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Old 10 Dec 2010, 05:40 am
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Default RDX: 2011 Acura RDX - Safety


Acura's mission for the RDX is to provide a high level of safety that meets or exceeds current regulations and standards. The safety goals embrace a core Acura brand concept known as "Safety Through Innovation."

Specific Safety Information:

  • Incorporates Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure

  • Meets frontal and rear crash performance requirements incorporated into FMVSS 208 (Occupant Crash Protection) frontal and FMVSS 301 (Fuel System Integrity)  rear collision standards

  • Received GOOD ratings in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Frontal Offset, Side Impact (also known as SICE) and Rear Crash Protection indexes



The Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure is an exclusive body design incorporated into the RDX that enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal crashes. The ACE™ design utilizes a network of connected structural elements to distribute crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle.  This enhanced frontal crash energy management helps to reduce the forces transferred to the passenger compartment and can help to more evenly disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles in a crash. By doing so, is the cornerstone engineering feature that defines much of the RDX structure. ACE™ helps maintain the structural integrity of the passenger cabin in a frontal crash. It does so by markedly improving energy distribution away from the cabin during the crash, thus allowing a more uniform absorption of impact energy. This crash energy redirection helps reduce the chance of intrusion into the passenger cabin.

In addition, the ACE™ design also provides benefits in increases vehicle compatibility in frontal crashes, which can improve passenger safety when vehicles of dissimilar size and height weight collide.


As full-size pickups and SUVs have become larger and taller, so has the dilemma presented when such vehicles collide head-on with smaller vehicles. ACE™ helps distribute the impact forces of a larger and heavier vehicle across the entire front structure of the RDX. This redirection of crash energy helps to reduce the risk of interior intrusion as well as helps to better disperse the crash energy across a wider area of the front of the vehicle to help reduce the risk of occupant injury.

The RDX also has a special lower member that extends below the front bumper beam. This lower member helps ensure that if the RDX collides with a smaller vehicle, the lower front member will better engage the other vehicle's bumper system.


Even though there is no current governmental requirement to do so, as part of Acura's "Safety Through Innovation" engineering philosophy, the RDX incorporates design elements that takes the well being of pedestrians into account.

Specifically, engineers optimized certain structures in the RDX front end to help absorb energy in the event of a collision with a pedestrian. Research shows that these features can dramatically improve a pedestrian's chance of survival if struck by a moving vehicle.

Key Pedestrian Safety Features include:

  • Hood designed to deform if contact is made with either a pedestrian

  • Energy-absorbing fender mounts and supports located under the hood

  • Greater clearance between hood and engine components

  • Deformable windshield wiper pivots

  • Crushable hood hinges



Dual-stage, multiple threshold front airbags (SRS) are provided for the driver and front passenger. One or both of these airbags will be deployed only in the event of a sufficient frontal impact. If deployed, these airbags are capable of being inflated at different rates depending on crash severity, seatbelt usage and/or other factors.  Frontal airbags are designed to supplement the seatbelts to help reduce the likelihood of head and upper body injuries in frontal crashes.

Dual-Stage, Multiple-Threshold Airbag parameters:

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

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


In addition, the airbag system also 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 small statured person is occupying the front seat. Finally, a seamless dashboard cover conceals the passenger front airbag, while the driver's front airbag is located in a small housing within the steering-wheel.


Side airbags mounted in the outboard area of each front seatback are designed to provide upper torso protection for front occupants in the event of a sufficient side impact. In addition, the front passenger seat is equipped with the Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), an innovative system designed to deactivate the side airbag if a small child (or small stature adult) is occupying the front seat. The system utilizes sensors in the passenger seatback to determine the height and position of the occupant, and determines if it is safe to deploy the side airbag. If the front passenger leans into the side airbag deployment path, OPDS will prevent the airbag from firing. When the front passenger returns to a normal upright seating position, the side airbag reactivates so it can deploy.

Side Curtain Airbags

In a sufficient side impact or rollover, the RDX side curtain airbags deploy from roof-mounted modules, providing head protection for outboard occupants seated in both rows of seating. Side curtain airbags effectively cover the window area from the A-pillar back to the C-pillar. Tests show that the g-forces acting upon an outboard occupant's head during an accident collision are far lower when side curtain airbags are used.


The RDX includes a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child-seat mounting system for all rear seat 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 an owner installs a LATCH-compatible child seat. Up to two LATCH child seats can be installed simultaneously.


Both front seatbelts have an automatic tensioning system with load limiters that work together to help protect the driver and front passenger in a collision. The components work automatically in a 1-2 sequence. In the first few milliseconds of a sufficient collision, the tensioning system automatically tightens the front seat belts. Research has shown that seat belts that are snugly secured around the occupants provide better protection. If the deceleration forces rise above a predetermined threshold, the load limiter releases a small length of seatbelt webbing (in a controlled manner) to reduce the pressure on the occupant- which helps reduce the likelihood of injuries that seatbelts can cause in a severe, high-speed collision.


The RDX front seats incorporate active head restraints that help minimize the potential for neck injury experienced during a rear-end collision. In the event of such a rear collision, the occupant's body is pushed against the seatback. The pressure to the seatback is then mechanically transmitted from a special lumbar plate to links that push the head restraint upward and forward to reduce the gap between the occupant's head and the head restraint. Such gap reduction reduces the forces acting on the neck and spine at the time of the collision. This ability to help manage rear collision forces is a key component to reducing whiplash injuries. Active head restraints are a standard safety feature on the Acura RDX.


The RDX's 18-gallon fuel tank is located in a protected area in front of the rear body-deformation zone which minimizes the risk of tank damage during a collision.

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