Toyota Develops First Rear-Seat Center Airbag
By KBB.com Editors on March 16, 2009 11:31 AMToyota has taken one more step in the Supplemental Restraint System technology race by designing the world's first production-ready rear-seat center airbag. Aimed at mitigating the severity of secondary injuries often sustained by rear-seat passengers in the case of side-impact collisions, this compact SRS is housed in the vertical portion of a fixed center console from which it automatically deploys in the case of a severe side crash. Toyota research indicates that this type of inflatable restraint can act as an effective barrier to limit the potential for passengers to be slammed into each other or into the console itself. The automaker says it will begin installing the new center rear airbag in an as-yet-unnamed domestic-marker model in the near future. At the moment, there are no plans to have it make an appearance in the U.S., although the technology clearly lends itself to applications in any four-place vehicle and would be most readily adaptable to the current or upcoming versions of the top-line Lexus LS 460L and LS 600hL sedans.