Apparently we're not the only ones who look at a car like the Toyota iQ and wonder what could happen to back-seat passengers in a rear-end collision: Toyota today announced the development of a rear-window curtain shield airbag. Not surprisingly, Toyota also announced that the first application for its new 'bag will be in the iQ sub-sub-compact, which places its rear passengers' heads basically against the hatch glass. Much like a side curtain airbag, the rear curtain airbag will drop from the vehicle headliner and work with the headrests to help prevent injuries. Next up: The fully inflatable headliner for rollovers and seat back frontal airbags for rear-seat passengers. You just watch. Full release after the jump

Tokyo ‚ÄĒ TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that it has developed an SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) rear window curtain shield airbag‚ÄĒthe world's first*‚ÄĒto protect rear passengers' heads in the event of a rear-end collision. The innovative airbag deploys from the roof lining above the rear window in the form of a curtain-like barrier. Together with the headrests, the airbag minimizes impact to the head from a colliding vehicle or parts of the hit vehicle, thus helping to reduce the severity of injuries. Its use in the soon-to-be launched "iQ" ultra-compact four-seater is expected to approximately double the car's rear passenger head protection performance. TMC has continued to actively develop and make available its collision safety technologies‚ÄĒresulting in such achievements as the swift market introduction of SRS curtain shield and knee airbags‚ÄĒto enable its vehicles to better respond to a greater range of accidents. As a part of its efforts to realize sustainable mobility, Toyota intends to strengthen its traffic safety initiatives in the future through: 1) the development of even safer vehicles and technologies, 2) participation in the creation of a safe traffic environment and 3) activities designed to educate people on traffic safety, thereby contributing to the complete elimination of traffic casualties, which can be viewed as the ultimate hope of a society that values mobility.

[Toyota via Detroit News]