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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do the 2002 Ody seatbelts have pretensioners? And, do these really help?

Thanks.
 

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Yes, and Yes.

Pre-tensioners are standard on all models for the front seats. They were also standard in 2001. I don't know about earlier models.

When a crash is detected (usually by some inertia mechanism), the seatbelts will very quickly retract any slack in case you left them loose. The front belts also have force-limiters, which let out a little slack slowly during the crash to increase ride down time for the passenger. They are also height adjustable, front and 2nd row.

A nice feature, and probably part of the reason Odyssey does well in the NHTSA frontal crash tests, which are a good test of the vehicle's restraint system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

Is there a reason that cars don't have these in the mid/rear seats? (At least I don't know of any car that has them.)
 

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Because, as always, safety doesn't sell.

Features do.

Safety sells to smart people, who would rather have the seat belt pre-tensioners and force limiters and have that in as many seating positions as possible, but most people put their kids into (a) the cheapest vehicle around, or (b) the one with the snazziest gewgaws (for showing off to the Joneses).

One might ask why, when choosing a car to put kids into, people don't just choose Volvo and be done with it.
 

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Yup. It's always amusing to see people at Edmunds praise the Chrysler vans for having fuzzy armrests, quintuple zone climate control and outdoor temperature readbacks in 8 world time zones...

I did see a couple vehicles market pretensioners in all seating positions at the auto show yesterday. It was probably Volvo or another luxury make.

While it would be better to have pretensioners everywhere, it is more critical in front where you have a dash, steering wheel and airbags which you don't want to hit too soon...
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adam1991:
Because, as always, safety doesn't sell.

Features do.

Safety sells to smart people..., who would rather have the seat belt pre-tensioners and force limiters and have that in as many seating positions as possible, but most people put their kids into (a) the cheapest vehicle around, or (b) the one with the snazziest gewgaws (for showing off to the Joneses).

One might ask why, when choosing a car to put kids into, people don't just choose Volvo and be done with it.
</font>
The one that really gets me is I still see people driving nice, safe vehicles ... and their kids aren't wearing seatbelts
. Or, they'll doublepark in front of our elementary school and have the kids walk between moving vehicles to get to the curb
!

A few years ago (late 80's), the Toyota Camry was actually rated safer than a competing Volvo model. Each model needs to be rated; we can't just rely on the manufacturer's good name, even if it is Volvo.

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[This message has been edited by Maugham (edited 02-17-2002).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Makes total sense to me. Safety is my number one (through 10) criteria when I buy a vehicle.

I have to admit, as much as I am pretty set on buying an Odyssey, I have considered the Windstar recently because of some of its safety features (backup sensor, parabolic mirror for seeing kids in the back, side air bags that apparently include head protection -- can't verify this one yet, skid control soon). I realize that some of these can be added to the Ody, and the Ody handles better, so I'm no where near changing my mind. (Still haven't test driven either too.)

Any thoughtful thoughts on this? (I would not post this on Edmunds site as I wouldn't want to deal with the ensuing flames!)

Thanks.
 

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Windstar also has a runflat tire system that is optional in the family security group. Side airbags are also optional. Plan on a special order to get those unless you're getting a loaded van.

Sienna is another very good choice for safety, but again you will have to special order to find side airbags and vehicle skid control on anything but a loaded, top-of-the line van.

Any of the three are very safe choices overall, but I am pretty sure none of the three have side airbags for the head. Odyssey is the only one of the three with a lap/shoulder seatbelt and headrest in the rear center.

Also see:

http://www.car-safety.org/minivan.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks caviller. What a great resource you are!

In terms of head-protection, the IIHS calls it "dual-chamber thorax bag" and lists it under "MODELS WITH SIDE AIRBAG HEAD PROTECTION SYSTEMS" (http://www.highwaysafety.org/vehicle_ratings/side_airbag.htm).

I haven't found a picture of these, so I'm not sure how these really differ fromm (1) side curtains or (2) "plain" side airbags.

Thanks again for all of you help!
 

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At some point we'd all get a better return on our investments by spending the money on driving lessons--REAL driving lessons--instead of marginally effective side or head or rear airbags and whatnot.

(Hey, million dollar idea! I bet no one is giving a 4 day driving school using minivans...)
 

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Interesting. I know the 2001/2 Chrysler vans have head/torso airbags. I did not know the Windstar had them as well. Neither the NHTSA safety feature list or the Ford website seems to list that as a feature. Unless it is a mistake on the part of the IIHS, I'd say it's poor marketing on the part of Ford. Incidentally, I didn't know the MPV had them either. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You're right. Maybe it is a mistake on the IIHS site.

The only thing I can find on the Ford website is that the side airbags "help protect a front occupant’s head and chest in certain side collisions. " Pretty nonspecific.
 

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The Mazda website does confirm it, if you go to the complete specifications. Sure would be nice if they showed a picture of the deployed airbag, though.
 

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Manufacturers tend to shy away from pictures of deployed airbags.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks. Interesting Honda video. I didn't realize they have sensors to prevent deployment if a small stature person is sitting in the seat or the person is leaning against the door.

(I got the video to work, but had to load a newer version of Quicktime first.)
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adam1991:
I hate to tell you what that looks like.</font>
<font color=pink><font size=-5>just go with the flow</font></font>
 
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