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Chevrolet Spark Owners Manual: How Does an Airbag Restrain?

In moderate to severe frontal or near frontal collisions, even belted occupants can contact the steering wheel or the instrument panel. In moderate to severe side collisions, even belted occupants can contact the inside of the vehicle.

Airbags supplement the protection provided by safety belts by distributing the force of the impact more evenly over the occupant's body.

Rollover capable roof-rail airbags are designed to help contain the head and chest of occupants in the outboard seating positions in the first and second rows. The rollover capable roof-rail airbags are designed to help reduce the risk of full or partial ejection in rollover events, although no system can prevent all such ejections.

But airbags would not help in many types of collisions, primarily because the occupant's motion is not toward those airbags. See When Should an Airbag Inflate? on page 3-22.

Airbags should never be regarded as anything more than a supplement to safety belts.

What Makes an Airbag Inflate?
In a deployment event, the sensing system sends an electrical signal triggering a release of gas from the inflator. Gas from the inflator fills the airbag causing the bag to break out of the cover ...

What Will You See after an Airbag Inflates?
After the frontal airbags and seat-mounted side impact airbags inflate, they quickly deflate, so quickly that some people may not even realize an airbag inflated. Roof-rail airbags may still be at ...

Other materials:

Charging System Light
This light will come on briefly when the ignition is turned on, and the engine is not running, as a check to show it is working. It should go out when the engine is started. If it stays on, or comes on while driving, there may be a problem with the electrical charging system. Have it checked ...

TPMS Malfunction Light
The TPMS will not function properly if one or more of the TPMS sensors are missing or inoperable. When the system detects a malfunction, the low tire warning light flashes for about one minute and then stays on for the remainder of the ignition cycle. The malfunction light comes on at each ign ...

Airbag System Check
The airbag system does not need regularly scheduled maintenance or replacement. Make sure the airbag readiness light is working. See Airbag Readiness Light on page 5-11. Caution If an airbag covering is damaged, opened, or broken, the airbag may not work properly. Do not open or break the ai ...

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