Astra Safety Features

From a body structure designed to manage crash energy to numerous active and passive occupant-protecting technologies, the 2008 Saturn Astra features a comprehensive list of safety systems that make it one of the safest vehicles in its class.

The safety features add assurance to the Astra's enthusiastic driving experience and are derived from the European-developed SAFETEC safety system. Two of the standard features – active head restraints and the Pedal Release System – aren't available on many competitors in the segment. Additional highlights include:

  • Rigid body structure with safety cage
  • Six standard air bags, including dual-stage frontal air bags with passenger sensing system; roof rail head curtain air bags and thorax/pelvic air bags (front-seat occupants)
  • Dual front safety belt pretensioners and load limiters
  • Standard remote keyless entry and theft deterrent system
  • OnStar with one year of Safe & Sound service

Body structure: The unitized body structure is designed with a safety cage around the passenger compartment and features optimized front and rear crush zones that absorb energy and help maintain the structural integrity of the passenger compartment. Strength-enhancing elements of the structure include full-length, integrated frame rails and the use of high-strength steel in strategic areas. Front and rear crush zones are designed to collapse in a controlled manner to absorb crash energy.

Air bags: All Astra models feature dual-stage frontal air bags, seat-mounted thorax/pelvic air bags to help protect front occupants and head curtain air bags for front- and rear-seat occupants. Also standard is an automatic occupant sensing system for the front passenger seat. It suppresses the activation of the passenger-side frontal air bag if it detects a child or smaller-stature person in that seating position.

Safety belt pretensioners and load limiters: When a crash is detected, the safety belt pretensioners immediately reduce the slack in the front safety belts, helping limit the movement of passengers. The load limiters permit a small amount of movement in the front safety belts, thereby reducing peak chest loads in a more severe crash.

Active head restraints: Standard active head restraints are equipped on the front-passenger seats (and are height-adjustable). In the event of a rear impact, they instantly move forward and the upper section of the backrest move into the upright position, reducing the risk of neck injuries such as whiplash.

Pedal Release System: In a moderate-to-severe crash, the driver's pedal assembly is designed to fold forward, reducing the intrusion into the driver's foot space.

Smart sensors: A variety of sophisticated crash sensors are located strategically throughout the Astra, collecting data during a crash and sending it to a Safety Diagnostic Module that collects the inputs and triggers the appropriate occupant protection device, such as the air bags or safety belt pretensioners.

LATCH child seat provisions: Each of the three rear-seat positions offers provisions for securing a child safety seat. The two outboard positions have steel loops that conform to the industry standard LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) specification.

Vehicle security: All Astra models feature standard remote keyless entry and a vehicle theft deterrent system. Other security features include:

  • Child safety door locks with lockout control
  • Automatic and programmable power door locks
  • Interior lighting initiated by the remote keyless entry system
  • Delayed interior lighting dimming
  • Battery rundown protection
  • Programmable battery "storage mode" to prevent draining during longer storage periods

OnStar: Astra comes with the latest-generation OnStar system, including available Turn-by-Turn Navigation. The system also includes advanced automatic crash notification (AACN). With AACN, an OnStar advisor is immediately contacted by the vehicle when a crash occurs; the advisor can determine the appropriate emergency help required and assist in sending it to the scene of the crash. Astra buyers receive one year of Safe & Sound Service provided by Saturn.

The available Turn-by-Turn Navigation system allows users to receive step-by-step audio directions to a destination, thanks to OnStar's GPS capability. The voice commands encourage drivers to keep their eyes on the road, while offering GPS-guided pinpoint positioning.

Source: Saturn

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