motorvista: History of Airbags

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Airbag Chronology
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Airbag Chronology
1998: Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century enacted by Congress [TEA 21] - for advanced air bags.
1993: First of 23 deaths over three years caused by passenger air bags: Diana Zhang, 6, of Canton, Ohio.
hi! Car companies required to begin phasing in passenger air bags in cars and light trucks.
1991: President Bush signs a law requiring an air-bag phase-in starting the '94 model year. Deadlines for passenger air bags: all 1998 model year cars; all 1999 model year trucks. [ISTEA :: Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act]
1990: First report of a driver being killed by an air bag: 64-year-old women suffers fatal chest injuries from air bag.
1989: Ford announces driver air bags will be standard equipment in nine car lines.
1988: In a dramatic turnaround from CEO Iacocca's previous anti-bag position, Chrysler becomes the first U.S. automaker to install driver air bags as standard equipment in all its domestic-made cars.
1987: NHTSA lets automakers use driver air bags to meet passive-restraint requirements until '94 model year.
1986: NHTSA allows automakers to meet passive-restraint requirements through the 1990 model year with only driver air bags. The agency cites concerns about the dangers of passenger air bags.
1984: Now Chrysler CEO, Iacocca lambastes air bags as example of "solution being worse than the problem."
1983: The Supreme Court rules against the Reagan administration and directs NHTSA to review the case for air bags.
1981: Under the anti-regulatory Reagan administration, NHTSA announces one-year delay of passive-restraint rule, proposes that it be rescinded altogether. [Transportation Secy: Elizabeth Dole]
hi! NHTSA cancels passive-restraint standard, citing uncertainty about public acceptance and use of automatic safety belts.
1979: General Accounting Office warns that out-of-position occupants are in danger from air bags.
hi! General Motors notifies NHTSA it will not offer optional passenger air bags on 1981 models as planned because of "potential for risk of injury to unrestrained small children who would otherwise survive an impact without significant harm." NHTSA chief Joan Claybrook insists "the trade-off in terms of saving thousands of lives clearly outweighs these extraordinary and infrequent risks."
1977: Carter administration Transportation Secretary Brock Adams announces that all new cars sold in the USA must have front air bags or passive safety belts that fasten without any effort by the driver or passenger by the 1984 model year.
1976: Transportation Secretary William Coleman says air bags in all cars would save about 12,000 lives each year. Scraps passive-restraint requirement when automakers pledge to install some air bags voluntarily.
1975: Volvo report says eight of 24 pigs used to simulate effect of air bags on unrestrained children were killed by the force of the air bags. All but three pigs were seriously injured.
1974: GM starts making some dual air-bag-equipped Cadillacs, Oldsmobiles and Buicks, hoping to sell 100,000 a year. Drops effort three years later after selling only 10,000.
1973: General Motors manufactures 1,000 Chevrolets equipped with experimental air bags and provides them to fleet customers for testing.
hi! Infant, unrestrained on passenger seat of one of the experimental Chevrolets, is killed when a passenger bag deploys in a wreck. GM considers that the first air-bag fatality.
hi! An Oldsmobile Toronado, first car with a passenger air bag intended for sale, rolls off assembly line.
1971: Ford builds experimental air bag fleet.
hi! NHTSA delays passive-restraint mandate until 1976 after Henry Ford II, Ford President Lee Iacocca lobby President Nixon.
1970: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) orders passive restraints by 1974 model year.
1969: Nixon administration proposes passive restraints in cars to protect unbelted occupants.
hi! General Motors warns federal safety officials that children too close to an inflating air bag could be "severely injured or killed."
1966: President Johnson signs the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, which requires the government to come up with safety standards for new vehicles. Previously, auto safety had been largely unregulated.

We do not vouch for the accuracy of the Information provided here. It is correct to the best of our knowledge.

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