Automobile Journalists Association of Canada awards Honda Canada the 2021 Best Safety Innovation Award for its next-generation airbag

Honda's ‘catcher’s mitt’ airbag is designed to reduce serious injuries that can occur in frontal collisions



Markham, ON. March 30, 2021. Today, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) presented the 2021 Best Safety Innovation Award to Honda Canada for its revolutionary, next-generation front-passenger airbag. The airbag is a testament to Honda’s leadership in engineering and safety technology and is designed to better protect occupants in a wide range of frontal collision scenarios, including angled crashes between vehicles or a vehicle and another object.



VIDEO – AJAC 2021 Best Safety Innovation Award to Honda Canada



Saving Lives and Preventing Injury


Honda's next-generation airbag is particularly beneficial in angled frontal impacts in which lateral collision forces can cause an occupant's head to rotate severely or slide off the airbag, increasing the chance of serious injury or death.


Unlike conventional airbag systems that rely on a single inflatable compartment, the new system utilizes four major components: three inflated compartments -- a centre chamber and two outward-projecting side chambers that create a wide base across the dash -- along with a "sail panel" that stretches between the two side chambers at their outermost edge.


Operating something like a baseball catcher's mitt, the sail panel catches and decelerates the occupant's head while also engaging the side chambers, pulling them inward to cradle and protect the head, mitigating the potential for injury.


The new front-passenger airbag is standard equipment on the 2021 Acura TLX sedan and 2022 Acura MDX SUV. Honda plans to integrate and include new airbag designs and technology in future models and has made this technology available to other vehicle manufacturers in its commitment to “Safety for Everyone”.


“In our fundamental pursuit of Safety for Everyone and the enhanced safety of Acura, Honda, and the vehicles of other brands—all for the benefit of society—we are incredibly honoured that our new passenger front airbag has been recognized with the 2021 AJAC Innovation Award for Best Safety Innovation.”  Eric Heitkamp, Honda Principal Crashworthiness Engineer, and co-inventor of the new airbag.


Honda Safety for Everyone


As a manufacturer of a wide variety of products including automobiles and powersports vehicles, Honda's "Safety for Everyone" commitment is not limited only to the needs of car drivers and motorcycle riders, but extends to passengers, pedestrians, and occupants of all vehicles — in short, to everyone sharing the road.


On the basis of this "Safety for Everyone" concept, Honda is committed to developing innovative safety technologies and equipping them to its automobiles, motorcycles and other powersports products toward Honda's vision for a collision-free mobile society where its customers, and everyone sharing the road, can safely and confidently enjoy the freedom of mobility.


About Honda Canada
Honda Canada Inc. was founded in 1969 and is the parent company for both Honda and Acura vehicle brands in Canada. Since 1986, the company has produced Honda engines and more than nine million cars and light trucks at its Alliston, Ontario manufacturing facilities, where the Honda CR-V and Honda Civic are currently built. Honda Canada has invested more than $4.7 billion in Canada, and each year it sources nearly $2.1 billion in goods and services from Canadian suppliers. Honda Canada has sold more than five million Honda and Acura passenger cars and light trucks in Canada. For more information on Honda Canada, please visit