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Old 15 Aug 2008, 10:50 pm
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Default 2009 Acura MDX - Safety

Torrance, Calif. - Aug 15 —

SAFETY


The 2009 Acura MDX continues the MDX's commitment of advancing SUV safety.
Standard features include dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, active head
restraints for driver and front passenger, side curtain airbags and driver knee
bolsters. In addition, the MDX features the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™
(ACE™) body structure, designed to disperse frontal collision forces and
improve car-to-car collision safety.


Acura engineers term this compendium of safety features as "360 degree
safety" as quite literally passengers are completely surrounded with safety
features. The 2009 MDX meets the highest crash-test standards from the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway
Safety (IIHS).


Specific Safety Targets



  • Newly upgraded FMVSS208 frontal and FMVSS301 rear collision standards implemented
    by the federal government

  • 5-Star* rating in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
    NCAP frontal crash and SINCAP side impact crash tests

  • GOOD ratings in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Frontal Offset,
    Side Impact and head restraint tests

  • Rated as an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK

  • Enhanced crash compatibility with smaller vehicles in a car-to-car collision
    compared to previous generation vehicles

  • Advanced protection for pedestrians in the event of a collision


*Government star ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's
(NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov).
Model tested with standard side-impact air bags (SABs).


CRASH PERFORMANCE TARGETS


The 2009 MDX passed all National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests at the highest levels.
NHTSA tests include NCAP frontal crash, SINCAP side impact, and Rollover Resistance,
while IIHS tests include Frontal Offset, Side Impact (also known as SICE), and
Rear Crash Protection indexes.


NHTSA test results:



  • NCAP Driver - 5-Star

  • NCAP Passenger - 5-Star

  • SINCAP Front seat - 5-Star

  • SINCAP Rear seat - 5-Star

  • Rollover Rating - 4-Star


IIHS test results:



  • IIHS Frontal Offset - GOOD

  • SICE Side Impact - GOOD

  • IIHS Rear Crash Safety - GOOD

  • IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK


OFFSET REAR COLLISION


The new requirements for NHTSA's FMVSS 301 include a more severe rear
crash test. In the current test, a 3,015 pound deformable barrier sled strikes
70-percent of the vehicle's width at 50 mph. In contrast, the previous
FMVSS 301 used a 4,000 pound flat rigid moving barrier that struck the full
width of the vehicle at 30 mph. The new test requires that the vehicle absorb
more crash energy than before.


VOLUNTARY IMPROVEMENTS


As the popularity of small size vehicles has soared recently, so has the risk
of these large vehicles colliding head-on with smaller vehicles. The disparity
in vehicle mass - as well as the higher bumper height of the larger vehicles
- put the smaller vehicles at a disadvantage. For the MDX, however, engineers
integrated a more stringent internal vehicle-to-vehicle collision standard to
help correct this discrepancy.


ADVANCED COMPATIBILITY ENGINEERING™ (ACE™)


Like all 2009 Acura models, the MDX features Advanced Compatibility Engineering™
(ACE™) body design. ACE™ more evenly distributes frontal crash forces
to help reduce cabin intrusion and deformation as well as to help absorb frontal
crash energy forward of the passenger cabin. ACE™ also helps maintain
the structural integrity of the passenger cabin during a severe car-to-car offset
frontal crash. ACE™ does this by distributing forces through multiple
load paths during the crash, thus allowing more uniform energy absorption and
less cabin intrusion.


If the MDX should collide head-on with a smaller and lighter vehicle, ACE™
helps provide good engagement of the small vehicle's frame. This helps
reduce the risk of intrusion while simultaneously helping to disperse the crash
energy across a wider area at the front of the vehicle. The upper portions of
the ACE™ front structure also improve cabin protection.


IIHS SIDE IMPACT CRASHWORTHINESS EVALUATION (SICE)


The 2009 MDX achieves a "GOOD" rating in the rigorous IIHS Side
Impact Crashworthiness Evaluation (SICE) evaluation, which measures how well
a vehicle withstands intrusion from a large SUV in a side collision. The MDX's
high-strength steel safety cage and the use of high-strength side door beams
help make it resistant to intrusion.


ACTIVE FRONT HEAD RESTRAINTS


The 2009 MDX is fitted with active front head restraints designed to help reduce
the likelihood of neck injuries in the event of a rear impact. The head restraint
is mechanically linked to a lumbar plate located inside of the front seatback.
In a rear impact, the passenger's body pushes against the seatback, causing
the head restraint to move forward in a carefully prescribed arc. This motion
helps equalize the impact forces transmitted to the head, neck and spine as
the occupant's head moves backward during the collision. Effectively managing
and dispersing this energy is critical to help reduce the likelihood of injuries.


PEDESTRIAN INJURY MITIGATION


Acura's safety interests extend beyond care for vehicle occupants. The
MDX hood area is specially designed to deform if contact is made with a pedestrian.
Underneath the hood are energy-absorbing supports and hood hinges, the windshield-wiper
pivots are a breakaway design and the front fender brackets are also designed
to bend if a collision with a pedestrian should occur. Research shows that features
such as these dramatically improve a pedestrian's chance of survival if
struck by a moving vehicle.


