Since airbags have become commonplace in cars in the last two decades – yes, it’s been that long – we have seen all sorts of different airbags in different locations to protect against various crashes. Now Mercedes is adding a new airbag of sorts to its 2014 S-Class. This newfound device is called the beltbag.

Here’s how the beltbag works. When the car is involved in a crash, the rear seatbelts will inflate with air and help cushion the seat’s occupant against torso damage caused by the belt. If you’ve ever been in a hard enough crash to jar you forward, you know how badly a seatbelt can bruise your chest and abdomen. The airbelt is supposed to prevent that damage.

This isn’t the first airbelt to be released though, as Ford included it in its optional features on the 2011 Explorer. This is, however, the first time it is a standard feature. We are curious as to why Mercedes did not add this feature to its front seatbelts, as the jolt forward is no different in the rear than it is in the front.

We also wonder how many years this will remain an optional feature before the NHTSA decides that this needs to be standard in all cars, thereby driving up the cost of a new car even more... Keep in mind, even front airbags were once only an option, as were tire pressure monitors, traction control, and ABS. Now those features are all required, in one for or another, on all cars sold in the U.S.

We’ll get to see this new belt system in action in Geneva next spring, which is when Mercedes-Benz unveils its new S-Class.


Justin Cupler
Justin Cupler
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  (648) posted on 08.5.2012

That is what I’ve always wanted about Mercedes; they manufacture dynamic and quality assured innovations. I’m glad that Mercedes is trying out more advanced components for their models.

  (594) posted on 08.3.2012

I’m glad to see the safety seatbelts for the driver and passenger are to prevent fatal injuries in an accident.

  (613) posted on 08.1.2012

When it comes to safeness, I think that many car users would invest on that air belt.

  (347) posted on 08.1.2012

It’s good to know that they are able to have the inflated seatbelts standard on their S-Class models. I’m also looking forward to other companies to follow this feature started by Ford.

  (365) posted on 07.31.2012

I’m surprised with this safety feature. I hope that this will apply to all Mercedes models.

  (247) posted on 07.30.2012

@ConcernCitizen: Yeah ! Why not put it in all kind of Mercedes? I know things will be different especially in pricing, but I think it’s worth buying you know! It’s for your own safety.

  (372) posted on 07.29.2012

This air belt is presented and used first in Ford. Only Mercedes has this air belt to be standard on their units, but with the S-Class only.

  (314) posted on 07.26.2012

Why not include it on all segments, units and models of Mercedes? I’m hoping that other automakers can follow this latest trend.

  (453) posted on 07.24.2012

Ford only offers this inflated seatbelt as optional. It’s good that Mercedes will have this as their standard feature, but only in their S-Class.

  (683) posted on 07.23.2012

Well, good for mentioning Ford as the first one to have air belts. Mercedes is good that they made this air belt as their new standards on their S-class.

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