Q: My vehicle has “advanced” frontal air bags. How are advanced frontal air bags different from basic air bags?
A: Since 1998, dual frontal air bags for the driver and the passenger have been standard equipment for all passenger cars sold in the United States. Since 1999, all light trucks, vans, and SUVs were also required to have dual air bags. Over the years, air bag improvements have been made. Advanced frontal air bags, which have been in some vehicles since 2004, were required in all new vehicles manufactured after September 1st, 2006 (2007 model year vehicles). Advanced systems use various sensors to minimize the risk of being injured by an air bag deployment, especially for children and small adults. These sensors commonly detect the size of the person sitting in the seat, the severity of the crash, the position of the seat, and whether or not the occupant is wearing a seat belt. The advanced systems inflate according to the sensor input.