Archives for crash-recovery-system
Here’s a quick look at the 2013 Lexus LS body structure and airbags. Make sure you check the unique airbag inflator in the rear seat!
The LS features dual-stage SRS airbags (Front seats), SRS knee airbags (Front seats), SRS side airbags (Front and outboard rear seats), and SRS curtain shield airbags (Front and rear door windows). An anti-submarining SRS Seat Cushion Airbag is available on long body models. Take a look at the Crash Recovery System screenshot below that shows the anti-submarining airbag.
Take a quick look at the 2013 Porsche Cayenne Body Structure. Notice what appears to be a box where the driver’s seat would be installed? That is the battery box for the 12V battery. Just like the VW Touareg. The screenshot from Moditech’s Crash Recovery System (CRS) clearly shows the 12V battery underneath the driver seat.
Here is one for the folks over in the United Kingdom. Just like every Volvo on the road today, the 2013 V40 Cross Country has a body structure packed full of different materials. What I found interesting is Volvo lists “Very High Strength Steel”, ” Extra High Strength Steel”and ”Ultra High Strength Steel” in the structure. What that means is Volvo is optimizing the use of the different strengths of steels. Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS) is very expensive to manufacture into stampings so using a weaker steel in different areas to complement the UHSS while reducing costs.
In yesterday’s webcast, Hidden Hazards inside a Vehicle I discussed how useful Moditech’s Crash Recovery System (CRS for short) on the scene of an extrication. I used the screenshot from CRS of the Chrysler 200 to show the battery location in the front fender on the driver side. However, the folks at Moditech took it a step further in CRS by providing instructions and pictures outline the 12V battery disconnection. Follow the pictures below and see how useful this piece of software is.
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The Jaguar XK Body Structure is unique because of the extensive use of aluminium. The Jaguar XK body shell is made out of aluminium with the use of aluminium castings and extruded parts along with aluminium stamped panels.
Below is a screenshot from Moditech’s Crash Recovery System that shows the all the information available Notice that the A-Pillar shows a UHSS reinforcement. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially since this vehicle is available in a coupe and a convertible.
Below the reinforcement is shown in the cutaway vehicle:
The automatic transmission in the Jaguar XK has a knob and electric parking brake.
You all know I love Moditech’s Crash Recovery System (CRS) and I say their Facebook page is a must follow! Here’s a great example of why. The guys at Moditech posted the image below on their Facebook post and asked their readers this question; “Rescuers, what do you notice on the screenshot of this Ford F150?” So what did you notice? Many people responded with the usually hazards that CRS clearly locates in the diagraphs. However, Moditech wanted to highlight the location of the stored gas inflator in the B-Post. So you instructors out there, if you have ever told your students that they have never encountered a stored gas inflator in a vehicles B-post. That may not always true as you can see on our screenshot. Also peel the trim away!
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The automotive industry has changed the way first responders approach a motor vehicle accident compared to a decade ago. Air bags are standard equipment, pretensioners are used in second and third row seats, and the seats are starting to resemble a firefighter jet seat with the technology packed into a small package. Situational Awareness is the new catch phrase in the extrication world. First responders must be aware of hazards of a vehicle from bumper to bumper!
For years extrication trainers preached peel away the plastic interior trim to ensure an air bag gas inflator is not in the cut path. However, those days are long gone! What we need to start doing is a quick “trauma assessment” if you will on our vehicles before we make a cut to any pillar or roof structure. Once the interior trim is pulled off palpate any visible nylon air bag curtains close to the metal. Deployed gas inflators statistically do not pose a safety hazard if cut. However, the best stance to take is to never cut through a gas inflator because there is no method available to us to determine if the inflator is still charged.
Occupant sensors in the front seats are devices that measure the distance away from the steering wheel or dash and weigh the occupant to determine if the air bag should be deployed in a crash. Have you ever put your backpack on the passenger seat and notice that the “Air bag Off” light turns on? This is an example of the sensor weighing the load on the seat and determining that the occupant in the seat does not meet the minimum weight for the air bag to deploy in a crash.
Seatbelt pretensioners tighten the belt a few inches to prevent the occupant from jerking forward in a crash. Pretensioners are mounted in two different methods, to the seat belt retractor located in a body pillar or on the seat structure. Front seat mounted pretensioners are typically mounted to the top of the seat adjustment track. Seat mounted pretensioners will moved the seatbelt buckle and not the seatbelt. A center console usually provides enough protection for first responders not to have to worry about any hazards from charged pretensioners.
Buckle mounted pretensioners uses gas stored in the tube to retract the buckle during certain crashes. Retractor mounted pretensioners like the TRW one in is set off by any electronically fired pyrotechnic charge which retracts the seatbelt by 80mm, which is more than three inches. During the earlier stages of a crash, the pretensioner removes excess slack in the seatbelt to begin effective occupant restraint.
Pretensioners are not reserved for front seat passengers. Many late vehicles like the Volvo have pretensioners in the rear seats. Pyrotechnic pretensioners in the rear seats can be buckle or retractor mounted. Many rear seats that are split into 60/40 seats have a metal tower that is thick and big that holds a high mounted seat belt retractor. This tower is located in the 60% seat or the larger of the two. If the seats are split up into 40/20/40 than the tower is located in the center or 20% seat.
Some vehicles have a pre-collision safety system that includes an electric motor-pyrotechnic pretensioner system. During a pre-collision event like extreme sudden hard braking, an electric motor in the pretensioners retracts the front seatbelts. Once the event stabilizes the electric motor will reverse itself. The pyrotechnic pretensioners function normally and separately from a motor-pyrotechnic pretensioner system.
Load limiting is a safety that is used to minimize belt-inflicted injuries. A basic load limiting feature is sewn into the belt webbing and stitches are designed to break when a certain load is applied to the belt. The belt extends when the stitches come apart and allow the sewn webbing to unfold. A mechanical load limiting device use
Air bags entered the automotive market as an air bag in the driver’s steering wheel. In 2011 model year vehicles, 10 different air bags in per vehicle are no longer a feature reserved for expense luxury vehicles. Automakers proudly advertise air bags on the vehicle interior on the steering wheel, bash panel, and pillar trim panels.
Seat Air bags
Seat mounted air bags are not a new hazard facing first responders. The difference is in the size and numbers of air bags packaged in a seat are changing. Front seats can have two separate air bags to protect the occupant during a crash. This number is expected to increase when centered mounted seat air bags are used. Seat air bag are located along the outside of seat back frame and the bag is stored in a deflector called a “Taco” that directs the air bag when deployed.
Center Mounted Seat Air bag
General Motors has developed a front center air bag deploys from the right side of the driver’s seat and positions itself between the front row seats near the center of the vehicle. The tubular tethered air bag is designed to act as an energy absorbing cushion between driver and front passenger in side crashes. The air bag will also be deployed during a rollover. The center mounted seat air bag will be in the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Chevrolet Traverse starting in the 2013 model year. Toyota developed a rear center console with an air bag that deploys between the rear passenger seats. Toyota has not put this air bag into production yet, but it is likely to make into a vehicle platform soon.
Side Air bags
Occupant ejection mitigation is new safety requirement that the automakers must meet by 2017. Side air bags and glazing of side window glass are the methods being tested and engineered into current model vehicles. These air bags will be large volume that can run from A-pillar to D-pillar. The 2011 Grand Caravan has a side impact air bag over nine feet long and is inflated by a stored gas inflator the size of a child’s lunchbox thermos and has over 10,000psi!
2011 Dodge Caravan Side Air bag
Knee Air bags
Knee air bags are typically located underneath the steering wheel on the angled portion of the instrument panel. The knee air bag module is a rectangle box easily package as a complete air bag systems with the gas inflator inside. This helps during installation at the auto plants and allows this system to be used in different vehicles.
Door Air bags
Many luxury auto makers have started installing door air bags. The air bags are typically installed in the center of the door.
The 2011 Ford Explorer was the first production vehicle to have inflatable rear seat belts. Ford plans to offer inflatable seat belt technology in vehicles globally in the future. What is important to remember is the airbelt requires a stored gas inflator store in the seat. A pioneering company, Moditech, provides current information on hazards inside and outside the vehicle. Moditech developed the Crash Recovery System (CRS) and the image below of the 2011 Ford Explorer.
Keyless ignition is nothing new but many automakers are offering the features on their vehicles. Hyundai offers keyless ignition with a key fob or smart key that works on proximity. So how do you turn the car off if there is no key in the ignition? Most vehicles have a “Start” or “Power” button that is used to switch the ignition from off, to on, or to ACC. Make sure you the button indicator light is off. If you see a “READY-ON” light on the display the vehicle is started. This is very important with hybrid or electric vehicles because of the quiet operation. An important note, on some vehicles the “Power” button indicator light turns off when the vehicle is started. That is why it is important to make sure you do not see “READY-ON”!
First responders are aware of hybrid and plug-in electric batteries inside of the passenger compartment. However, 12-volt batteries can also be found inside of the passenger compartment. For example, the GMC Acadia has the 12-volt battery located in the floor behind the front passenger seat.
Is that vehicle totaled?
Late model vehicles have dozens of safety systems that keep occupants safe during a crash or rollover. Just because the vehicle may look repairable does not necessarily mean it is. Plastic interior trim panels and seat covers are designed to rip or tear when air bags deploys. Seat structures are engineered to distribute the load of an occupant. Seatbelts can have rip stitching to absorb energy from the occupant. Pyrotechnic pretensioners are onetime use. Keep in mind that most of the time in a serious accident the glass is already broken out and the windshield typically has spider marks from the air bags or occupants. Never let the fear of “totaling” a vehicle compromise patient care. Just remember all the hazards mentioned in this article are real and in vehicles.
So just in case you thought that Crash Recovery System by Moditech only helps you avoid hazards in vehicles like ultra high strength steels and airbag inflators take a look at the deactivation procedure for the 2009-2012 Tesla Roadster and the 2008-2009 Tesla Roadster. One very important point, the Tesla Roadster has an inertia switch, that when activated, cuts off the high voltage circuit. This deactivation procedure is for the SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) ie, airbags.
During a collision an inertia switch is activated, which cuts off the high voltage circuit.
- Block wheels and set parking break.
- Move the shift lever to P (park) position.
Deactivate propulsion system:
- Turn ignition key to “OFF” position and remove it.
- Disconnect the indicated cable connection (See the image below).
- Caution! After deactivation the high voltage circuit requires 5 minutes to deplete.
The emergency disconnect cable should be used as part of the propulsion system deactivation. Is located in the vehicle as indicated. – Cut the indicated cable in the image below. There is a difference between the location of the Emergency Disconnect Cable in the 2008-2009 Tesla Roadster and the 2009-2012 Tesla Roadster. Make sure you become familiar with both!
Below is the location of the Emergency Disconnect Cable on the 2009-2012 Tesla Roadster which is located in the front of the vehicle.
Below is the location of the Emergency Disconnect Cable on the 2008-2009 Tesla Roadster which is located in the rear of the vehicle.
Is safety at the scrap yard and at extrication training a priority? Here is one reason to drill and drive home to peel away the trim and look for airbag inflators even on old cars in the scrap yard. Yesterday a 2001 Volvo S40 was included in the vehicles at the local scrap yard for the man behind FirtDueTackle.com and me. When I looked inside the driver door the was a small door in the trim at the top of the B-Pillar. The door had a marking cooling out a roof airbag. I pulled out Moditech’s Crash Recovery System and looked up the vehicle and sure enough there is a roof airbag with the inflator located in the middle of the C-Pillar. It was easy to assume that that a 11 year old vehicle wouldn’t have inflators in the pillars, but that is a dangerous assumption.
Here is the new weekly column on BoronExtrication! It’s called Five for Friday. Five for Friday will recap 5 different extrication news topics and sometimes sprinkle in items like the Fire Critic’s 16 Days of Swag!
1. Firehouse.com presented a webcast by Michael Daley called Vehicle Extrication: Entry and Disentanglement Skills. The great thing that Firehouse does is allow users to go back a watch the presentation again or for the first time if you missed it.
2. Download the latest Moditech Crash Recovery System (CRS) data update released on August 1st. The update contains a lot of new vehicles, such as the Audi A6 Hybrid, Dodge Dart, Fiskers Karma, Infiniti JX, Porsche 911 and Subaru BRZ. With the addition of the new Prius PHV and the Toyota Prius C the Prius family is now also up to date again. Make sure to update your systems.
3. 16 Days of Swag by the Fire Critic. The Fire Critic is giving away free fire gifts every other day for 16 days straight. Throw your name in the hat once per day and gain more entries. http://woobox.com/cdtbx8
4. Jörg Heck will be hosting a chat on Tuesday August 14th from 18: 00-20: 00 UST (which is 14:00 -16:00 EST) and he will answer “Current vehicle technology” questions on Weber Rescue’s Facebook page. Two small issues to work around for those of us in the United States is the language and the time. However, the power of the Internet allows us to translate different languages with the click of the mouse!
5. A USA Today article titled Cars safer for passengers – but not first responders made the rounds on the fire service websites yesterday. If you have not read through it yet, I would take the time to give it a once over. The author, Chris Woodyard, did some homework and put together a good piece. Not a bad article to have floating around city hall!
Just because the Jeep Wrangler has a removable soft-top and/or hardtop doesn’t mean this vehicle is cut and dry sample for an extrication. Well, there is nothing out of the ordinary. The Jeep Wrangler is a body-on-frame construction and the sport bar (roll-bar) uses high-strength steel and is integrated into the B-Pillar that runs into the floor. Very minimal airbags with standard front multistage and optional seat airbags.
