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Passenger airbag kid safe?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by TEG, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Can the passenger airbag be turned off? (looks like a little kid in the passenger seat there on San Antonio Road)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    >> Can the passenger airbag be turned off?

    You think no airbag is better than normal airbag for kids?
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #3 TEG, Mar 9, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2008
    Kids Safety First
    "Q. What do I do if my car or truck does not have a back seat or if the back seat is too small to fit a child safety seat?
    A. If you must transport your child in the front passenger seat of your vehicle, first determine if your vehicle is equipped with a passenger front airbag. If it is, determine if your vehicle is equipped with an airbag deactivation switch. Newer vehicles that do not have a rear seat, especially pick-up trucks, are typically equipped with a deactivation switch that is operated using the ignition key. If your vehicle is equipped with a deactivation switch, turn the passenger front airbag “off”, then move the front passenger seat to its rear most position."

    ...

    "Q. Can I put a child in the front passenger seat of my car?
    A. ... first determine if your vehicle is equipped with a passenger front airbag. If it is, determine if your vehicle is equipped with an airbag deactivation switch. Newer vehicles that do not have a rear seat, especially pick-up trucks, are typically equipped with a deactivation switch that is operated using the ignition key. If your vehicle is equipped with a deactivation switch, turn the passenger front airbag “off”, then move the front passenger seat to its rear most position."


    California Safety Laws - Cell Phone, Seat Belt, Car Seat, Child Safety Laws in CA - DMV.ORG
    "...Children under age 12 should always ride in the back due to the danger of airbags hitting them too low...."

    EXCLUSIVE: Ferrari F430 Sales May Be Banned in U.S. for Airbag Issues
    "...It isn't that the F430's airbags aren't safe — they meet or exceed most NHTSA guidelines. But the F430 lacks sufficient protection for a small number of female occupants who aren't strapped into the correct position in the event of a crash. The same problem applies to child occupants....

    Ferrari points out that only 13 percent of its owners have children under the age of 6, so that it is unlikely that many kids will ride in one of the waived cars. Further, the company pledges to provide, free of charge to any customer who requests it, a special child seat which will automatically deactivate the passenger's side airbag. The cars will also feature a manual cutoff switch for the passenger's side airbag."


    Lotus Elise North America :: PureSportsCar.com - airbag shutoff
    "...Nick Adams told me that there is no provision for the passenger side airbag to be shut off. He said that the reason for this is that a child car seat will not fit in the passenger seat of the Elise, therefore, Lotus does not recommend carrying small children in that seat. Apparently, this topic consummed many hours of discussion by the design team to arrive at this decision. I hope this helps..."

    final word on kids and passenger side airbag? - Page 3 - LotusTalk- The Lotus Cars Community
    "It'd be nice if Lotus could weight in on this. I would imagine they've done some level of safety testing with small passengers.
    They already have, in the owner's manual pages 7-8, 19-20, 23, and mainly 26-27 . Unfortunately they have to take the safest legal position (at least here in the colonies) and advise that children not ride in the car at all.
    ...Take a look at the pages I referenced in your owner's manual. They all talk about how children should not ride in the car b/c it has airbags that can not be turned off."


    Does the airbag waiver mean the Tesla Roadster isn't safe for kids? - AutoblogGreen
    ""The upgrade (which Tesla doesn't yet have) was designed to meet the goals of improving protection for occupants of all sizes, belted and unbelted, in moderate-to-high-speed crashes, and of minimizing the risks posed by air bags to infants, children, and other occupants, especially in lowspeed crashes." That's why, as I hope you know, if you drive with small kids you should turn off the non-advanced air bags in their seats or seat them in the back (consult your car's manual for details).""
    ...""Tesla stated that it is unlikely that young children would be passengers in the Roadster, so an exemption from the advanced air bag requirements that are designed to protect children will not create a significant safety issue."...



    My RangerEV truck has a passenger airbag deactivation switch and it says to use it when children are riding there. I think the "advanced airbags" (which Tesla doesn't have yet) may be designed to offer reduced force for smaller passengers, but I really don't know the answer.




    Perhaps all of this is just "hoopla" or "much ado about nothing?"
    I wonder what the Tesla owner's manual will say about children riding in the passenger seat?
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Actually I just found something on Siry's blog:

    Horseless Age: hot-airbags

     
  5. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Now this is something new to me.

    I knew airbag should be turned off if you had a baby seated in a childseat in front - but for all kids? Up to what age / height / weight? Until he turns 21?
     
