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Old 11 Sep 2007, 08:14 pm
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default 2008 Acura RL - Safety

Torrance, Calif. - Sep 11 —


The RL is equipped with a comprehensive array of the latest technologies to
enhance active safety (accident avoidance) and passive safety (crash safety
performance). Features like Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with
traction control, heightened handling agility, SH-AWD™ and ABS enhance
accident avoidance capability in the RL. Should a collision prove unavoidable,
the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure of
the RL is designed to provide a protective cocoon for passengers in the event
of a collision with a different sized vehicle (a truck or SUV, for example).
Inside the RL, side, side curtain and dual-stage front air bag systems work
together with sophisticated restraint systems to minimize injury to passengers
in sufficient impacts.

As part of its commitment to providing Safety Through Innovation, Acura debuts
two optional Technology Packages on the RL:

  • RL with Technology Package includes: Acura Satellite Navigation System
    and AcuraLink™ with real-time traffic and rearview camera, Active Front
    Lighting System (AFS) and an upgraded wood interior

  • RL with Technology Package plus CMBS™ and PAX® Tires include:
    Acura's Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) and Michelin®
    PAX® run-flat tires

    • Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), which monitors
      the following distance and closing rate between the RL and the car directly
      in front of it, warns the driver when a collision is likely and helps
      reduce impact when a collision becomes unavoidable

    • Michelin® PAX® run-flat tires provide enhanced mobility and
      security with continuous drivability of up to 125 miles at 50 mph following
      a tire puncture

From a safety standpoint, these new Technology Package features help make
the 2008 RL one of the most comprehensively equipped vehicles in North America.

The following are key standard passive safety features on the RL:

Passenger Seating

  • Passenger seatbelt reminder

  • 3-point adjustable height front seat belts with load limiters and pretensioners

  • Front seat belt load limiters

  • Front 4-way adjustable head restraints

  • Driver's seat position sensor

  • Driver's and front passenger's side airbags with front passenger Occupant
    Position Detection System (OPDS)

  • Rear center three-point seat belt

Child Seating

  • Automatic Locking Retractors/Emergency Locking Retractors (ALR/ELR)

  • Tether anchors (all rear positions)

  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child-seat mounting system
    for rear outboard seats


  • Driver and front passenger dual-stage, dual-threshold airbag Supplemental
    Restraint System (SRS)

  • Seamless dashboard-mounted airbag lid for the passenger airbag

  • Driver and front passenger side airbags with front passenger Occupant Position
    Detection System (OPDS)

  • Side curtain airbag system


For 2008, two tiers of Technology Packages are available for the RL:

  • RL with Technology Package includes: Acura Satellite Navigation System
    and AcuraLink™ with real-time traffic and rearview camera, Active Front
    Lighting System (AFS) and an upgraded wood interior

  • RL with Technology Package plus CMBS™ and PAX® Tires includes:
    Acura's Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) and Michelin®
    PAX® run-flat tires

    • Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), which warns
      the driver of impending rear-end collisions and helps reduce impact when
      collisions are unavoidable

    • PAX® run-flat tires that provide enhanced safety and security with
      continuous mobility of up to 125 miles at 50 mph following a tire puncture


In 2006, the RL was the first Acura vehicle to offer an optional Collision
Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™). This revolutionary safety technology
monitors potential rear-end collisions, uses audio, visual and tactile signals
to alert drivers to the risk of collision, assists brake operation and tensions
the front seatbelts to help reduce impact on occupants and vehicle damage should
a collision become unavoidable. Unlike pre-collision systems on competitive
vehicles, CMBS™ automatically applies the brakes to mitigate the severity
of a collision.

Using a millimeter-wave radar unit located inside the front grille, the CMBS™
system monitors the distance between the RL and the car directly in front of
it up to a distance of 300 feet along with the rate of closure between the two
vehicles. When the closing rate increases to a point where a collision is likely
to occur (based on relative vehicle speeds and following distance) the system
uses visual and audible warnings to prompt the driver to take preventative action.
If, based on the driver's response, the system determines that the likelihood
of a collision has decreased to an acceptable level, the CMBS™ system
will disengage. If, however, the driver's response does not sufficiently reduce
the risk of a collision, the system will issue a secondary warning consisting
of audible, visual and tactile elements as well as light braking to alert the
driver to take action. If the closing rate increases so much that a collision
becomes unavoidable, CMBS™ can initiate hard braking to reduce the vehicle's
speed as well as tension the driver and front passenger seatbelts to help reduce
the severity of the crash.

