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Old 12 Sep 2007, 05:24 am
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default 2008 Acura TL - Safety

Torrance, Calif. - Sep 11 —


The 2008 TL and TL Type-S were developed to help protect its occupants with
a comprehensive array of safety technologies, high-grade materials, and advanced
construction techniques.

Weight sensors are incorporated in the front passenger seat to determine the
occupant's total weight on that seat. If weight is less than 65 pounds
(such as in the case of a small child or car seat) the front airbag will not
deploy and a warning message appears on the instrument panel. For the driver,
a position sensor in the seat determines how the airbag will be deployed in
the event of a frontal collision. If the seat is close to its forwardmost position,
the front airbag is designed to deploy in the dual-stage mode. Otherwise, the
airbag deploys in either single or dual-stage mode based on the severity of
the collision and seat belt use.

The TL and TL Type-S also feature adjustable rear outboard head restraints
along with standard side curtain airbags. These technologies, and the use of
high-tensile steel in critical areas and computer-modeled crush zones, help
to ensure a high level of passenger protection. The TL passed the toughest government
safety tests with a 5-star frontal rating (the best rating possible) in addition
to achieving a GOOD rating in all categories evaluated during the IIHS frontal
offset collision. The safety equation even extends to pedestrians as the TL
incorporates structural elements designed to reduce the likelihood of serious
injury in a collision.


The TL offers its occupants the following Acura safety technologies:

  • Front 3-point Emergency Locking Retractors (ELR) with pretensioners

  • Front seat-belt load limiters

  • Front four-way adjustable head restraints

  • Front seat occupant height and position sensors

  • Front driver and passenger seatbelt warning system with chime

  • Rear center three-point seat belt

  • Rear outboard two-way adjustable head restraints

  • Tether anchors

  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) car seat mounting
    system for rear outboard positions

  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)


  • Dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags with driver's seat
    position sensor and passenger's seat weight sensor

  • Front passenger seat mounted side impact airbags with Occupant
    Position Detection System (OPDS)

  • Side curtain airbag system


The side airbags are located in the outboard seat side bolsters and deploy
when sensors detect that a sufficient side impact is occurring. To help prevent
injury to a small-stature adult or child, an innovative passenger position sensing
system prevents side airbag deployment if the passenger is leaning into the
side airbag deployment path. A total of seven sensors in the passenger seatback
determine the height and position of the occupant; this helps the system determine
if it is safe to deploy the side airbag. When the passenger returns to an upright
seating position, the side airbag will reactivate so it can deploy and help
protect the passenger in a side impact.


The side curtain airbags deploy from a module in the roof rail in the event
of a sufficient side impact. They provide an important and significant level
of head protection in the window area from the A-pillar back to the C-pillar.
Research shows that the g forces affecting an occupant's head are considerably
lower with a side curtain airbag. The airbag module is located in the side of
the roof and the gas pressure deployment vessel is positioned in the C-pillar.
The vessel supplies gas to the airbag through a channel in the roof side. Front
and rear "satellite" sensors (one located at the base of the B-pillar and another
located near the rear seat back) detect side impacts and signal deployment.


The use of high-tensile steel significantly contributes to the side impact
performance on both TL models in the government's tough SINCAP (Side Impact
New Car Assessment Program) test. The TL's energy-absorbing body structure
is built with high-strength steel in key areas to provide the required strength
without excessive weight.

During a side impact collision, forces are distributed across the computer-engineered
body structure, lessening forces that affect the occupants. Dual steel door
beams in each front door and a single door beam in each rear door team with
energy-absorbing padding to further absorb crash energy.

The TL passed the government SINCAP test with a 4-Star front seat and 5-Star
rear seat rating.

The TL was developed with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's
Side Impact Crashworthiness Evaluation (SICE) in mind, and it received a GOOD
rating, the highest possible ranking.


The TL is equipped with dual-stage, dual-threshold airbags for the driver
and front passenger, and this system has been designed to meet federal safety
regulations (FMVSS 208). The front airbags are designed to minimize the potential
for airbag injury while providing head and chest protection for the front occupants
in the event of a sufficient frontal collision. This front airbag system features
additional sensors; front passenger seat weight sensors, and a driver's
seat position sensor designed to enhance occupant protection.