  6. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    I'm pretty sure it says on the childseat what kind of precautions you should take. In either case whenever the kid is tall enough to use a regular seatbelt without anything extra leaving the airbag on sounds like a good idea :)

    Cobos
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #8 TEG, Mar 10, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
    Laws/regulations apparently vary by state

    More here for California:
    Seat_Restraints

    As far as I can tell it appears that children over 60 lbs or 6 years of age are legal to ride in front (as long as belted) with no extra safety measures.

    There are other regulations about children under 16 years of age, but those appear to just say that a parent/guardian is required to make sure the kids are using the seatbelts.

    Aside from the laws, there are various government "FAQs" talking about airbag off switches for kids up to 12 years of age...

    Air Bag Safety
    "2. Who can get an air bag ON-OFF switch?
    ...
    Individuals with the need to carry children between one year old and 12 years old in the front seat because the vehicle has no rear seat..."

    Survey on the Use of Passenger Air Bag On-Off Switches
    "Children 1-12 years old preferably should not be exposed to an air bag whereas nearly all adult passengers age 13 or older most likely would benefit from air bags."
     
  8. Hunter

    Hunter Member

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    so...

    Ok, so they aren't putting in weight sensors for the airbags. This is not a big deal. But are they going to at least put in a switch of some kind? Because that does seem like a big deal. It's not expensive, either from a development or manufacturing standpoint. And it is clearly necessary for safety. Yeah, ok, it's "not that often" that you see a child in a sportscar. But I was in one several times during my childhood. Can they really not spend whatever few bucks it would take to put a simple toggle switch in the line to the airbag, and protect the few kids who might be lucky enough to get a ride in a Tesla? That just seems foolish.
     
  9. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I'm also surprised Tesla doesn't have a switch for the passenger airbag. I had assumed they were common once the dangers of airbags were discovered and before advanced airbags became required.

    I get a little nervous when my girlfriend (who's very small) rides in my '94 Miata. I make her push the seat all the way back. The '98 body type models came with a key switch for the airbag.

    I guess the Roadster doesn't have a standard key switch for the passenger airbag since the Elise doesn't. I suppose it will have to be an aftermarket addition for those concerned about it.
     
  10. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #11 doug, Mar 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    airbag dangers

     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  12. klinkows

    klinkows New Member

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    Airbag on / off switch

    Has anyone successfully installed one of these so a child can ride in the passenger seat of a roadster?
     
  13. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    You know, I think I have heard of an owner getting one installed. Don't remember who, though.
     
  14. RGB

    RGB eRaca

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    There's a thread about this in the owners section.
     
  15. DRM

    DRM Roadster #619

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    #16 DRM, Oct 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2009
    Some rarely seen Roadster angles

    So I finally got around to installing the airbag switch on Wednesday. It was an absolute pain in the @$$. Had to remove the entire dash, including a large number of non-intuitive clips & velcro connectors. The result is great. The airbag switch is hidden nicely in the passenger footwell.

    //dan.

    [​IMG]

    (more pix HERE)

    EDIT: I don't seem to be successful at inserting a pix, but the link appears to work. Follow the link for pix of a disassembled Tesla dash....
     
  16. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Sheesh man! That is a crazy amount of effort to have to go through to get the switch installed! Thanks for sharing all the pictures.

    Well at least you know what it really looks like behind the dashboard now.
     
  17. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #18 vfx, Oct 17, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
    Unbelievable!

    Another request for the next year's version is to add the switch or at least design in an easy access point to the wiring harness.

    The guys that repair the car talk about how the very first thing installed in the car's tub is the single piece harness. One owner had a rat chew on a spot in the wires. The car has to be nearly 100 percent disassembled to swap in a new harness. A three part harness would be high on the list for next year's version.
     
  18. DRM

    DRM Roadster #619

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    Tesla could make the switch install a 5 minute job if they only pulled the thick yellow wire (see my pix) from it's free-floating position behind the airbag to just behind the fuse panel. There's plenty of slack in the wire, but it's currently just coiled up in the back.

    If they pulled it forward about 8 inches, then it could be easily tapped without disassembling everything. The yellow sheath contains two wires which are connected into the switch (it is the airbag controller input for a disconnect switch which is unused in the Tesla).

    //dan.
     
  19. Albern

    Albern Member

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    #20 Albern, Oct 17, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2009
    Thanks for sharing. I didn't realize you could post and share pictures from a Facebook album like that without being in your network or friends list.

    I wouldn't even have the guts to take apart the car the way you did to install the switch. Would Tesla be able to do that?
     

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