We give little thought to our seat covers, if at all we use them. Generally, we opt for seat covers based on how they look and whether they offer good protection to our seats from harsh sunlight, spills and stains. We rarely wonder whether the seat covers we use might actually affect our safety.
According to the Australasian New Car Assessment Program, which tests new cars for safety in Australia. Seat covers can have a serious impact on the deployment of airbags, which in many new models are integrated into the front seats. In fact right from 1994, vehicle manufacturers have been fitting side-impact protection systems. Models like the 2018 Honda City model have airbags which are built into the door side of the backrest of the front seat. In the event of a collision, these airbags which are supposed to protect the head and the chest area deploy by bursting through the upholstery through stitching that is designed to give way if the car is sideswiped. When seat covers are used, the airbags may not work as they are supposed to or might inflate at an unpredictable angle and with greater force. This might push the passenger in a direction that might cause greater risk. It might also cause delay in the deployment of airbags and that might make a significant difference in the kind of injuries suffered in the accident.
Cars which have side airbags within the seat bolster would usually have “SRS” or “Side Airbag” inscribed on the chair. A plastic blanking plate which covers the airbag compartment might also be visible. Motorists having such cars need to buy seat covers that are compatible with chair airbags. Some seat cover makers cut out large sections of material to leave an opening for the airbag to inflate. It is vital to ensure that such covers securely attach to the seat as they are no better than a conventional seat cover if they are loose. You should also double check to ensure that the right cover is used for the right seat. Some manufacturers use a breakable seam in their covers which is similar to the factory seat trim. When you use seat covers, it would be wise to check whether they are safe for use with SRS airbags.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
© 2017 Morjan Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.