When it comes to safety, the Chevrolet Cruze has won the NHTSA’s coveted 5-star safety rating for three straight years. The Cruze is also an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety “top safety pick,” giving this model the highest possible ratings from government and insurance industry sources both.
Flexible Venting Technology
GM has made an important change to the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze as its driver’s side air bag brings in flexible venting technology that the automaker says deploys more efficiently and costs less. The system provides equivalent crash protection and has enabled the Cruze to retain its 5-star safety rating under the NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program.
The new air bag is a departure from common dual-stage air bags that use two sets of inflators: one for low-speed crashes and the other for high-speed crashes. For 2013, the new air bag uses just one lower output inflator engineered to manage both low- and high-speed crash forces. The new system is more compact, lighter and is expected to reduce deployment injuries as the driver’s forward momentum should push the air bag out and away while still providing effective cushioning in crashes.
“This new air bag technology is a smart way to manage crash forces, and is an integral part of Cruze’s continued success in safety testing,” said Gay Kent, GM general director of vehicle safety and crashworthiness. “The latest safety rating reflects the confidence we have in its new and carry-over safety technologies and overall crashworthiness.”
Chevrolet Traverse Crossover
GM has been tweaking its air bag technology of late as the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, a midsize crossover SUV, is now outfitted with the industry’s very first front center air bag. The new Traverse air bag is designed to protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes or where the affected occupant is seated on the opposite, non-struck side of the crossover.
Takata Corporation, a Japanese automotive safety systems supplier, worked with GM to develop the new air bags. Beyond air bags and seat belts, Takata is noted for developing electronic control units, lane departure warning systems, seat weight sensors and child restraint systems.
Segment Safety Leadership
When the Cruze came to the U.S. market in fall 2010, it was the first vehicle in its class to be outfitted with 10 air bags including a driver’s knee air bag. Electronic stability control, brake assist and traction control are standard. An enhanced safety package is also available and comes with rear park assist, side blind zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert.