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I now have first hand experince that if your passenger air bag indicates a problem it will not deploy in a crash. My wife and her friend were in a crash. Pax gag did not deploy. Drivers did. Lucky both are alive with cuts many small fractures one with cracked ribs.

Don
 

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Very sorry to hear this, and happy both are alive. I have been saying for a long time, I am not sure the air bag works at all. I know Robo wants facts, but those are impossible to get. But looking at as many salvage title vehicles that I have and the ones that Hoosier has looked at, the odds would indicate seeing at least a few more. I think our total is up to two in the year and half I have been looking at them.

Speedy recovery for your wife and friend.

It is good to know that the driver side worked though. There was some questions regarding that on here in the last week or so.

Thank you for your information, being concerned about the group is greatly appreciated.
 

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Please, if you haven't done so, report this to NHTSA. But honestly, I think people have to die before they will do anything.
 

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Yes, please report this to the NHTSA, as well as the failure of the passenger seat detection.

This can only help our efforts to get these seats recalled/repaired.

Thanks.

Our regards to your wife and her friend, Hope they fully recover.

:frown2:

.
 

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Please, if you haven't done so, report this to NHTSA. But honestly, I think people have to die before they will do anything.
What is he going to report? That he knew the air bag needed to be serviced, didn't service it, and it worked as designed by not deploying?

Glad everyone is going to be okay.
 

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800 to 1000 bucks over here to have one fixed I have heard. May have just went off, who knows.

We may need you to make a run on these things, they cost 3 times as much here for some reason.

We all do things we regret, and do things that we don't think through enough. He is hurting bad enough for it as it is, I would guess.

Mistakes are made, and often.
 

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I am not sure what I would have done with the light being on, but may i ask why it was decided to put someone in the passenger seat knowing the air bag had a problem ?
The biggest issue is that the airbag always has a problem. It's a poor design. Even when the sensor wasn't working, it failed to detect my wife in the passenger seat at least 80% of the time. And to top it off, it's a design guaranteed to fail due to fatigue. Heck, even our junior engineers would have rejected this design solution in their first trade study.

I really wish they'd just go back to a driver operable switch for the passenger air bag and quit installing systems that are mandated due to some bureaucrat thinking that drivers are dumber than doorknobs.
 

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What is he going to report? That he knew the air bag needed to be serviced, didn't service it, and it worked as designed by not deploying?

Glad everyone is going to be okay.
Glad they are ok too. He can report that the sensor had failed and as a result there was an injury. Every other report, if you read through them is an air bag (or seat sensor) failure. It should bring some attention. The fact that he didn't service it is not as important as the amount of failures that are occurring.
 

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I am very happy no one was seriously injured beyond the cracked ribs, it could have been a lot worse. Looks like your family is out of luck for the next couple of days. Your dose of luck has been used up for now :)
Wow, that's harsh. "Your dose of luck has been used up"? What's that supposed to mean?

I am not sure what I would have done with the light being on, but may i ask why it was decided to put someone in the passenger seat knowing the air bag had a problem ?
Why are you giving this guy the third degree of questioning? His family members were injured in an accident where the supplemental safety system didn't deploy. Cut him some slack.
 

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This thread is the first time that I have read proof that the failure mode is for the air bag NOT to operate! I understand the potential threat of bag operation but, as mentioned, I don't think that a good engineer would have settled on this design if they hadn't been forced to meet certain mandated standards. I suppose that there isn't any way that GM could ever provide a manual work around without risking product liability suits. This continues to be of interest to all Kappa owners. While I haven't experienced the sensor failure we all know that it is only a matter of time.
 

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This thread is the first time that I have read proof that the failure mode is for the air bag NOT to operate!
Agreed, although I had always assumed the passenger airbag would NOT fire in the case of a failed sensor.

More importantly, this thread is the first time that I have read proof that the Driver-side airbag *WILL* fire in the event of a sensor failure. That had always been the subject of a lot of uncertainty before.
 

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Red's assessment may be harsh, but it is accurate. It was understood that the sensor was not functioning and the decision was made to put someone in the seat with this knowledge.

