Inflatable seat belts for LFA
SAFETY (BELT): The (very) limited production Lexus LFA will debut Takata Corporation’s innovative inflatable seat belts.
Japan’s greatest supercar will be the first vehicle to debut inflatable seat belts.
Takata Corporation, a parts supplier for the Lexus LFA, has announced that its seat-belt air-bag technology will be part of series production when the supercar's liines start to roll later in December, 2010 in Toyota City, Japan.
"The seat belt will have an air bag built into its webbing, ready to inflate on impact to provide more protection to the shoulder and head," Takata Corporation said. "The system is the first of its kind for cars."
REDUCING SHOCK LOAD
Takata Corporation's engineers have designed the blow-up seat belts to cover front and side impacts. A front impact will cause the belt to inflate to reduce the shock over a wider area of the occupant’s chest, reducing the acute effect of belt webbing. If the LFA is struck from either side, the belts will inflate to cushion lateral neck movement and the impact from the door and window.
Although the Lexus LFA will debut inflatable seat belts, it will remain exclusive - LFA production will be limited to 500 units.
Neither Toyota nor Takata Corporation suggested the belts' use in other Lexus or Toyota vehicles. Ford would appear to be the brand likely to popularise inflatable seat-belts by offering them as an option - rear passengers only - in the 2011 Ford Explorer.