Collision Mitigation Braking System ™ (CMBS ™) Overview

  1. Stage one: When there is a risk of a collision with the
    vehicle ahead or if the distance between the vehicles has dropped below the
    pre-set level, a buzzer sounds and the message "BRAKE" appears on the Multi-Information

  2. Stage two: If the distance between the two vehicles continues
    to diminish, CMBS™ applies light braking, and an electric motor activates
    the driver's seat belt E-pretensioner, retracting the seatbelt gently two
    or three times, providing the driver with a tactile warning. The buzzer sounds
    again and the word "BRAKE" appears again on the Multi-Information Display.

  3. Stage three: If, after issuing the primary and secondary
    warnings, the CMBS™ system determines that a collision is unavoidable,
    the E-pretensioner retracts the driver and front passenger seatbelts with
    enough force to compensate for seatbelt slack or baggy clothing and activates
    the brakes forcefully to reduce the speed of impact in the attempt to mitigate
    the collision effects on the RL and its occupants.

The CMBS™ system functions only when the RL is traveling at over 10
miles per hour and when the speed differential between the RL and the car directly
in front it is 10 mile per hour or more. CMBS™ can be turned off by depressing
a switch located on the left hand side of the instrument panel.


The 2008 RL offers Michelin's innovative PAX® System, an extended mobility
tire-and-wheel system that allows drivers to continue driving in the event of
a loss of air pressure. The Michelin® PAX® System (included with the
RL with Technology Package plus CMBS™ and PAX® Tires) gives drivers
the security to travel on a deflated tire for up to 125 miles at 50 mph. The
PAX® System uses a unique wheel size and 245-680R 460A 102V Michelin PAX®
run-flat high performance all-season tires. The PAX® Extended Mobility System
is comprised of four components:

  • A tire design that dynamically locks onto the wheel and will not come unseated
    during normal use, with a performance-enhancing structure and short sidewalls

  • An inner support ring that carries the load of the vehicle if pressure
    is lost

  • A specially shaped wheel to facilitate the inner support ring

  • A tire pressure monitoring system with position indicator that warns the
    driver of pressure loss

The system offers owners the convenience and security of knowing that they
will not be stranded with a flat tire while offering numerous benefits over
conventional run-flat tires and radial tires. Unlike conventional run flat tires,
the PAX® system uses an inner support ring instead of a heavy and stiff
reinforced sidewall thus allowing for improved overall ride quality as well
as increased stability in run-flat situations.

Additionally, PAX® tires offer benefits over traditional radial tires

  • As much as a 12-percent lower rolling resistance, benefiting fuel economy

  • Sporty appearance and sporty handling capabilities with low-profile sidewall
    and increased wheel diameter

  • In the event of a flat tire, drivers no longer run the risk of having to
    stop in dangerous or uncomfortable situations (night, rain, highways, etc.)

  • In the event of tire pressure loss, the exclusive tire bead anchoring system
    securely locks the tire bead to the wheel

  • No need for a spare tire

The PAX® system uses a Tire Pressure Monitoring System™ (TPMS™)
that displays on the RL's Multi-Information Display (MID) screen the pressure
status for each individual tire. In the event of a tire puncture, the MID alerts
the driver with a visual and audible warning. In addition to electronic warnings,
a deflated PAX® tire makes a slight rumble noise and the ride quality of
the vehicle changes. PAX® tires are normally reparable after a puncture
and after having been run in the deflated condition. A special bead system creates
a physical interlock between the uniquely shaped wheel rim and the bead of the
tire. Instead of air pressure alone creating a tight lock between tire and wheel,
the tension in a PAX® tire pulls on a bead wire, tightening it into the
wheel and preventing the tire from coming off the rim.

Detailed information regarding the PAX® system is available at
A 24-hour/365 day per year toll-free number has been established (located on
a document included with the Owner's Manual) to assist customers with PAX®
repair needs.


The onboard Tire Pressure Monitoring System™ (TPMS™) with location
and pressure indicators warns the driver when the air pressure lowers in any
tire. This helps reduce the chance of losing control of the vehicle due to low
tire pressure. This is important because a slow leak (such as might be caused
by a nail embedded through the tread) might not be detectable immediately but
over time could cause significant air loss, reduced tire grip and potentially
a blowout.

A sensor mounted on each wheel continually monitors tire pressure and sends
a coded signal to an initiator located inboard of the tire on the chassis. The
information is then sent to an electronic control unit that compares the values
of each tire against an acceptable set of values.

