Room for Improvement Found on Volvo S80

By: Glady Reign

Safety in its mass produced cars is the main priority of Volvo. This company has been long enough in the business to know how much it means to keep your consumers safe in cases of crashes or collisions. They have set the standard again and again in car safety with their innovative safety systems. Their dedication to the safety of their consumers led them to invest in a facility that is dedicated solely in developing safety systems that their cars in production will employ. Time and time again, the company has come up with newer safety features that are now anchored in technological advances, safety systems now rely heavily on its electronic controls.

While numerous safety features abound in the cars mass produced by the Sweden-based car manufacturer are relying on electronic sensors and modules, still the best protection in keeping the occupants of a car depends on the design and construction of the frame and chassis of these cars. and airbags also play major roles in the protection of the car's passengers and drivers during crashes. The complete lineup of airbags on all Volvo car models covers all the occupants of the car. The three-point seatbelt design being used by Volvo on their cars is one of the safest and best in any car being produced today. However, a consumer watchdog recently announced that there is still room for improvement in the seatbelt's design.

"Which?", an organization which studies consumer products to help guide the public, conducted studies on different popular car makes and singled out the 2006 Volvo S80 as a prime example of popular car models with safety problems. While the car has been rated as a safe car by other agencies, the consumer watchdog cited that it has poor belt buckle design both in the front and the rear seats. This design flaw can lead to the accidental release of the belt during crashes which will put the occupant in grave danger of being thrown out of the car in a worst case scenario. In response to the findings of Which?, Volvo has promised to take steps to improve their seatbelt buckle design.

Other car manufactures that have received the same comments for their design of seatbelt buckles are Chrysler, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Subaru. As of now, not one of these companies has responded to the challenge to redesign their seatbelt buckles in the interest of safety. The report from the said organization also states that some new Volkswagen models still has sliding front seats that can be released accidentally by the feet of passengers sitting on the rear of these sliding seats. This problem is still found today even though it has already been brought to the attention of the car manufacturer more than a couple of years back.

While there are still car models that still has safety problems, the report also cited that the present cars in production are getting safer and safer and have certainly come a long way from their predecessors that lacks rear seat belts as a standard feature. These previous vehicles employ no airbags at all and have few head restraints. This shows that the automotive industry has come a long way in addressing the safety problems of the past.

Coming this far is not enough though and car manufacturers are working on ways to eliminate further the problems in the safety aspect of their cars being produced. This effort can be seen on Volvo's positive response to the criticism it got for its seatbelt buckle design, and the company's newly developed safety system, the City Safety system, aims to cut down in half the number of low-speed collisions.

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