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Old 17th March 2011, 09:51   #1
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Default Passenger-side Airbag switch?

I have seen TATA vehicles have switch for passenger side Airbag (key on outside of dashboard). I was wondering that how other cars which have Passenger airbag regulate it if no one is sitting except driver?

for Toyota the salesman said that airbag only works with seat belt used.
Chevy person had no info
Same for maruti
Hyundai i20 has switch for it no idea for i10

Can anyone please tell that how airbags are regulated in non occupied passengers seat
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Old 17th March 2011, 10:14   #2
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Default re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

As far as I know, the higher end cars choose to deploy airbags if the person occupying the seat exceeds a certain weight. This is because airbags actually cause injury to children.
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Old 17th March 2011, 10:37   #3
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Default re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

Usually I have only come across the factor of the seat belt being used to regulate the mode of the passenger side air-bag.
But, yes, some cars do have a separate switch. I believe all the cars below a certain price level would have a manual button to switch off the passenger side air bag/no option of switching it off, as any other automated systems based on sensors would take the costs up.

Cheers and drive safe.
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Old 17th March 2011, 11:13   #4
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Default re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drsnt View Post
... I was wondering that how other cars which have Passenger airbag regulate it if no one is sitting except driver?...
As mentioned - there is a weight sensor in the front passenger seat.

You can play around with it by slowly lifting yourself off the seat and seeing the "Passenger Airbag Off" light come on on the dashboard.

Ofcourse, the airbag will only deploy if the seatbelt is worn.

cya
R
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Old 17th March 2011, 11:36   #5
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Default re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

Haven't seen such an inter-lock between seat belt and airbag deployment. That would be like the airbag system is virtually saying "I will behave responsibly only if you are behaving responsibly". In systems whose malfunction can be a subject of (rather huge, by Class Action) liability claims, that would be a very irresponsible design.
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Old 17th March 2011, 11:49   #6
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Default re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

^ I would accept that. Would not want the passenger side air bag to deploy if I am the only one in the car. Manufacturers can save cost on the weight sensor and link it to seatbelt activation.

As per sales exec, the Vento's airbags activate only above 60/80 kmph.
Which means if one has stopped at a traffic light and there is a big impact from behind,
they do not deploy?
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Old 17th March 2011, 12:27   #7
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Default re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drsnt View Post
I was wondering that how other cars which have Passenger airbag regulate it if no one is sitting except driver?
Chevy person had no info
Same for maruti
Hyundai i20 has switch for it no idea for i10

Can anyone please tell that how airbags are regulated in non occupied passengers seat
Many cars air bag gets deployed if frontal impact is detected. Some have switches. This is given if one has to keep infants/child in front seats (which is discouraged). This switch is not for switching off, if only driver is in-front!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatari View Post
As per sales exec, the Vento's airbags activate only above 60/80 kmph.
Which means if one has stopped at a traffic light and there is a big impact from behind,
they do not deploy?
Link between seat belts and Air bags are also not true. Also that airbags deploys after certain speed also not true. It is only depending on detection from sensor of impact. Just imagine one is traveling in low speed or even stand still at the junction/signal, and some idiot comes fast (or drives in wrong side, common practice in KA) and looses balance, hits you from front with high speed! Non deployment of Air bags will be fatal!
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Old 17th March 2011, 15:04   #8
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Default Re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

thankx everyone, now my next question is what should I do if my child only travels in front seat? I have tried every means but she refuses to travel in back. I am planning for my next vehicle with airbag/ABS but I am still confused how to avoid injury by airbag to my child?
She wont sit in back faced child seat, she travels with seat belt after lot of arguments.
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Old 17th March 2011, 15:55   #9
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Default Re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drsnt View Post
thankx everyone, now my next question is what should I do if my child only travels in front seat? I have tried every means but she refuses to travel in back. I am planning for my next vehicle with airbag/ABS but I am still confused how to avoid injury by airbag to my child?
She wont sit in back faced child seat, she travels with seat belt after lot of arguments.
as a good parent, it would be imperative that you make your child sit in the rear facing child seats. i am not a parent, so i wouldnt know the troubles
in any case, the seats generally have a weight sensor to figure out the generic proportions of the occupant.
usually, for occupants below 25 kg weight, the airbag wont deploy. because they are too small and it may be dangerous for them.
with input of the size of the occupant to the ECU, it can trigger the airbag at different times to make it most effective.

@ rehaan:
it is no more true that if the seat belts are not worn, the airbag wont fire. in the US, it is mandatory that they open irrespective of the seat belt. so some OEMs have different algorithms to open the air bags depending on the seat belt status. this can be combined with the weight of the person as well. i know of a case toyota was fighting in an indian court as the airbag didnt open in an accident as the seat belt was not worn.

hence, there would be a look up table for the airbag trigger from the zero point of the crash. and the opening would be a function of a lot many other things as well.

@ hatari:
adding to raghu's point, the trigger of an airbag is fundamentally a function of the deceleration of the vehicle. hence, the speed of the vehicle is secondary.
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Old 17th March 2011, 15:58   #10
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Default Re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatari View Post
... Manufacturers can save cost on the weight sensor and link it to seatbelt activation.
As per sales exec, the Vento's airbags activate only above 60/80 kmph.
... big impact from behind, they do not deploy?
Seatbelts and airbags are independent systems. What if one forgets to put on seatbelt, or due to a faulty seatbelt sensor (a dumb switch whose health is not monitored - fails) - it should not deploy? What if you were the designer and someone puts a $10 million liability claim on your company for death by negligence by manufacturer?

