A posting from Forum Moderator Ron Moore

Chevrolet plans to introduce their newest vehicle in April of 1999, one that has an unusual safety twist I want all emergency responders to be aware of.

Here's the promotional information provided by Chevrolet regarding their new 2000-model year Chevrolet Impala 4-door sedan.

"From the very earliest concept phase, safety was a priority in the design of Impala. Standard features include driver and
front-passenger air bags,* a steel safety cage surrounding the entire passenger compartment, energy-absorbing front and
rear body structures, Automatic Daytime Running Lamps and four-wheel disc brakes.

Additional standard features in the Impala LS include a side-impact air bagİ for the driver, four-wheel antilock brakes and a tire inflation monitoring system."

"... İFront-seat side-impact air bags help reduce the risk of certain injuries of front-seat occupants in side impacts. See owner's
manual for more safety information...."

What is important to note is that for the first time ever, we will have a vehicle with only ONE side impact airbag; on the DRIVER'S SIDE ONLY! This is unbelievable to me.

When I questioned a Chevy Product Specialist at the Detroit auto show about why the SIPS bag is only for the driver, here's the response. The rep stated that research showed that if an occupant is leaning against the door or window of a car and a SIPS bag deploys, "they could be killed"! The representative went on to tell me that research also showed that passengers in the front seat are prone to sleeping and therefore lean against the inside of the passenger door and window. For this reason, the product specialist claims that Chevrolet decided to only put a side impact bag on the driver's side.

Regardless of the ill-logic used, the reality is that with this one make and model car, the 2000 Chevy Impala, the driver will be protected in frontal and side collisions. The passenger however will have no airbag protection in a T-bone crash. I guess some engineer believes all Impala side collisions will be on the driver's side. Go figure!