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Questions (and Answers) about Airbag Cutoff Switch

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  • Questions (and Answers) about Airbag Cutoff Switch

    A question came up regarding my article of passenger front airbag cutoff switches.

    "Sir, your April 2001 article did a great job explaining these devices, but I'm not clear on why an undeployed passenger airbag which is disarmed by key switch is a hazard during extrication.

    I could see perhaps one might short out the system by destroying the control module with a hydraulic tool, but if one is just taking off doors or roof, why would being in the disarmed mode be a problem?"

    My Reply-

    You are right. I'm most concerned about the airbag inflation zone during work that would short an airbag wire or damage the control module. All airbags however are sensitive to static electric sparks and current surges. Last year, almost one million bags were recalled for defects such as sensitive to being bumped, sensitive to moisture, sensitive to stray electric current. Chrysler
    recalled 800,000 bags that deployed when the driver turned on the ignition!

    Taking off roof and doors would be enough for me to want to stay out of the inflation zones of all loaded bags. That's enough heavy duty work to cause something to go wrong somewhere.

    I advocate staying clear of the inflation zone of all airbags as a good habit to get into.
    10"-18"-5".

    The passenger frontal airbag that is shutoff will not instantly deploy if the switch is turned ON.

    Anyone else care to comment on this???

    Ron Moore
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  • #2
    HAS ANYONE EVER THOUGHT OF A UNIVERSAL AIRBAG CUT OFF SUCH AS THE KNOX BOX SYSTEM ON COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS WHICH ALLOWS ENTRY. SWITCHES UNDER THE HOOD OR IN THE TRUNK COULD BE CUT OFF BY THE EXTRICATION TEAM. A UNIVERSAL KEY ONLY AVAILABLE TO FIRE\EMS\RESCUE UNITS CARRIED ON EACH TRUCK WOULD DEACTIVATE THE SYSYEM AND MAYBE DEACTIVATE THE ENTIRE ELECTRICAL SYSYEM. COULD CONGRESS MANDATE SUCH A SYSTEM UNIVERSAL TO ALL CARS SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES? JUST SOME WORDS TO THINK ABOUT BECAUSE THERE DOES NOT SEEM TO BE A STANDARD THAT ALL VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS GO BY. WHEN THE GOLDEN HOUR IS TICKING ANY ADVANTAGE TO SAFE EXTRICATION WOULD BE IN THE VICTIMS AND RESCUERS BEST INTEREST.

    THANKS, JUST MY 2 CENTS WORTH

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello!

      I dont't think the automobile industry will built universal cut off switches in their cars but I also think it is not really necessary, because after cutting of the power there are still some dangers!

      Some reasons for this:
      *Mechanical fired Airbags are (as far as I know) only built in some older cars. These cars will never get this switch!
      *Airbag-computers of new cars (especially from germany) only have drain-down times of a few seconds after battery disconnection. *The Battery is sometimes hard to find in the car but also a geral cut-off-switch would not be accessable in all cases!
      * The pressurized gas zylinders (hybrid-airbags) are still pressurized after cutting off the battery. In Germany, there are plans to split the window-curtain airbag into to airbags, each with a gas-generator (one in the B-, one in the C-Post)!

      I, for myself, would prefere a system like Rons VSDS. In this Sheets you could also include informations about new car problems (glass, hybrid-cars etc.).

      I'm sorry, my english is not so good, ask me if you don't understand how I mean some of my points.
      Jorg Heck
      Airbag&Co, Germany/Austria
      http://airbag.feuerwehr.org

      Comment


      • #4
        Joerg's message reminds me to tell everyone that the 2001 BMW vehicles can have 10 separate airbags. That is the greatest number of airbags to date in any vehicle in the US.

        Driver's frontal
        Passenger frontal
        Driver front door
        Driver's side rear door
        Passenger's side front door
        Passenger's side rear door
        Driver's side front roof airbag
        Passenger's side front roof airbag
        Rear passenger on driver's side, roof airbag
        Rear passenger on passenger's side, roof airbag

        Ron Moore
        Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
        www.universityofextrication.com

        Comment


        • #5
          I think everbody could imagine how the both frontal airbags looks like, but I think it's very difficult to imagine how bmw could include 4 airbags in each side of the car.

          I found a picture of it on the german bmw-homepage and I like to share it with you:

          Jorg Heck
          Airbag&Co, Germany/Austria
          http://airbag.feuerwehr.org

          Comment


          • #6
            These are some heads up items for you guys I found in the University of Maryland Rescue Technician handbook.

            They say to try crossing the battery cables as soon as they are disconnected and this should drain the capacitors immediately.

            Second, many vehicles are starting to come out with these curtain that come down on impact to prevent the occupants from going extra-vehicular. Thes puppies are activated by a pressure switch in he rocker panel and his switch detonates a small charge of blackpowder. The explosion of this gunpowder releases an air blast that travels up tubes through the b pillars to activate and release the curtains.

            Just food for thought.
            Grant Davis
            Improvise,Adapt,Overcome

            Comment


            • #7
              At my Dept. we have Kicked around the idea.
              We decided amongst ourselves that as nice as that sounds, it will never happen. First, they are more than likely to worried about liability issues. We could be wrong, but it opens up the possibility of something going wrong. Just my two cents.
              Proud to be IACOJ Illinois Chapter--Deemed "Crustworthy" Jan, 2003

              Comment

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