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Old 13 Sep 2007, 11:24 pm
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default 2008 Acura RDX - Safety

Torrance, Calif. - Sep 13 —


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

Specific Safety Information:

  • New FMVSS 208 frontal and FMVSS 301 rear collision standards implemented
    by the federal government for 2008 model year

  • 5-Star rating in NHTSA Front and Side NCAP tests

  • GOOD ratings in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) front offset,
    Side Impact Crashworthiness Evaluation (SICE) and seat/head restraint rear
    crash tests

  • Advanced control of intrusion into the passenger compartment during a side
    collision with an SUV in SICE tests


  • Improved protection in the event of frontal collisions with larger vehicles

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

  • Advanced protection for pedestrians in event of a collision


All 2008 model year vehicles are required to meet the latest federal crash-performance
regulations known as FMVSS 208 (frontal) and FMVSS 301 (rear).

Above and beyond these are key safety evaluation tests from National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway
Safety (IIHS), which are often referenced by customers but not required by law.
For the RDX, the engineering target was 5 Stars for the NHTSA tests and Good
ratings for all IIHS tests – the best results possible.

This includes the IIHS ratings test called Side Impact Crashworthiness Evaluation
(SICE), which limits the intrusiveness if hit by an SUV in a side collision.
Finally, the RDX adopts pedestrian head protection measures that are above and
beyond NHTSA standards.


Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) 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, and allowing a more uniform absorption of energy. This helps reduce
the chance of intrusion into the passenger cabin. Also, ACE™ provides
benefits in vehicle compatibility in frontal crashes, which can improve passenger
safety when vehicles of dissimilar size and height collide.


The new FMVSS 301 regulation for offset rear collisions is much more severe
than the previous standard. This regulation was phased-in starting September
2006 and must be applied to all production vehicles after September 1, 2008.
In the new requirements for the FMVSS 301, a 1,360 kg (2,992 lbs.) deformable
flat barrier strikes 80-percent of the vehicle's width at 50 mph. In contrast,
the previous FMVSS 301 used a 1,814 kg (3,991 lbs.) flat rigid barrier that
struck the full width of the vehicle center-to-center at 30 mph. The new standard
requires more body energy absorption than before. It is Acura's strategy to
offer this high level of rear impact protection on the Acura RDX before it is
mandated by NHTSA.


As popular full-size pickups and SUVs have become larger and taller, so has
the dilemma presented when such vehicles collide head-on with smaller vehicles.
For the Acura RDX, engineers voluntarily adopted a vehicle-to-vehicle collision
philosophy above and beyond what is required by the government.

ACE™ helps distribute the forces of a larger and heavier vehicle across
the front structure of the RDX. This helps to reduce the risk of intrusion and
at the same time, helps disperse the crash energy across a wider area of the
front of the vehicle to help reduce the risk of occupant injury.

Acura RDX also has a front 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 engage the other vehicle's bumper system. Also,
the upper portions of the ACE™ front structure improve cabin protection
if the RDX sustains a frontal crash with a larger vehicle.


The RDX takes the well being of pedestrians into account in its safety engineering.
Accordingly, engineers optimized certain structures in the front end of the
vehicle 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 an adult or a child

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

  • Greater clearance between hood and hard engine parts

  • Deformable windshield wiper pivots

  • Crushable hood hinge


Dual-stage airbags are provided for the driver and front passenger. These
airbags are designed to maximize protection for the head and chest during a
moderate to severe front collision. In dual-stage technology, each airbag inflator
has two stages instead of a traditional single inflation stage. Dual-threshold
technology allows for these two stages of inflation to be ignited at different
times. 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. To reduce the potential for airbag injuries
during a moderate collision, the airbags are deployed in a delayed mode to slow
the rate of inflation. In the event of a severe crash, both stages are deployed
at the same time to provide immediate occupant protection.

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

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 a baby carrier is occupying the
front seat. Finally, a seamless instrument panel cover fully conceals the passenger
airbag. The driver's airbag is located in a small steering-wheel mounted housing.


Side airbags mounted in the outboard area of each front seatback are designed
to provide upper torso protection in the event of a sufficient 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) is occupying the front seat and the passenger
leans into the side airbag deployment path. When the passenger returns to an
upright seating position, the side airbag reactivates so it can deploy and help
protect the occupant in a side impact. The 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.


In a sufficient side impact or rollover, the RDX's side curtain airbags deploy
from roof-mounted modules, providing head protection for 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 occupant's head
are far lower with side curtain airbags.


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 seat belts have seat belt pretensioners and 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 collision, the pretensioners automatically tighten 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 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.


The RDX front seats incorporate innovative front seat active head restraints
that help minimize the potential for neck injury from rear-end collisions. In
the event of such a collision, the occupant's body is pushed against the seatback.
The pressure to the seatback is then transmitted mechanically from the lumbar
plate via links that push the head restraint upward and forward to reduce the
gap between the occupant's head and seat head restraint, comparatively reducing
the forces acting on the head, 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 standard on the Acura RDX but
are unavailable on the BMW X3.


An 18-gallon fuel tank is located in a protected area in front of the rear
body-deformation zone, to minimize its risk of damage in a collision.

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