Around 25 years ago, Mercedes-Benz (Stuttgart) was the first automobile manufacturer in the world to introduce the front passenger airbag in a series-production car. The technology debuted in the S-Class at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September 1987. It elevated the safety standards in Mercedes-Benz passenger cars to a new level and thus represented yet another logical step by the pioneer in passive vehicle safety in a long line of innovations.
Mercedes-Benz had already introduced the world's first fully operational driver airbag in a production vehicle in 1981 - also in a 126 model series S-Class. The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), consisting of driver airbag and belt tensioner, was available as an option costing DM1525.50. It was the result of the rigorous work undertaken by corporate research that had started in the mid-1960s.