It is premature to state that an injury occurred because the bag didn't deploy. The injury made have occurred even with the bag deploying and the possibility is very genuine that additional injuries may have been caused by the bag.

To state that the design was flawed because it didn't detect a passenger "80% of the time" could be true, but could it be possible that the sensor was working acceptably and the stature of the passenger was so much on the "limit" of the specification that any sensor could have the same struggle. (Old_Sol - I'll assume that's not the case as you probably have other vehicles that your better half has been in that didn't display this behavior?)

Lots of unknowns still remain but I take away this.

1. The fail safe mode when the passenger sensor fails is to NOT deploy the passenger air bag.
2. The failed passenger sensor does NOT affect the deployment of the driver air bag.
3. The lack of deployed passenger air bags in wrecks as proof that the passenger air bags have a high failure rate is difficult to correlate. (Numbers I research indicated that 38% of all personal trips are driver only. What percentage of the wrecks had a passenger versus no passenger?
4. Despite all the "uknowns" there is definitely a pattern that indicates this design sucks at least in this implementation (and likely others.)
 

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I replaced my psgr seat sensor and then had it dealer calibrated. My spouse weighs 106lbs and that is a problem for the psgr sensor. My spouse has lift herself from the seat a number of times before she is detected by the sensor. Hmmmmm is this the intended design. A 106lbs driver of the Solstice is protected by an air bag, but a 106lbs psgr is not? Now we also have 2013 Equinox (a GM product) the psgr seat sensor immediately turns the air bag on, when my 106lbs spouse sits in it. Just sayin.....
 

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From my recent reading, in many collisions you are better off to NOT have the airbag. More so if you are of small stature or light weight. The numbers I have seen suggest that the airbag is causing more injuries and deaths than it is preventing. Use of a good seatbelt is generally always better than no seatbelt and an airbag.

The problems are
1) lack of long term test data supporting the design of currently deployed airbags. The propellant becomes unstable over time when exposed to high temperature and humidity. Thus the propellant is turning the structure of the airbag into shrapnel that is injuring and killing people
2) the government mandated performance criteria calls for a large frame heavy human without a seatbelt. As a result, the energy that the airbag has to absorb is very high in the criteria crash. This level of energy results in small stature, light weight humans being hammered so hard by the airbag that the airbag is causing significant injuries.

A good seatbelt worn properly for a small stature or light weight human appears to be the preferred choice over the airbag.

The reason that there IS a passenger seat sensor is because the design criteria driven airbag WILL injure or kill a small passenger. If the airbag was truly a supplemental restraint system and was designed to be used with an average size human wearing a seatbelt, it is much more likely that the resultant implementation would provide beneficial results to all passengers and would not need to be disabled for light weight humans.
 

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From my recent reading, in many collisions you are better off to NOT have the airbag. More so if you are of small stature or light weight. The numbers I have seen suggest that the airbag is causing more injuries and deaths than it is preventing. Use of a good seatbelt is generally always better than no seatbelt and an airbag.

The problems are
1) lack of long term test data supporting the design of currently deployed airbags. The propellant becomes unstable over time when exposed to high temperature and humidity. Thus the propellant is turning the structure of the airbag into shrapnel that is injuring and killing people
2) the government mandated performance criteria calls for a large frame heavy human without a seatbelt. As a result, the energy that the airbag has to absorb is very high in the criteria crash. This level of energy results in small stature, light weight humans being hammered so hard by the airbag that the airbag is causing significant injuries.

A good seatbelt worn properly for a small stature or light weight human appears to be the preferred choice over the airbag.

The reason that there IS a passenger seat sensor is because the design criteria driven airbag WILL injure or kill a small passenger. If the airbag was truly a supplemental restraint system and was designed to be used with an average size human wearing a seatbelt, it is much more likely that the resultant implementation would provide beneficial results to all passengers and would not need to be disabled for light weight humans.
This is why poorly thought out government mandates always have unintended consequences. Had the airbags (as done in most other countries) been relegated to supplemental systems, the PSS wouldn't be needed at all. The PSS is a solution to a government mandate induced problem.

