Buick LESABRE 1998 Owner Manual

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When should an air bag inflate?

An air bag is designed to inflate in a moderate to severe frontal tJr neardfrontal crash. The air bag will inflate only if the impact speed is above the sys Lem‘s designed “threshold level.“ If your vehicle goes straight into :1 wall that doesn't move or deform. the threshold level is about 9 to In mph [14- to 2-4- krni’h]. The threshold level can vary. however. with specific vehicle design, so that it can be somewhat above or below this range. If your vehicle strikes something that will move or deform, such as a parked car. the threshold level will be higher, The air bag is not designed to inflate in rollovers. side impacts or rear impacts. because inflation would not help the one upant.

In any particular crash, no one can say whether an air bag should have inflated simply because of the damage It: a vehicle or because of what the repair costs were. Inflation is determined by the angle of the impact and how quickly the vehicle slows down in frontal or nearnfrontsl impacts.

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What makes an air bag inflate?

In an impact of .sulficient severity. the air bag sensing system detecLs that the vehicle is in a crash. The sensing system triggers a release of gas from the infi ator. which inflates the air bag. The inf] ator. air bag and related hardware are all part of the air bag modules inside the steering wheel and in [he instrument panel in front of the right front passenger.

How does an air bag restrain?

In moderate to severe firms] or near—frontal collisions, even belted occupants can contact the steering wheel or the instrument panel. Air bags supplement the proteeu'on provided by safety belts. Air bags distribute the Force of the impact more evenly over the occupant's upper body. Stopping the occupant more gradually. But air bags would not help you in many types of collisions, including rollovers. rear impacts and side impacts. primarily because an occupant‘s motion is not toward those air bags. Air bags shortld never be regal-tin] as unylhing ITIUI'E lhtu't a supplement to 5:11er belts. and then only in moderate to severe fi'onhtl ur near-Emmi collisions.

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