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Air bags in Jeeps


Forty  Rod SASS 3935

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I was looking at new Jeeps and wasn't much impressed.  Too many gadgets, but the deal breaker was air bags.  I asked if they could be switched off.  The one on thee passenger side can be but not the driver's bag  Why?

 

The jackass salesman told me it wasn't allowed under federal law.  

 

Can you disconnect them?  No.

 

Can you tell me how to disconnect them?  No.  Why would you want to?  He looked at me like I had two heads.

 

Because it's an OFF ROAD vehicle and this is Arizona.  I intend to use it off road and I might hit a tree or a bush or a river bank or a rock.

 

But that's what they are for, to protect you if you hit something.

 

There is NO doubt that I will hit something, maybe many somethings, and don't want the inconvenience and cost of putting that thing back in the holder.

 

He got the sales manager and we went through the whole thing again.

 

I went down the street and bought a low mileage International Scout for a LOT LESS than a Jeep of any vintage.

 

 

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I believe the dealer was correct about the law making it illegal to disable airbags is a fact.  While I am a great believer in air bags, I can understand your concerns, which are entirely valid.  Just another example of the "nanny state" not allowing for variation of conditions which might be encountered. :angry: 

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1 hour ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

I was looking at new Jeeps and wasn't much impressed.  Too many gadgets, but the deal breaker was air bags.  I asked if they could be switched off.  The one on thee passenger side can be but not the driver's bag  Why?

 

The jackass salesman told me it wasn't allowed under federal law.  

 

Can you disconnect them?  No.

 

Can you tell me how to disconnect them?  No.  Why would you want to?  He looked at me like I had two heads.

 

Because it's an OFF ROAD vehicle and this is Arizona.  I intend to use it off road and I might hit a tree or a bush or a river bank or a rock.

 

But that's what they are for, to protect you if you hit something.

 

There is NO doubt that I will hit something, maybe many somethings, and don't want the inconvenience and cost of putting that thing back in the holder.

 

He got the sales manager and we went through the whole thing again.

 

I went down the street and bought a low mileage International Scout for a LOT LESS than a Jeep of any vintage.

 

 

 

Being in the collision industry for almost 20 years now, I can attest to the safety aspects of the supplemental restraint systems in vehicles. They have come a long ways in the last 20 years. When I first started in then industry, it was just about guaranteed that if you had a vehicle with a bag deployment, there was going to be blood on the inside of that vehicle. Why? It was a one size fits all solution. Didn't matter if you were 6'2" and 250 pounds or 5'1" and 110. Same deployment energy every time. 

 

Now, the new generations of bags are amazingly better. They have multiple deployment modules and the supplemental restraint system modules are now designed to make crucial decisions faster than a blink of the eye. The computer gathers data from a multiple sensors, including, speed, vehicle pitch and yaw, position of the seat, weight of the seat occupant, position of the steering column and steering wheel, brake position, etc. Then the computer determines if the bag deployment is the right decision or not. 

 

Why do I tell you this? Because the odds that your airbags would go off off roading are miniscule. Believe it or not, that Jeep that you have such disdain for actually has a computer setting, that you are able to engage, that tells the computer that you are taking that vehicle off of road and to suspend certain deployment parameters so that they are not inadvertently deployed.  In the event that you did hit something and the bags were deployed, there would be a solid reason why, mainly to prevent you from dying or being severely injured. 

 

Is the Scout a cool off road vehicle. Heck yeah it is. Is the Jeep, sure. Which is safer? The new Jeep, there is not an argument you can make any other way, the technology that was used in the Scout is obsolete. 

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22 minutes ago, Flatwater Monte said:

Because the odds that your airbags would go off off roading are miniscule. Believe it or not, that Jeep that you have such disdain for actually has a computer setting, that you are able to engage, that tells the computer that you are taking that vehicle off of road and to suspend certain deployment parameters so that they are not inadvertently deployed.

 

Great information, thank you.
One would think that the salesman would have that information and could have said something like, "Federal law says that you can't disable the drivers airbag, but there are settings to let the system know that you will driving in conditions that are likely to have minor collisions and it makes allowances for that.  The airbag is not likely to deploy in normal off road conditions."

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I agree with Flatwater Monte, highly unlikely the late model airbags would be deployed.  Adding that the rate if deceleration also plays a role.  So if you hit that tree and bend the bumper  while driving over it, the bags wouldn’t deploy.  If you hit a tree  that doesn’t give hard enough to deploy the airbag, certified bag replacement will be cheaper than the hospital bills you avoided.

 

That being said, if you already installed a 5pt harness and HANS device, and were on a closed private course, I wonder what would happen if you pulled the fuse?

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If you had not already bought something I might have suggested you look at the Toyota 4Runners.

 

As I have said in previous posts I am a Jeep guy but my next Jeep will be a Toyota. B)

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