The TL's front airbags can deploy at one of two rates. Deployment of
the driver's side airbag takes into account the severity of the crash,
whether or not the driver's seat belt is fastened and the position of
the driver's seat. During a lower speed collision, the airbag inflators
are triggered in sequence, resulting in slower overall airbag deployment with
less initial force. The same sequence is also utilized regardless of collision
speed if integrated sensors in the driver's seat register if it is at
or near the full forward position. During a higher speed collision, if the driver's
seat is far enough away from the full frontal position, both inflators operate
simultaneously for full, immediate inflation. Airbag deployment on the front
passenger's side is regulated by crash severity, seatbelt usage, and the
weight of the occupant. Integrated sensors under the seat gauge occupant weight
and if the total weight on the passenger seat is less than 65 lbs, the airbag
system will not deploy, minimizing the potential for injury to children. Just
as the with the driver's side, the airbags are deployed at the speed appropriate
to the speed and severity of the collision - slower for lower speed collisions,
more quickly for higher speeds.

The driver's airbag is located in the steering wheel hub and the passenger's
airbag is located on top of the dash. As in all Acura vehicles, the front passenger's
airbag is designed to deploy upward toward the windshield and then back toward
the occupant. This style of deployment provides a large cushion to help protect
the front passenger.


The 2008 TL underwent numerous internal front-impact tests to verify the vehicle
structure and occupant-protection performance. Two of these tests include the
government's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) test and the Front Offset
test conducted by the IIHS. These two standardized tests rate front impact occupant
protection performance.

In the NCAP test, the vehicle impacts a rigid barrier at 35 mph. During the
IIHS front offset test, the vehicle impacts 40-percent offset deformable barrier
at 40 mph. The TL achieves a 5-Star rating for driver and passenger in the NCAP
test and a GOOD rating for all points in the IIHS test. Acura achieved these
outstanding results with the implementation of pretensioners and load-limiting
seat belts, in conjunction with an energy-absorbing body structure that uses
high-strength steel in critical locations.

Computer simulations determined the critical load paths, allowing the usage
of high-strength steel to be strategically placed. Furthermore, the use of high-strength
steel helps to reduce overall weight of the vehicle and it reduces the amount
of intrusion to a passenger safety cage-the rigid perimeter that envelops
the occupant during a collision.


In addition to evaluating injury projections in collisions, the IIHS also
evaluates vehicles for damage resistance in low-speed collisions. IIHS conducts
four tests at 5 mph-front flat impact, front 30-degree impact, rear flat
impact, and rear pole impact. The combined damage sustained during these four
tests is expressed in an overall repair cost.

The target repair cost for these tests is less than the repair cost for the
average TL competitor. The front and rear bumper systems on the TL get high
marks. They incorporate high-strength rolled-form bumper beams and highly efficient
thermoplastic energy absorbers to disperse low-speed collision energy.


An onboard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is equipped with location
and pressure indicators that warn the driver when the air pressure drops considerably
in any tire. This information helps reduce the chance of losing control of the
vehicle due to low tire pressure. This is important because a slow leak, such
as one that might be caused by a nail embedded through the tread, might not
be detectable immediately but would, in time, cause significant air loss resulting
in the reduction of tire of 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 tire pressure drops significantly below the proper specification, a "CHECK
TIRE PRESSURE" alert appears on the MID alert screen. The system can display
the air pressure in all four tires simultaneously via the MID, making it simple
to locate a 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 a predetermined


Acura continues its commitment to safety by extending it to pedestrians. To
help reduce pedestrian injuries in the event of a collision, the TL hood and
fender areas were designed to deform if contacted by the head of an adult or
child pedestrian. Energy-absorbing collapsible hood supports, windshield wiper
arms and fender mounts allow substantial deformation in an impact, allowing
the engineering team to meet its target for pedestrian safety.


Besides its passive safety features, the TL has a full complement of technologies
designed to aid in driver control and in challenging driving conditions and

These technologies include:

  • Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)

  • Brake Assist

  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)

  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)

  • Expansive outside visibility

  • Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) projector headlamps

Please refer to the Body & Chassis section for information on these technologies.

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