Mercedes-Benz To Adopt Rear Seatbelt Airbags On Future Luxury Model

The Mercedes-Benz Beltbag, coming soon to an unnamed luxury model

The Mercedes-Benz Beltbag, coming soon to an unnamed luxury model

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Calling it the Beltbag, Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to introduce inflatable rear seatbelt airbags on a yet-to-be-named “luxury-class model,” likely the new S Class sedan. The inflatable belts have been shown to reduce the potential for rear-seat passenger injuries in frontal collisions, by dispersing forces transmitted to the ribcage.

The belt airbags would be triggered in severe frontal collisions only (where they’re shown to be most effective), inflated by gas generators. The seat belt’s Velcro cover would split open during deployment, allowing the belt itself to expand to three times its normal width.

The belt’s larger surface area allows crash forces to be distributed across a wider area, lessening the chance of severe chest injuries. Research shows that the belt’s added thickness improves comfort under normal usage, too.

Don’t expect to see Mercedes-Benz deploy Beltbags for front seat passengers, as existing front airbag systems already protect first row occupants. Aside from adding to manufacturing costs, Beltbags would deliver no significant benefits to front passengers.

While Mercedes-Benz has a long history of pioneering safety advancements in automobiles, the Germany luxury brand wasn't the first to introduce rear seatbelt airbags. Ford debuted this technology as an available option on 2011 Explorer XLT and Limited models, and has since deployed rear seatbelt airbags on Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT models.
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Comments (9)
  1. now to get people to actually wear the rear seat belts thats the problem that needs solving.

  2. Don't worry about them Enzo. They will learn the hard way. And any parent showing their kid it's alright to not wear a seatbelt will be in for a world of pain once this life is over.

  3. @JC, what teenager listens to his parent, especially when that parent isn't in the car? All the shock films shown in driver's education classes have no impact, either.

  4. @Enzo, that's why track time should be required to get a drivers license. Once you understand the kind of forces generated when things go wrong at speed, you realize that wearing seat belts isn't optional.

  5. i agree with u on that one but as u mention today teens have really thick skulls, not sure its going to help. it seems the car manufactures need to come up with a way to solve this problem.

  6. @Enzo, manufacturers tried this in the early 1990s; remember "automatic shoulder belts" that still required you to fasten a lap belt? If I remember correctly, some cars wouldn't start unless the lap belt was fastened.

  7. those did not work to well i read somewhere if u didnt use the manual belt the risk of liver injury increase to 22 percent in a accident. new technology is now needed.

  8. well, it looks very useful and Mercedes engineers worked well to create it before others even thought about it..

  9. @Ted, Ford would probably be surprised to hear that, since it debuted inflatable rear seat belt airbags on the 2011 Explorer...

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