June 30, 2003 – The new Avensis by Toyota Motor Corporation has the honor of being the first vehicle by a non-European carmaker to receive a five-star ranking from Europe’s leading authority on vehicle safety assessment, Euro NCAP. The achievement of such a high level of safety is due largely to the new Driver-Side SRS Knee Airbag developed by Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd in collaboration with Toyota Motor Corporation. Euro NCAP praised the innovation by stating, “There has been much effort put into protecting the driver’s knees and legs and the knee airbag worked very well.”
The TG manufactured Driver-Side SRS Knee Airbag was first introduced in Japan in September 2002 as a feature in the Toyota Caldina. This safety device, now in mass production, protects drivers by significantly reducing the risk of injury to the knees and legs in the event of a collision. The lower back restraint works synergistically with the seat belt force limiter to reduce the amount of force exerted by the seatbelt, thereby effectively reducing the likelihood of injury to the chest and abdomen.
The Driver-Side SRS Knee Airbag is currently featured in Toyota Motor Corporation’s latest models of the Caldina, Avensis, and Harrier (known as the Lexus RX330 in overseas markets). As we anticipate this product will soon be featured in other vehicle models, we have plans to manufacture it in Japan, North America, Europe, and Asia to keep up with the escalating demand. Development of a knee airbag for the front passenger seat is currently underway and is expected to go into production soon.
*1 European New Car Assessment Program
This is a vehicle safety testing and assessment program in Europe. The program involves the comprehensive testing and appraisal of all vehicle safety features, including a frontal offset impact collision test with a vehicle moving at 64 km/h and a side impact pole test to assess the degree of head protection each vehicle affords. The program also requires that a car be given a rating for such features as its ability to lower the risk of pedestrian injury in a crash situation.