That Sales Exec better educate himself - soon even moderately knowledgeable people will walk away from his foot-in-mouth affliction. What matters for airbag deployment is G value on impact, independent of what speed the vehicle is at.

Airbags usually don't deploy if the impact is from rear. Exception: the rear-ending makes the vehicle crash hard enough into the vehicle in front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drsnt View Post
... what should I do if my child only travels in front seat? I have tried every means but she refuses to travel in back. ...
She wont sit in back faced child seat, ...
Simple - don't travel with your child if you are in that situation, or use alternate transport. That is for the sake of the child, for which you cannot make any compromises.

I wonder what makes you think you cannot make your daughter sit in the expected place - child seat on rear seat? She only needs a. constant reassurance you are nearby and b. diversion when she is on her own. Even if she throws a tantrum, you have to be firm rather than giving in. Giving in every time is not an option - you will have many more such situations where giving in would be bad parenting.
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Old 17th March 2011, 18:03   #11
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Default Re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Seatbelts and airbags are independent systems. What if one forgets to put on seatbelt, or due to a faulty seatbelt sensor (a dumb switch whose health is not monitored - fails) - it should not deploy? What if you were the designer and someone puts a $10 million liability claim on your company for death by negligence by manufacturer?
Not talking about anybody else.

I would choose seat belt activation over the more expensive weight sensor.
All cars now have seatbelt warnings either way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Airbags usually don't deploy if the impact is from rear. Exception: the rear-ending makes the vehicle crash hard enough into the vehicle in front
This would make more of a case of negligence
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Old 18th March 2011, 10:59   #12
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Default Re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatari View Post
... I would choose seat belt activation over the more expensive weight sensor ...
Sadly, you have completely missed the point of reliability of sensor or method in Safety systems. This is not the issue of system cost, but that of preventing system failure (System = Airbag system) due to failure-prone components. All components associated with Airbags are monitored, not so with Seat-belts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatari View Post
... This would make more of a case of negligence
Err... how?

Airbags are designed to prevent the human body from traveling towards the impact point (whether front or side). If the impact is from the rear, and the person is restrained by the seat, why should the airbag fire? The most common injury from rear impact is to the neck and head ('whiplash'), and car manufacturers provide the head restraint in the seat to prevent whiplash. How many people are aware of that and keep the headrest in the right position?

Last edited by DerAlte : 18th March 2011 at 11:00.
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Old 18th March 2011, 17:23   #13
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Default Re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drsnt
what should I do if my child only travels in front seat? I have tried every means but she refuses to travel in back.
How old is your kid? My 3-yr old son also would not agree to sit in the rear which was an issue with our Swift-Zxi having airbags - we are to blame since we should have inculcated the habit from when he was small.

Anyway, one day I decided to have a father-to-son talk with him while driving home and told him about how it is dangerous for him to be seated in the front. Since he wont understand airbags, I told him that in case of an accident, the front glass would break and injure him. He was silent and seemed to digest this information.

I had almost thought I succeeded in convincing him, when he pipes up, "But won't the glass pieces hit you, Daddy, since you are also seated in the front ?"

Logical, right ? I am asking him to be seated in the rear, while I sit in the front exposed to dangerous shrapnel. Unsure how to counter this logic, I tell him that I have no option but to sit in front since I have to drive the car.

Anyway, that worked and today when we go out, he insists on sitting in the rear. The problem now is wifey, who feels sad that kiddo is alone/ignored in the backseat while we sit in the front. I tell her that she can join him in the rear - problem solved.
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Old 18th March 2011, 17:46   #14
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Default Re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

What if you are standing in a signal (or parked) and get hit from the front (head on) by a car that has lost control. Thats clearly a grey area..

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
That would be like the airbag system is virtually saying "I will behave responsibly only if you are behaving responsibly".
I wonder if the seatbelt switch is for detecting a passenger in the absence of a weight sensor. But I agree.. not firing based on belt status is a huge liability for an OEM for zero benefit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatari View Post
Which means if one has stopped at a traffic light and there is a big impact from behind,
they do not deploy?
If you are rear ended, an airbag offers zero protection. Your best bet is to have a car w/ rear crumple zones and an active neck restraint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
I tell her that she can join him in the rear - problem solved.
V.V common phenomenon among Indian families in the US.

Last edited by Mpower : 18th March 2011 at 17:47.
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Old 18th March 2011, 18:16   #15
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Default Re: Passenger-side Airbag switch?

So how does the airbag system react in the following situation?

Passenger Airbag switch on the dashboard is on(Passenger airbag active) but there is no passenger in the seat.Car gets involved in head on collision at reasonable speed high enough to deploy airbags.Do the passenger airbags deploy?


Slightly .A friend of mine got involved in head on collision in his Toyota while travelling in a country road in america.Only he was in the car when he met with the collision.And all the 6(8??) airbags-front,side,curtain deployed.Does this mean the system was faulty?I repeat it was a straight head on collision.The sides of the car were intact.
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