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Volkswagen Polo Owners Manual: Description and function of the airbags

Volkswagen Polo Owners Manual / Sitting correctly and safely / Airbag system / Description and function of the airbags

First read and observe the introductory information and safety warnings

The airbags can protect vehicle occupants during frontal and side collisions by reducing their movement in the direction of the collision.

When an airbag is triggered, it is inflated by a gas generator. This causes the airbag covers to break, and the airbags inflate forcefully to cover their deployment zones within milliseconds. Once a vehicle occupant wearing a seat belt starts to sink into the inflated airbag, the gas inside the airbag starts to escape to cushion the occupant and slow down their movement. This can reduce the risk of severe and fatal injuries. A triggered airbag will not always prevent other injuries from occurring, such as swelling, bruising, burning and grazing.

Airbags provide no protection for the arms or lower body.

The most important factors for triggering the airbag are the type of accident, the angle of impact, the vehicle speed and the type of object with which the vehicle collides. Therefore, visible damage to the vehicle does not always mean that the airbag should have been triggered.

The triggering of the airbag system depends on the vehicle deceleration rate caused by the collision and registered by the electronic control unit. If this rate is below the reference value programmed into the control unit, the airbags will not be triggered, even though the vehicle may be badly damaged as a result of the collision. Vehicle damage, repair costs or even the lack of vehicle damage in an accident do not necessarily give an indication of whether an airbag should inflate or not. It is not possible to define a range of vehicle speeds and reference values, since the circumstances will vary considerably between one collision and another. It is therefore impossible to cover every possible kind and angle of impact that would trigger the airbags. Important factors in the triggering of the airbag include the nature (hard or soft) of the object that the vehicle hits, the angle of impact, and the vehicle speed.

Airbags only serve as a supplement to the three-point seat belt in some accident situations when the vehicle braking is sufficient to trigger the airbags. Airbags can only be triggered once and only in certain situations. The seat belts are always there to provide protection in situations in which the airbags are not triggered or have already been triggered. For example, if the vehicle collides with a further vehicle following the initial collision, or is hit by another vehicle.

The airbag system is part of the vehicle's overall passive safety concept. The airbag system can only work effectively when the occupants are wearing their seat belts correctly and have assumed a proper sitting position .

Components of the vehicle safety concept

The following vehicle safety equipment makes up the vehicle's safety concept to reduce the risk of severe and fatal injuries. Some of this equipment may not be fitted in your particular vehicle. It may not be available at all in some countries.

Situations when the front, side, head or combined curtain and side airbags will not be triggered:

Indicator lamps
Fig. 55 In the upper section of the centre console: indicator lamp for disabled front passenger front airbag First read and observe the introductory information and safety warnings ...

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Fig. 56 Location and deployment zone of the driver front airbag Fig. 57 Location and deployment zone of the front passenger front airbag First read and observe the introductory information a ...

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