World's Smallest Airbag Earns Takata 2011 Automotive News PACE Award


AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Through Vacuum Folding Technology (VFT), Takata has brought new styling and design options to the steering wheel by dramatically reducing the size of the airbag in the wheel hub.  Using a highly compressive folding force, a vacuum system, and very specific laminate pouch to seal the bag, VFT can reduce the size of the airbag cushion by 50 percent.  This first-of-its-kind innovative technology gives designers a much freer hand in the design of steering wheels, for visibility and safety reasons.  

The Takata VFT process can also be applied to multiple types of airbag modules throughout the vehicle. For example, a VFT Passenger Airbag Module enables the design of a much larger glove box arrangement, and more flexible package space for HVAC or electronic systems.  VFT Side Airbags enable a potential return to slimmer seats, increasing occupant leg room.  The new design options are immense, all while meeting OEM and legislative safety requirements, plus providing the additional benefit of mass reduction afforded to the OEM, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint.

“We see our new VFT process paving the way to new creative interior design options OEMs want to bring to their customers that were impossible up until this point,” said Takata Executive Vice President, Rob Fisher.  “Our aim is to always be the first to produce innovative and appealing safety systems that anticipate emerging needs of our customers, and provide the optimal safety benefits.  The new Vacuum Folding Technology process for airbags achieves both of those primary objectives, and we are honored to be recognized with such a prestigious industry award.”

About Takata Corporation

Takata Corporation is one of the leading automotive safety equipment suppliers in the world. Its customers include nearly every automotive manufacturer and several Tier One suppliers. Its technology features a strong emphasis on safety restraint systems, seat belts, air bags, steering wheels, safety electronics, interior trim, and special fabrics and textile materials. Takata’s worldwide sales approach $5 billion annually, with the company operating 46 manufacturing locations in 17 countries, and 11 research and development locations on three continents. Takata employs more than 30,000 people globally, with more than 18,000 in North America.

To view a brief video of the Vacuum Folding Technology (VFT), visit:

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SOURCE Takata Corporation

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