2013 Chevrolet Malibu Aims for World-Class Safety

  • Ten standard air bags on full Malibu lineup, including knee air bags
  • Pedestrian protection design for global markets
  • Most advanced braking system ever in a Chevrolet midsize sedan
  • Sixty-five percent of structure constructed of high-strength and ultra high-strength steel
  • Available, segment-exclusive Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning technology (late availability on Malibu Eco)

Chevrolet Malibu Safety

DETROIT – Midsize sedans are among the hardest-working family haulers on the road. That’s why Chevrolet designed the all-new, 2013 Chevrolet Malibu with advanced technologies designed to protect the driver and passengers before, during and after a crash.

The first Malibu sold in nearly 100 countries on six continents was engineered to provide the most advanced safety technologies of any Chevrolet midsize sedan. It is equipped with more standard and available safety features than many competitors’ models, including advanced braking and chassis control technologies and a structure comprising 65-percent high-strength and ultra high-strength steels. Malibu also is designed to provide pedestrian impact protection in the global markets where it will be sold.

Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning systems will be available on Malibu next summer and later on Malibu Eco. These important crash-avoidance technologies are generally found on cars costing far more.

“Malibu customers around the world will quickly recognize that Chevrolet takes their safety and security very seriously,” said Garett Kraus, safety performance integration manager for the Malibu. “Consumers demand high levels of protection in an affordable family sedan, and this car provides it.

“We’ve designed the 2013 Malibu to be one of the safest cars in its class, and we expect it will achieve high scores in government and insurance industry crash testing in all regions where it is sold.”

In Europe, the Malibu has already received the highest-possible rating (five stars) in European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) testing. In South Korea, Malibu received the highest safety evaluation in the Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR) test conducted by the Korea Insurance Development Institute. The ranking means Malibu buyers in Korea could qualify for up to a 30-percent discount on auto insurance.

Ten air bags will be standard on the full Malibu lineup – more than on current midsize sedans by Hyundai, Honda and Ford. Eight air bags will be standard on the Malibu Eco when it launches, including knee air bags that help reduce the risk of lower body injuries in a severe crash.

Avoiding crashes

Safety and chassis engineers reach beyond engineering for crash protection, and are developing and refining technologies that can help prevent collisions from happening in the first place.

The Malibu features standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, which includes full-function traction control; and an advanced, four-channel anti-lock braking system. These technologies are designed to provide more precise vehicle control and shorter stopping distances.

When a special sensor detects a driving situation that requires a higher level of electronic intervention – such as in wet or icy conditions – StabiliTrak will apply the brakes at the individual wheels, reduce power or do both to help the driver keep the vehicle on its intended path. The system incorporates braking features that assist in a variety of conditions, including:

Cornering brake control activates when the car is braking while cornering. Brake pressure is individually varied among all four wheels to keep the car stable

  • Panic brake assist helps the driver in emergency braking situations, providing greater stopping ability than would be possible from the regular brake booster
  • Brake fade assist automatically increases braking pressure under repeated, heavy braking
  • Electronic brake force distribution helps ensure that the optimal amount of braking force is simultaneously applied to all four wheels for maximum stability during heavy braking
  • Hill assist keeps the brakes engaged momentarily on a hill when the driver switches from the brake to the gas pedal.

The Malibu’s anti-lock braking system consists of four-wheel discs with 11.7-inch (296 mm) vented front discs and aluminum calipers. They are tuned to provide a strong, confident feel and deliver the best braking performance ever in a Malibu. In fact, the 2013 Malibu can stop from 60 mph in 134 feet (41 m). That’s eight feet (2.4 m) shorter than the current model’s 142-foot (42.3 m) performance (models with 17-inch wheels compared).

Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning

Malibu also combines two segment-exclusive crash-avoidance technologies that, when engaged, use flashing lights and chimes to alert drivers to potential front-end impacts or lane departures.

Malibu’s Forward Collision Alert technology includes a forward-facing camera on the windshield that monitors vehicles ahead. Above 25 mph, a green light in the instrument panel indicates the system has detected a vehicle ahead, and a collision alert can occur.

If the driver follows a vehicle very closely, a red tailgating display is lit. If the driver approaches a vehicle too rapidly, red lights flash on the windshield and a rapid series of beeps sounds.

