Dating to the 1970s, this silent film shows a crash test performed by General Motors during early tests of air bags. This particular test is for a front impact at an angle, and various views show the collision and resultant deployment. In the 1970s, General Motors marketed its first airbag modules under the unwieldy name "Air Cushion Restraint System (ACRS)".
G.M.'s history with airbags dates back to the 1972 model year, when the Chevrolet Division built 1,000 1973 Chevrolet Caprice and Impala models equipped with them. They were provided to fleet customers under an agreement for testing purposes. In 1973 unfortunately, the first air bag fatality occurred when an unrestrained infant riding in the front passenger seat was killed after the passenger-side air bag deployed in a crash.
In 1974 the Oldsmobile Toronado became the first production car built with the Air Cushion Restraint System (ACRS) option that was intended for retail sale. It was followed by the Buick Electra 225 Limited. GM began building Cadillacs, Buicks, and Oldsmobiles with ACRS, and stated that they expect to sell 100,000 a year. But sales were disappointingly small -- only 10K units -- and after just three years of marketing, the option was dropped. G.M. would not offer them again for over a decade.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com