The New Beetle Cabriolet has an active roll-over protection system behind the rear head restraints. For additional safety in the event of the vehicle rolling over, it works in combination with the extremely rigid windscreen frame to provide protection for the occupants of all four seats.
The roll bars consist of a stationary aluminium profile mounted to the vehicle body with a spring-loaded movable profile inside it. Thanks to its efficient profiled design, this roll-over protection system can absorb much greater forces than previous protection bars. The internal profile is held in its rest position by a solenoid switch.
As soon as the crash sensors detect a possible roll-over or collision (at the front, rear or side) the protection system is activated by the airbag control unit.
A solenoid switch opens a retaining latch, releasing the inner profile. As it extends, a ratchet rack mounted on the inner profile passes over a pawl. This securely holds the inner profile in its extended position. The protection system takes 250 ms at most to complete its full extension stroke of 265 millimetres. If the convertible top is up, the roll-over protection system extends up against the headliner under the force of its springs. If no roll-over occurs, the bars can be manually pushed back into their housings. This solution helps to keep repair costs to a minimum.