Lane Departure Warning uses the same forward-facing camera to detect lane markings, and alerts the driver when the car strays into another lane.

When the system is engaged and the Malibu is traveling at 35 mph or more, a green light in the instrument panel indicates the system has detected lane markings ahead and a lane-departure alert can occur. If the driver crosses the left or right lane without signaling, left or right speakers sound and an amber light flashes.

Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning will be available later in the model year on Malibu, with later availability on the 2014 Malibu Eco.

The Malibu also features available an available rear video camera(on LT and LTZ models) to help prevent Malibu drivers backing into other vehicles or objects at low speeds.

With the rear video camera, a camera mounted on the center high mounted stop light (CHMSL) projects real-time images of the area immediately behind the vehicle onto the touch screen display.

Other key standard crash-avoidance technologies include:

  • Electronic steering and premium handling : Malibu’s ZF steering gear technology provides precise steering responsiveness and control that complements the vehicle’s premium sport handling.
  • Daytime Running Lamps : They make the Malibu more visible to other vehicles and to pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Tire pressure monitors : Underinflated tires are a leading cause of tire blowouts and cause premature tire wear. Malibu’s tire pressure monitors transmit tire pressure readings from each wheel so the driver can ensure they are properly inflated. A graphic on the driver information center shows real-time tire pressures.

Protection in the event of a crash

In the event of a crash, Malibu provides a strong structure that is 20-percent stiffer than the model it replaces. It comprises 65-percent high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, full-length frame rails, a reinforced safety cage and impact-absorbing crush zones. This structure is designed to absorb the energy created in a crash and help preserve the structural integrity of the occupant compartment.

Welded tubular-section members frame door openings and support the roof, and steel members provide additional impact protection in the doors. This combination of a single-piece door aperture and door-beam reinforcements helps resist intrusion in side impacts.

Ten air bags on full Malibu lineup, new pedal release

Air bags work with lap and shoulder belts to help keep occupants properly positioned in a crash to avoid injuries from secondary collisions (between the occupant and the interior of the vehicle) and intrusion from another vehicle or object.

Malibu Eco – the first Malibu model to arrive in dealer showrooms early next year – will have eight standard air bags, including:

  • Dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags
  • Driver and front passenger knee air bags mounted under the instrument panel
  • Front seat-mounted chest/pelvis air bags
  • Full-length head curtain side air bags in the roof rail for head protection and to help retain occupants in the event of a rollover.

Rear seat-mounted chest/pelvis side air bags become standard on all Malibu models next summer.

New to Malibu is a standard pedal release system. In a severe crash, the brake pedal is designed to break away to help protect the driver’s feet and lower legs from injuries.

Other standard occupant protection features include three-point safety belts in all five seating positions, with pretensioners and load limiters for the driver and front passenger. The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Top Tethers for CHildren) system helps make it easier to properly secure child seats.

Designed to protect pedestrians

In many of the global markets where Malibu will be sold, large numbers of pedestrians share the road with cars.

To meet global standards for protecting pedestrians against head injuries in the event of a crash, the Malibu uses energy-absorbing materials in the hood. Other energy-absorbing techniques for protecting pedestrians in the event of a collision include the strategic use of air space between the hood and hard objects underneath – such as the battery and engine block – that could injure pedestrians.

Six months of OnStar provides post-crash care

The Malibu is equipped with six months of OnStar Directions & Connections service, including Automatic Crash Response. In the event of a collision, built-in vehicle sensors with an injury severity predictor automatically alert an OnStar advisor, who is immediately connected into the vehicle to determine if help is needed.

The advisor can use GPS to help locate the vehicle and send emergency help to the scene – even if there is no answer.

Security features on Malibu

Malibu also includes several security features, including segment-exclusive power rear child security locks and remote keyless entry with a panic alarm to sound for help or scare off an intruder. OnStar adds remote door unlock, horn and light activation, stolen vehicle location and stolen vehicle slowdown technologies.

Other important peace-of-mind features include an anti-theft alarm with a passive engine immobilizer and segment-best 24/7 roadside assistance as part of Malibu’s exclusive 5-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

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