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Another Item for Your Checklist

I went through a thorough checklist when picking up our second M3 RWD, but the the checklist and I missed something: Airbag warning light.

I recommend that you press the brake and prepare to drive and then check for any warning icons. It wasn't until I was most of the way home (5.5 hour drive) that I noticed that the airbag icon was on. With wishful thinking, I assumed that it was just a warning that the airbag was on in case a car seat was in the passenger seat. Or something.

Screen Shot 2022-10-28 at 6.21.48 PM.jpg
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
17,512
23,482
Riverside Co. CA
Its not this?

(model 3 manual online)

(Text about airbags)
===================================================

Passenger Front Airbag Status​

The status of the passenger front airbag displays in the top corner of the touchscreen:
passenger airbag option icon
Before driving with a child seat on the front passenger seat (if legally permitted in your market region), always double-check the status of the passenger front airbag to confirm that it is OFF. When the passenger front airbag is OFF, it will not inflate when a collision occurs. This indicator also displays when the seat is unoccupied.
passenger airbag option icon
Before driving with a child seat on the front passenger seat (if legally permitted in your market region), always double-check the status of the passenger front airbag to confirm that it is OFF. When the passenger front airbag is OFF, it will not inflate when a collision occurs. This indicator also displays when the seat is unoccupied.
To protect an adult occupying the front passenger seat, ensure the passenger front airbag is ON. When the passenger front airbag is ON, it may inflate when a collision occurs.

Controlling the Passenger Front Airbag​

Model 3 has an occupancy sensor in the front passenger seat that controls the status of the front airbag.
Note
The occupancy classification system (OCS) meets the regulatory requirement of FMVSS 208 and automatically detects when inflating the passenger front airbag would be unnecessary or potentially harmful.
Warning
Seating an infant in a rear facing child safety seat on a seat equipped with an operational airbag can cause serious injury or death.
Object ClassificationOCS Passenger Airbag Status*Indicator statusNotes
EmptyOFFPASSENGER AIRBAG OFF
ObjectOFF or ONPASSENGER AIRBAG OFF or PASSENGER AIRBAG ONDepends on material/contents.
Rear facing child seat designed for children up to a year oldOFFPASSENGER AIRBAG OFF20 lbs (9 kg) or less
Forward facing child seatOFFPASSENGER AIRBAG OFF35 lbs (16 kg) or less
Child in a booster seatOFF or ONPASSENGER AIRBAG OFF or PASSENGER AIRBAG ON20-100 lbs (9-45 kg)*
Large childOFF or ONPASSENGER AIRBAG OFF or PASSENGER AIRBAG ON
5th percentile female or larger (by weight)ONPASSENGER AIRBAG ONOver approximately 100 lbs (45 kg)
*If the passenger airbag status indicator does not match the situation, do not use the seat. The passenger must ride in a different seat. Contact Tesla Service.
Note
It takes approximately six seconds after you power on Model 3 for the occupant classification system (OCS) to report accurate status of the front passenger airbag. As a result, when you first power on Model 3, even in situations when it should be OFF because the seat is occupied by a weight of 20 lbs (9 kg) or less, it will take the touchscreen approximately six seconds to display the status, PASS AIRBAG OFF. If it fails to do so, contact Tesla Service and do not seat a child in the front passenger seating position.
To make sure the sensing system can correctly detect occupancy status, eliminate the following:
  • Objects lodged under the seat.
  • Heavy objects sitting on the seat (briefcase, large purse).
  • Objects wedged between the seat back and seat cushion.
  • Cargo interfering with the seat.
  • Aftermarket items attached to, or sitting on or between, the seat and occupant including but not limited to covers, mats, blankets, etc.
These conditions can interfere with the occupancy sensor. If you have eliminated the above possibilities, and the airbag status is still incorrect, ask passengers to ride in the rear seats and contact Tesla to have the airbag system checked.
Note
The front passenger occupancy sensor affects the operation of the passenger front airbags only. The side airbags are not affected.
Warning
If the front passenger airbag is not turning on or off as expected based on the weight thresholds previously described, contact Tesla immediately.
Warning
If seating a child in the front passenger seat is legally permissible in your market region, it is the driver's responsibility to ensure that the passenger front airbag is OFF. Never seat a child in a rear facing safety seat in the front passenger seat with an active airbag. DEATH or SERIOUS INJURY to the child can occur. Per recommendations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, all occupants age 12 and under must ride in the rear seats.
Warning
Do not use seat covers on Model 3. Doing so could restrict deployment of the seat-mounted side air bags if a collision occurs. It can also reduce the accuracy of the occupant detection system, if equipped.

