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Questions & Answers about BMW's Roof Airbag

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  • Questions & Answers about BMW's Roof Airbag

    Received a request for more info on the BMW stored gas inflator system found in their roof-mounted airbags. This system was the theme of the June 2001 column.
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    Is there a way to "disable" the stored gas inflator module?

    There is no method to disable the stored gas inflator module on a BMW HPS airbag system. You have no access to the actual unit at a crash scene. The capacitor drain time was one second on the 2000 models. Now it is officially listed as "5 minutes" on all 2001 BMW vehicles. Shut down the 12-volt battery soon into your operations.

    Where is the BMW battery?

    The battery of a 2001 BMW is either in the trunk (center of the trunk or in the right rear fender well) or under the rear seat on the passenger's side.

    Can I cut the hose that runs to the airbag itself?

    Cutting the airbag filling tube will not result in discharge of the cylinder?It also does not make the system any more or less likely to accidentally deploy. If the system deploys while you are treating a patient or ripping the car apart however, the heated gases will blast out of there like a sawed-off shotgun.

    What trips the roof airbags to deploy?

    The control module that triggers the deployment of all BMW airbags (frontal and all side-impact bags) is a central control unit mounted inside the vehicle. It is a cigar-size metal box under the dashboard along the center floorboard tunnel on most models; under the rear seat on a few others.

    The actual individual crash sensors that receive the side collision impact are located under the driver and passenger front seats near the base of the B-pillar.

    On BMW, does the airbag ID tell you where the stored gas cylinder is?

    No. There are no markings to indicate the location of these cylinders. You have to
    study my 6/01 Univ of X article on these systems and know that they are there under the instrument panel. The airbag ID is a plastic "HPS" button somewhere along the trim of the

    Ron Moore
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

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