When a tire's pressure drops significantly below the proper specification,
a "CHECK TIRE PRESSURE" alert appears on the MID alert screen. The system can
simultaneously display the air pressure in all four tires via the MID, making
it simple to locate the specific low tire. If there is a fault in the system,
a "CHECK TPMS SYSTEM" alert appears. At the driver's preference the display
can continually show the air pressure in all four tires. Regardless of whether
the driver chooses to monitor the pressures, a warning will still occur if a
tire drops below specification.


The Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure
on the 2008 Acura RL is designed to take vehicle front frame construction beyond
conventional safety protocols such as the NHTSA NCAP 35 mph frontal barrier
test or the IIHS 40 mph offset frontal crash. Its goal is to deliver significantly
enhanced occupant protection in a variety of real-world crash conditions. These
incidents may include a frontal collision between vehicles of differing heights,
weights and frame construction.

The structure uses the engine compartment to efficiently absorb and disperse
collision energy during a vehicle-to-vehicle collision. It features a new frame
structure composed of a highly efficient energy-absorbing main frame, a bulkhead
(upper frame) which absorbs the upper part of the collision energy, and a lower
member that helps prevent misalignment of the frames of the vehicles involved.
This design disperses collision forces over a larger frontal area, which enhances
energy absorption of the engine compartment, reduces the chance of deformation
of the passenger compartment and results in enhanced occupant protection. At
the same time, ACE™ reduces the chance of vertical or lateral misalignment
between the RL and other vehicle's safety structures.

During a frontal collision, a conventional body structure generally concentrates
the loads from the impact through two pathways running longitudinally through
the lower portion of the frame. The ACE™ structure's front-mounted polygonal
main frame is designed to prevent cabin deformation by distributing forces through
multiple major load bearing pathways—and away from the passenger compartment.


The RL has received the highest ratings given (5 Stars) by NHTSA in frontal
and side impact testing as well as rollover resistance. In addition, the RL
rated GOOD in impact test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

  • In the 35 mph NHTSA New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) full frontal barrier
    test, the RL earned Five Stars, the highest rating for both driver and front

  • In the 38.5 mph SINCAP side test, the RL earned Five Stars, the highest
    rating for both front and rear outboard passenger

  • In the IIHS 40 mph frontal offset test, the RL earned a GOOD rating

  • In the IIHS 31 mph (50 km/h) Side Impact Collision Evaluation (SICE) test,
    the RL earned a GOOD rating


Dual-stage airbags for the driver and front passenger are designed to provide
protection for the head and chest during a moderate to severe front collision,
while simultaneously helping to reduce injuries. They do both through the use
of a dual-stage, dual-threshold airbag technology. Each airbag inflator has
two stages. During a severe collision both stages fire simultaneously to provide
immediate airbag inflation. Yet, during a moderate collision the igniters fire
in sequence, slowing the deployment rate of the airbags.

Besides the severity of the collision, the modules interpret a signal from
the seat belt buckle switch that indicates whether the occupants are wearing
seat belts.

  • If the front passengers are not wearing seat belts, the inflators will
    activate simultaneously to make the airbag deploy more quickly.

  • If front passengers are wearing seat belts, the airbags will inflate at
    a slightly higher threshold.

In the RL, the system also assesses the weight of the front passenger through
a seat-mounted weight sensor. If the detected weight is less than a certain
amount, the front passenger airbag is turned off. The front passenger airbag
also features a seamless instrument panel cover over the airbag for a cleaner,
more elegant look.


New larger size side airbags are mounted in the outboard area of each front
seatback. The airbags are designed to provide upper torso protection in the
event of a sufficient side impact. The front passenger seat is equipped with
Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), an innovative system designed to
deactivate the side air bag if a small child (or small-stature adult) leans
into the side air bag deployment path. When the passenger returns to an upright
seating position, the side air bag 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 to determine
if it is safe to deploy the side air bag.


In a sufficient side impact, the RL's side curtain airbags deploy from roof
modules, providing head protection for front-seat as well as outboard rear-seat
occupants. 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 a side curtain airbag.


The RL includes a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child-seat
mounting system for the outboard rear seats. 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. The LATCH
system simplifies child seat installation when an owner installs a LATCH-compatible
child seat. The center rear seat has a tether point, but no lower anchors.


Acura's safety interests extend beyond care for vehicle occupants. The RL
hood area is designed to deform if contact is made with a pedestrian. Underneath
the hood are energy-absorbing supports and fender mounts, and the windshield
wiper pivots are also deformable in the event that a pedestrian contacts these
areas. Research shows that features such as these dramatically improve a pedestrian's
chance of survival if struck by a moving vehicle.

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