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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1. front seat mounted side airbags and
2. electronic stability program.

I was at my dealer tonight 8/25 he attempted to add these two options to the SXT E Package car I was ordering but it would not let him do it within the Chrysler ordering system. I thought these were available now??? I guess not.
 

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Thats odd, the dealer added both for me to the FWD R/T two weeks ago through the computer system.

Maybe Dan (DodgeInfoCenter) or TommyLee can clear this up for the forum....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh and one other thing for clarification: you cannot order the SXT E Package with YES Essentials seats. It has to be the SXT D Package.
 

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LuckyBoy2007 said:
1. front seat mounted side airbags.
I think that SIDE CURTAINS are standard, in the R/T at least??

Website says: Caliber wraps you in safety with advanced multistage driver and front-passenger air bags and side curtain air bags.


 

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The standard side-curtain airbags are not seat mounted, but rather mounted above you on the actual inside of the Caliber itself. These are for airbags from within the seats which provide even more protection upon a side collision.
 

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Yeah, one thing you should remember about the "5 star" side crash test done by the NHTSA is that head injury and pelvis/body injury are not directly related to their side impact rating. the NHTSA is only concerned about paralyzing injuries to the thorax (throat) region.

The IIHS test (one that almost all automanufacturers will not tell you about because they always tend to be overly negative and poor) shows that the Caliber without toroso/side air bags gets a big fat [P]oor on the side test for the driver's torso region. If you value having a Caliber, and having safety, I would recommend getting the side torso bags too.

I think (lemmie repeat: I think) the reason that the NHTSA doesn't rate head or body damage is that the head trauma isn't consistent... I think they found that on some cars the dummy's head would get struck and sometimes they got much better readings when they retested under the same conditions. So, they just chuck out the data. The torso-damage-meter probably suffers the same. However, the thorax analysis measures how much your neck snaps around, which I think is much more consistent.

In my opinion, if your neck is fine but your head is crushed in or your torso is missing some kidneys and ribs, you're still not that well off. Then again, remember that the Caliber is probably one of the safest small car out there (even without the torso bags). The standard head protection is a great feature for Dodge to put in there.

Consider this, the LX chassis cars (Charger, Magnum, 300) have an extremely high (almost 3x) head risk injury from side impacts compared to the Caliber just because those LX cars don't have standard side curtains. So, if you just head out to a dealership lot, you'll find that the average Caliber is a safer car than the average Charger .... because very few Chargers are built with side air bag protection.
 

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Oh, and here's a picture showing how your head could impact a soft pillo as opposed to a big blue Ford Emblem (I've been T-Boned on the driver's side by a F150 at 35mph... I can tell you that it is a horrible experience to see a grille up by your head. I guess having lots more pillows around your waist and ribs would be even better.

 

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wow, thanks for the video sean! :)

That clip u linked is of the IIHS test, and the speaker basically repeats what I mentioned about how the IIHS considers head and torso damage in its assessment, which is why the Caliber is only marginal on their side evaluation (the IIHS driver side test showed good head and neck protection while having very poor torso protection with standard equipment).

I think there have only been 3 cars ever to get a good side impact rating from the IIHS, and those were equipped with a whole bunch of standard air bags. This is why carmakers HATE the IIHS test, they always complain it's too strict and doesn't help consumers understand the vehicle's safety. Almost all carmakers just talk about the NHTSA test (measured with the 5-stars) thing.

What sucks is that having 2 institutes to test impacts lets the marketers basically pick and choose which favorable rating they present to he public on websites, magazine literature, and car brochures. The average person will see the Caliber's 5-star side test rating from the NHTSA and just assume it's a completely safe car all around. The IIHS spokesman clearly states that the severe damage to internal organs still poses a problem on side impacts.

But, I do see how the pessimistic tone of the IIHS test doesn't really help things. Consumers on average have indicated time and time again that they will refuse to pay for safety equipment. They want to be reassured that they are safe inside a car while giving up no money and no concessions to vehicle performance. What matters more is having comfort and performance features versus safety features that cost them more money. So, the NHTSA gives consumers what they want - a safe feeling at a low cost to them.
 
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