GOTHENBURG - Volvo will introduce two new crash-safety features on its S80 sedan that debuts this summer.
One is a tube-like curtain filled with gas and ejected from the headliner on impact. It is designed to protect the head from objects outside the car after the windows shatter. The other is a seat designed to minimize whiplash. During a rear-end crash it reclines further than usual to prevent jerking motions of the head.
Accident studies by Volvo show that 80-90 percent of all rear-end crashes involve neck trauma. 'We want to minimize whiplash in cars,' said Ingrid Skogsmo, manager of safety performance criteria.
Skogsmo, who is also manager of Volvo's accident commission, said the company will spend SKr650 million ($85 million) to build a new safety center in Gothenburg. The center should be finished by 2000.