Personally, I'd rather just have a driver operable switch to turn it on or off. I don't need an unreliable sensor doing the thinking for me.
 

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This is why poorly thought out government mandates always have unintended consequences. Had the airbags (as done in most other countries) been relegated to supplemental systems, the PSS wouldn't be needed at all. The PSS is a solution to a government mandate induced problem.

Personally, I'd rather just have a driver operable switch to turn it on or off. I don't need an unreliable sensor doing the thinking for me.[/QI I have to agree on this.
 

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Rob - the sodium azide originally used as a propellant was stable. It's also highly soluble and carcinogenic when dissolved in water. Hence disposal was such a concern because if the wrecked vehicles were just landfilled, or worse yet crushed to possible expose the sodium azide and THEN landfilled it would release carcinogens into the ground water.

The ammonium nitrate in the Takata inflators is the substance that is prone to changes when exposed to high humidity and temperatures.

I do not know if the ammonium nitrate is used in other manufacturers devices or perhaps all of them?

As for government regulations and the resulting idiocy (or is that propagating idiocy?) Here's how it evolved in the case of air bags.

1. NHTSA states that airbags would have saved 30k lives over a 5 year (I think) period and begins to mandate them.
2. In order to meet the specifications set forth by NHTSA, a carcinogenic compound is about the only substance that can provide the energy needed at the rate needed.
3. Detroit brings up the fact that people are getting killed by airbags (as far back as the 70's when GM experimented with them on a limited number of vehicles. NHTSA interprets this as Detroit trying to resist the mandates.
4. It's brought to light that children, adults of small stature and infants in car seats are getting killed or maimed. It's then promoted that children should sit in the back seat.
5. Someone reminds the government that not all vehicles have rear seats.
6. Car makers are allowed to put an override switch to disable the passenger side airbag in vehicles that don't have a rear seat.
7. Government feels that they can't "undo" their "help" so they create the requirement for passive restraint systems and change the deployment criteria, resulting in supposed "smart" airbags.
8. The resulting technologies to achieve the "smart" requirements are like any other technology - questionably effective and in need of more development.
9. Takata comes up with a more "friendly" propellant in the ammonium nitrate but there is no way they can test the stability of the components over multiple years of thermal and humidity cycles, so now they're sending shrapnel out because it is more powerful than designed.

As stated in an article I posted a link to elsewhere, the U.S. public has been trained to believe that if their air bag deployed, it saved them. Even if it breaks both of their arms (not uncommon depending upon their hand position at the time of deployment), they figure it's better than being dead.

As Rob stated, the belt can, does, and should do most of the work.

But as it stands now, you can disable the airbag if you'd like, you just can't disable the warning indicator that let's the driver and passenger know if their bag is not functioning.
 

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News on the Sensor...

NHTSA INVESTIGATION Subject : Passenger Sensing System Sensor Mat

Date Investigation Opened: MAY 16, 2016
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: DP16001
Component(s): AIR BAGS

The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received a petition from requesting a defect investigation into an alleged defect of the air bag system on 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice and 2007-2010 Saturn Sky vehicles. The petition letter is attached for review.

The petitioner alleges that the Passenger Sensing System (PSS) sensor mat over time will kink, fold and eventually break. The petitioner further alleges that the break in the mat will cause a failure in the circuitry of the sensor mat that may lead to the passenger air bag system being inoperative (suppressed) when the seat is occupied by a passenger that would otherwise require air bag protection.

In Attachment B, the petitioner identified 933 complaints received by NHTSA alleging air bag system issues. The identified complaints encompass several General Motors vehicle models in addition to the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. ODI will evaluate these complaints further to determine if the complaints pertain to the issue cited in the petition.

This defect petition has been opened to evaluate the issue and determine whether to grant or deny the petition.
 

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Well, it wasn't a deal killer for my inspection in TX. So I'll probably wait and see if anything comes of the recall.
 
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