SEATBELT AUTOMATIC TENSIONING SYSTEM AND LOAD LIMITERS


Both of the MDX front seat belts have an automatic tensioning system with
load limiters to help protect the driver and front passenger in a collision.
Research has shown that seat belts that are snugly secured around the occupants
provide better protection, so in the first few milliseconds of a collision the
tensioners - powered by a pyrotechnic device - automatically tighten
the front seat belts. Then if the deceleration forces rise above a predetermined
threshold, the load limiter releases a small length of seatbelt webbing to reduce
the pressure on the occupant in a controlled manner. This helps reduce the injuries
that seatbelts can cause in a severe high-speed collision. In addition, the
driver's seatbelt has a dual-stage load limiter. This provides a higher
initial load, then steps down to a lower load after a certain amount of belt
spools out. It is specially designed to prevent too much forward driver movement,
given the close proximity of the steering wheel.


DRIVER AND FRONT PASSENGER DUAL-STAGE, DUAL-THRESHOLD AIRBAG SUPPLEMENTAL
RESTRAINT SYSTEM (SRS)


Dual-stage airbags are provided for the 2009 MDX driver and front passenger.
These airbags are designed to maximize protection for the head and chest during
a moderate to severe front collision. Each airbag inflator has two stages that
can be deployed at different times instead of a traditional single inflation
stage. Combining dual-stage and dual-threshold technology with technology that
detects if the occupants are belted or unbelted, the airbags are deployed in
a sequence based on crash severity.


Dual-Stage, Dual-Threshold Airbag Parameters



  • Airbag deployment characteristics are finely controlled depending on the
    severity of a collision

  • The dual-stage, dual-threshold strategy applies to front airbags only and
    does not affect operation of side airbags or side curtain airbags


The MDX airbag system uses a seat weight sensor to assess the weight of the
front passenger. The front passenger airbag is shut off if the weight sensor
indicates that a small child or a baby carrier is occupying the front seat.
A seamless instrument panel cover fully conceals the passenger airbag. The driver's
seat has a seat position sensor. If the seat is in a more forward position,
where the occupant will be close to the airbag, the airbag is fired with a longer
delay to reduce the chance of any injury caused by the airbag itself. The driver-side
airbag is located in a small steering wheel mounted housing.


DRIVER AND FRONT PASSENGER KNEE BOLSTERS


To help prevent injuries to the driver or front passenger's legs in a
frontal collision, the 2009 MDX has energy absorbing knee bolsters. They are
designed to help dissipate collision forces if the driver or front passenger's
legs should contact the lower instrument panel during a frontal collision. In
addition, the driver's side has dual-density knee bolsters that are designed
to provide additional protection to small-stature occupants who have to sit
close to the steering wheel.


DRIVER AND FRONT PASSENGER SIDE AIRBAGS WITH FRONT PASSENGER OCCUPANT
POSITION DETECTION SYSTEM (OPDS)


Side airbags mounted in the outboard area of each MDX front seatback are designed
to provide upper torso protection in the event of a severe side impact. In addition,
the front passenger's seat is equipped with Occupant Position Detection System
(OPDS), an innovative system designed to deactivate the side airbag if a small
child (or small-stature adult) leans into the side airbag deployment path. When
the passenger returns to an upright seating position, the side airbag reactivates
so it can deploy to help protect the occupant in a side impact. This unique
system utilizes sensors in the passenger seatback to determine the height and
position of the occupant, and determine if it is safe to deploy the side airbag.


SIDE CURTAIN AIRBAGS


In a sufficient side impact or rollover, the MDX's side curtain airbags
deploy from roof-mounted modules to provide head protection for all three rows
of seating. Side curtain airbags effectively cover the side window area from
the front seats all the way to the third-row seat. Tests show that the g- forces
acting upon an occupant's head are far lower with side curtain airbags.


In the 2009 MDX the side curtain airbag system includes three satellite sensors
and a main unit that work in concert to detect a crash within 5-7 milliseconds.
Even though the latest MDX is projected to offer better rollover stability than
the previous MDX, the system includes a rollover sensor and performs solidly
with a 4-Star* rating in the NHTSA rollover category.


*Government star ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's
(NHTSA's) New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov).
Model tested with standard side-impact air bags (SAB).


LOWER ANCHORS AND TETHERS FOR CHILDREN (LATCH)


The 2009 MDX includes a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child-seat
mounting system for the second-row seating positions. LATCH features built-in
lower anchors and ready-to-use tether attachment points that allow compatible
child safety seats to be installed without using the vehicle's seat belt system.
Additionally, the LATCH system simplifies child-seat installation when using
a LATCH-compatible child seat.


FUEL TANK SAFETY


The MDX's 21-gallon fuel tank is positioned in front of the rear body-deformation
zone to minimize the risk of damage in a collision. Locating the fuel tank in
this protected area optimizes vehicle balance by moving the weight of the fuel
tank farther forward. Thus, handling characteristics are minimally affected
whether the fuel tank is full or near empty.

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