Ensuring Accurate Occupant Classification​

To help ensure an occupant in the front passenger seat can be accurately classified, the passenger must:
  • Wear a seat belt.
  • Sit upright on the center of the seat cushion, with shoulders resting against the seat back and legs extended comfortably in front with feet on the floor. See Examples of Correct and Incorrect Seating Positions.
  • Remain positioned on the seat cushion and not lift their weight off the seat (for example, by pushing their feet against the floor or pressing on the center console or armrest to lift up).
  • Never wear thick, wet, or bulky clothing (such as ski wear or padded clothing).
In addition to the items listed above, the following situations can interfere with the accuracy of the occupant classification system:
  • Placing a radio transmitter (for example, a hunting radio or walkie-talkie) on the front passenger seat.
  • Placing an AC/DC inverter, or a device that is being powered by the inverter (for example, a cell phone, tablet, or computer) on the front passenger seat cushion.
  • Placing liquid (such as a bottled drink) or food containers on a car seat when a child seat is present.
  • Incorrectly placing a child safety seat so that the entire lower section is not positioned against the seat cushion.
  • Objects lodged under the seat or wedged between the seat back and cushion.
  • Heavy objects sitting on the seat (briefcase, large purse).
  • Cargo interfering with the seat.
  • Aftermarket items attached to or placed between the seat and the occupant, such as covers, mats, blankets, etc.
These conditions can interfere with the occupancy sensor. If you have eliminated the above possibilities, and the airbag status is still incorrect, instruct passengers to ride in the rear seats and contact Tesla to have the airbag system checked.
Note
Tesla follows NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recommendations that all occupants age 12 and under must ride in a rear seating position.
Note
The front passenger occupancy sensor affects the operation of the passenger front airbags only. The side airbags are not affected.
Warning
Failure to follow the above instructions can adversely affect the Occupant Classification System (OCS) which can cause serious injury or death.
Warning
If the front passenger airbag is not turning on or off as expected, do not seat a passenger in the front passenger seat. Contact Tesla Service.
Warning
To ensure accuracy of the occupant detection system, do not make any modifications to the front passenger seat.
Warning
Do not use seat covers on Model 3. Doing so could restrict deployment of the seat-mounted side air bags if a collision occurs. It can also reduce the accuracy of the occupant classification system.

Examples of Correct and Incorrect Seating Positions​

Correct seating position:
a person sitting with their feet on the floor and a green checkmark
Incorrect seating position - the passenger's feet must be on the floor:
a person sitting with their legs on the dashboard and a red x
Incorrect seating position - the passenger must not slide forward on the seat cushion:
a person sitting on the edge of the seat and a red x
Incorrect seating position - the passenger must not recline the backrest to a laying down position when the vehicle is moving:
a person reclining the seat while the car is in motion and a red x

Inflation Effects​

Warning
When airbags inflate, a fine powder is released. This powder can irritate the skin and should be thoroughly flushed from the eyes and from any cuts or abrasions.
After inflation, the airbags deflate to provide a gradual cushioning effect for the occupants and to ensure the driver’s forward vision is not obscured.
If airbags have inflated, or if your vehicle has been in a collision, your vehicle requires servicing before it will power up. In addition, your airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners and any associated components must be checked, and if necessary, replaced. Contact Tesla Service immediately.
In a collision, in addition to the airbags inflating:
  • Doors unlock.
  • Hazard warning lights turn on.
  • Interior lights turn on.
  • High voltage is disabled.
Note
In some collisions, even if airbags did not inflate, high voltage may be disabled and you will be unable to power up and drive. Contact Tesla Service immediately.

Airbag Warning Indicator​

profile view of a person with an open airbag
The airbag indicator on the touchscreen remains lit if the airbag system is malfunctioning. The only time this indicator should light up is briefly when Model 3 first powers up, in which case it turns off within a few seconds. If it remains lit, contact Tesla immediately and do not drive.

Airbag Warnings​

Warning
All occupants, including the driver, should always wear their seat belts, whether or not an airbag is also provided at their seating position, to minimize the risk of severe injury or death in the event of a collision.
Warning
Front seat occupants should not place their arms over the airbag module, as an inflating airbag can cause fractures or other injuries.
Warning
Do not use seat covers on Model 3. Doing so could restrict deployment of the seat-mounted side air bags if a collision occurs. It can also reduce the accuracy of the occupant detection system, if equipped.
Warning
Airbags inflate with considerable speed and force, which can cause injury. To limit injuries, ensure that occupants are wearing seat belts and are correctly seated, with the seat positioned as far back as possible. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends a minimum distance of 10" (25 cm) between an occupant’s chest and an airbag.
Warning
Children should not be seated on the front passenger seat unless permitted by regulations in your market region. Follow all regulations in your region for the appropriate way to seat a child based on the child's weight, size, and age. The safest place to seat infants and young children is in a rear seating position. Seating an infant or child in a rear-facing child restraint system on a seat equipped with an operational airbag can cause serious injury or death.
Warning
Do not use a rear-facing child safety seat on a seat with an operational airbag in front of it. Doing so can cause injury or death if the airbag inflates.
Warning
To ensure correct inflation of the side airbags, maintain an unobstructed gap between an occupant’s torso and the side of Model 3.
Warning
Passengers shouldn't lean their heads against doors. Doing so can cause injury if a curtain airbag inflates.
Warning
Do not allow passengers to obstruct the operation of an airbag by placing feet, knees or any other part of the body on or near an airbag.
Warning
Do not attach or place objects on or near the front airbags, the side of the front seats, the headliner at the side of the vehicle, or any other airbag cover that could interfere with inflation of an airbag. Objects can cause serious injury if the vehicle is in a collision severe enough to cause the airbag to inflate.
Warning
Following inflation, some airbag components are hot. Do not touch until they have cooled.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
17,512
23,482
Riverside Co. CA
Thanks, JJ. No, none of those things explain it. The status at the top corner shows correctly, but I still have the red airbag icon always showing.

That sucks then, since I remember you are a loooonggg way away from a service / delivery center. Hopefully they can figure it out or send mobile to fix it for you.
 

BillRadio

Member with an Altitude
Jan 2, 2022
122
222
Denver
I will add my gotcha to this thread for those searching for things to look for. The service center forgot to remove the protective plastic film from the side post. After a few months, moisture collected under it and the sun then cooked it and warped the post plastic.

Mobile Service fixed it free and couldn't wait to get back to the SC to razz them about their oversight.
IMG_20220908_174122210.jpg
 
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Reactions: jjrandorin

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