Opel’s Reactive Head Restraint Tops EuroNCAP Testing
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Research is very important, as it sometimes leads to breakthrough features, like Opel’s reactive head restraint that reduces the risk of whiplash in the event of a crash. The system was highly rated by the independent testing authority EuroNCAP and Germany's largest automobile club, the ADAC (Allgemeine Deutsche Automobilclub). The head restraint achieved an absolute top value of 3.74 out of a possible 4.00 points in the simulated rear impact test.
According to Opel, “the head restraint is effectively constructed: once activated, it automatically returns to its initial position, making it fully functional again - without the need for a costly trip to the dealers' garage. A major benefit is that the actuator is integrated into the lower backrest, meaning in the event of a rear impact collision, it is activated by the passenger's pelvis.”
“The advantage of integrating it here is that the body has maximum contact with this part of the backrest. Normally, most conventional systems integrate the actuator into the upper backrest. This can be a problem for small or petite passengers, as they cannot always activate the head restraint.
"The head restraint shoots forward in just 25 milliseconds," explained Holger Jetses, vice president and general manager of GM/Opel business unit at Johnson Controls. "This prevents rearward displacement of the head - otherwise known as whiplash."
This head restraint system is standard in the Opel Astra in almost all countries throughout Europe.
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