July 8, 1997 |
Air bags can save lives. They can also save a company. In 1990, the year after the Berlin Wall came down, a modest-sized Newhall defense contractor, Special Devices Inc., jumped full tilt into selling trigger devices called initiators, which were similar to those it produced for Tomahawk missiles, to makers of automotive air bags. Since then, the company's profits have jumped fivefold, sales have quadrupled and its net worth has tripled. About 80% of its business now comes from automotive sales.
November 18, 1997 |
The Clinton administration will announce new rules today allowing certain motorists to have on-off switches installed for the air bags in their cars, industry and government officials said. The move is in response to the deaths of dozens of children and adults--many of them short women--from the force of deploying air bags. Motorists must sign paperwork certifying that they fit into one of several high-risk categories of people before a switch could be installed.
August 21, 2002 |
BMW recalled 20,500 more of its 1999-model 323i and 328i sedans because side air bags may inflate unexpectedly and cause head injuries, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The air bags might deploy if the car hits a large pothole or is struck with force that wouldn't cause significant damage, according to the government agency. "A small number of minor abrasions and bruises" have been reported as a result of unexpected deployments, a BMW spokesman said.
November 22, 1996 |
New federal car air bag regulations to be issued today will acknowledge that air bags are not the magic safety device once thought and in fact the fast-inflating bags can be fatal to children and small adults. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is weighing rules that include reducing the high speed of bag inflation, mandating bags with dual speeds for slow and high-speed crashes and letting owners deactivate bags.
November 18, 1997 |
After more than a year of debate, the government will issue a rule today allowing car owners to install switches to turn air bags on or off, according to administration sources. The rule is a compromise designed to satisfy auto industry and consumer groups who say the switches could lead to more highway deaths, while mollifying motorists and passengers who fear the air bags, which deploy forcefully, could injure or kill them.
April 2, 1990 |
The Supreme Court today let stand rulings that protect automobile manufacturers from design-defect lawsuits for not installing air bags. The justices, without comment, refused to revive three such suits against General Motors, one against Honda and one against Nissan. Three federal appeals courts and a California state court ruled in favor of the car makers.
September 6, 2007 |
The federal government effectively ordered auto manufacturers Wednesday to install advanced head and side air bags in new vehicles beginning in 2009 to provide more protection for drivers and passengers in side-impact crashes. The first-ever National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requirement aimed at reducing head injuries will force carmakers to meet aggressive criteria that could render unacceptable some side air bag systems that have been installed voluntarily in recent years.
December 8, 1995
Safety Components International Inc. said Thursday that it plans to repurchase 250,000 shares of its own stock to stem a decline in the price of its shares since September. After reaching $20 a share in September, the Costa Mesa company's stock fell to $14.25 Wednesday. The company, which manufactures automotive air bags, has 5.1 million public shares outstanding. The stock of Safety Components closed Thursday at $15.25 a share, up $1 in Nasdaq trading.
August 20, 2002 |
General Motors Corp. recalled nearly 720,000 cars and trucks that have potential air bag problems. The first recall includes 570,000 model year 2000 pickups and sport utility vehicles with a problem that could prevent air bags from working in certain frontal collisions. The affected models include Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups and Tahoe/Suburban and Yukon/Yukon XL SUVs.
May 12, 1998 |
Toyota Motor Sales USA said it will legally protect dealers who install air bag on-off switches for qualified customers. The Torrance-based unit of Japan's No. 1 auto maker, Toyota Motor Corp., said its parts policy covers lawsuits over alleged defects in installing Toyota switches. In addition, Toyota said it will provide coverage in excess of dealers' insurance levels for installing air bag switches.