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Published on April 13th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Bosch has supplied over 111 million airbag control units

Precisely 111,111,111 Bosch airbag control units have been manufactured since 1980, when they first went into series production. They deploy the restraint devices based on the kind and severity of the accident, as measured by their sensors. Airbags have been standard equipment for a number of years in all vehicles sold in Europe, the United States, and Japan. On average, some 80 percent of new vehicles manufactured in the world are equipped with at least one airbag. In the BRIC states (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), however, the proportion is currently only one in two. Bosch started to manufacture the world’s first electronic airbag control units in 1980. The next year, they were incorporated for the first time into a series-production car, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class saloon, where they controlled the activation of the driver airbag and a seat belt pretensioner. Many cars today contain as many as nine airbags, together with belt pretensioning mechanisms that complement the action of the airbags, by further limiting the consequences of an impact for passengers. The risk of fatal injuries to occupants of vehicles involved in road accidents in Europe was twice as high in the 1990s as in 2008. “The widespread introduction of airbags had a major impact that the number of road fatalities has been cut by nearly half since then,” says Werner Struth, the president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division. Driver airbags are also becoming increasingly common in emerging markets such as those of Asia and South America. In 2009, the governments of Brazil and Argentina adopted a resolution making it compulsory for all new passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles to have front-seat airbags as of 2014. Bosch manufactures restraint systems in Europe, Asia, and North America.

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