, a leading global supplier of automotive safety systems including seat belts, airbags, child seats and safety electronics has announced it has become the first in the world to commercialize a new front seat belt system for passenger vehicles that inflates like an airbag at the time of impact. The Takata "Airbelt" will provide occupants added safety and protection designed to reduce injuries and save lives.

The first commercially available vehicle to be fitted with the new safety technology will be the Lexus LFA, scheduled to be launched by Toyota Motor Corporation in December 2010. The Takata "Airbelt" system will be commercially known as the SRS Seat Belt Airbag.

The SRS Seat Belt Airbag being fitted to the Lexus LFA has an airbag built into the webbing of the seat belt, which inflates on impact to provide additional protection to the shoulder and critical head area. The system is the first of its kind in the world for passenger cars, and provides additional protection in both frontal and side impacts through a single safety product.

In the case of a frontal impact, the belt expands directly to spread the shock-load over a wider area of the occupant's chest. In a side impact, the belt inflates between the shoulder and head to reduce lateral head movement and provide protection from impact with the side window or colliding object.

About TK Holdings Inc.

TK Holdings Inc. is a subsidiary of Takata Corporation, the largest manufacturer of seat belts in the world, producing more than 70 million assemblies annually. Customers include nearly every automotive manufacturer and several Tier One suppliers. Its safety technologies feature a strong emphasis on safety restraint systems, air bags, electronics, interior trim, and special fabrics and textile materials. Takata's worldwide sales approach $5 billion annually, with the company operating 46 manufacturing locations in 17 countries, and 14 research and development locations on five continents. Takata employs more than 30,000 people globally, with more than 18,000 in North America.

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