The passenger airbag reduces fatalities in frontal crashes by approximately 20% (for belted front seat occupants). It deploys in 50 milliseconds, half the time of the “blink of an eye".
The passenger airbag is mounted in the dashboard on the passenger side. Typical cushion size varies from 90 to 150 liters. In most cars today, the necessary opening flap for the airbag on the dashboard is covered by a decorative skin, so the airbag remains out of sight until needed. A reliable deployment is ensured by a predetermined, non-visible tear line on the underside of the dashboard.
A standard passenger airbag module consists of:
1. an inflator with an initiator,
2. a textile bag (cushion),
3. a housing, a deflector (inside the cushion) and
4. a cover.
The most widely used inflator technology is a pyrotechnic solid gas generant, although hybrid technologies using a combination of compressed gas and solid generant are also used. The inflator output is highly tailorable to the restraint system requirements.