Keep in mind that Jeep Wranglers owners like to customize and change their vehicles. Don’t be surprised if you encounter additional batteries to supply power to items like off-road lights. You never know what changes have been made! Remember your situational awareness and expect the unexpected!
Moditech is one company that pays it forward for the good of the fire service. The company releases a quarter newsletters that highlight certain changes or trends in the automotive industry. This quarter’s newsletter was just released and has a few interesting technologies that we all need to look out for.
Start-stop systems, auxiliary batteries, and ultra-capacitors oh my! The folks at Moditech (makers of Crash Recovery System) take use through some very useful information.
Ultra-capacitors, shown in the red box above located behind the fender are able to store a hundred times more energy than a conventional capacitor and at least ten times more than a 12 volt battery with a high service life of a million charge cycles. Read the complete newsletter to learn why what is inside the ultra-capacitors that rescuers should keep in mind.
Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. delivered one of its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) for fleet uses. This is a pilot version of the PHEV and is based on a Ford F-150.
Different acronyms are used to describe plug hybrid vehicles. For example, a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV), or plug-in hybrid. Just remember how a hybrid vehicle utilizes rechargeable batteries, or another energy storage device, that can be restored to full charge by connecting a plug to an external electric power source (usually a normal electric wall socket).
Remember to use your Moditech Crash Recovery System (CRS) to check for advanced steels and airbag inflator locations. As of right now, no Emergency Response Guide is available for the Quantum f-150 PHEV.
Here is a quick look at the 2013 Volvo C70. The doors and B-pillars have been reinforced in various ways. In a side impact the doors and B-pillars work together with the reinforced sills and a comprehensive system of cross-members and bulkheads to absorb the collision forces.
The C70 retractable hardtop also features a roll over protection structure (ROPS) with two pyrotechnically charged roll hoops hidden behind the rear seats that deploy under roll-over conditions whether the roof is retracted or not.
Take a look the screen shot from Moditech’s Crash Recovery System. Notice that the B-pillars don’t show any advanced or reinforced steel? Just remember, most convertibles have a very large B-pillar structure behind the sheet metal.
Yet another electric vehicle on the road! CODA Automotive re-engineered an existing gasoline-powered vehicle, the Chinese Hafei Saibao. The CODA is a rolling-chassis Chinese sedan with some Chinese-made lithium-ion cells that are installed along with the drivetrain in California. CODA Automotive is a privately held company headquartered in Southern California that designs, manufactures and sells electric vehicles and lithium-ion battery systems, purpose-built for transportation and utility applications.
AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power, added the CODA sedan to their fleet and will use the vehicle on their gridSMART® Demonstration Project, located in the northeastern part of Central Ohio.
Here are just a few of the pictures from last week’s train the trainer in Ann Arbor.
Mercedes-Benz has a 526 horsepower electric drivetrain in the upcoming SLS AMG E-Cell supercar. Power for the E-Cell will be provided by four electric motors. The E-Cell employs a permanent all-wheel drive system which is powered by a 400-volt battery made up of 12 modules of 72 lithium-ion polymer cells. The battery is housed in within the carbon fiber transmission tunnel, which is structurally integrated into the E-Cell’s aluminum body shell. This is a 2013 model year vehicle expected to hit the roads in the fall of 2012.
Just like the 2012 Buick LaCrosse, the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco shares the same hybrid style system.
Buick Emergency Response Guides:
- Emergency Response Guide for the 2012 LaCrosse eAssist and Regal eAssist
- Quick Reference Guide for the 2012 LaCrosse eAssist and Regal eAssist
What’s different about the Veolster compared to a typical vehicle?
One design technique automakers use is common parts that can be used in different places in the vehicle, but are the exact same part. Another commonly used technique is design a part that is symmetrically opposite, or in better words, a mirror image. This is the reason most side airbags and inflators are generally located in the same location from driver side to passenger side. However, that is not always the case. Take a look at the body structure of the 2012 Hyundai Veolster. Not only are the side airbag inflators in a different location on the driver compared to the passenger side. The B-Pillar is completely different from driver to passenger. Now on the Hyundai Veolster, a quick inner survey should reveal that the passenger side has a rear door. Always keep in made the vehicle could be pinned up next to a jersey barrier or another vehicle that could hide features of the vehicle. While the 2012 Hyundai Veolster is a uniquely designed body structure and definitely not typical. We need to add the body structure design and asymmetrically airbag location into our mental toolboxes!