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View Full Version : Rearseat Side Airbags - yes or no


macct
05-12-2007, 07:21 AM
I am trying to decide whether or not I should get the rearseat side airbags. The main occupant is my 7 yo son who sits in a booster seat (& probably will for some time). From what I have already read, they are generally viewed a good addition with the caveat that the passenger is seated properly (they are not too close or leaning on the door). Did you order the rearseat side airbags? Did you or do you have any concerns about them?

I also find it interesting that most of BMWs competition does not offer or provide them. It seems the market standard is for side curtain airbags that deploy over the window area. Even the Volvo S80 doesn't have dedicated side air bags. Is the current technology such that side curtain airbags are more effective than the door mounted units? Are the rearseat side airbags becoming obsolete in the market because of liability concerns or because of the effeciency of the side curtain airbags? Any thoughts?

gweiden
05-12-2007, 07:31 AM
I am trying to decide whether or not I should get the rearseat side airbags. The main occupant is my 7 yo son who sits in a booster seat (& probably will for some time). From what I have already read, they are generally viewed a good addition with the caveat that the passenger is seated properly (they are not too close or leaning on the door). Did you order the rearseat side airbags? Did you or do you have any concerns about them?

I also find it interesting that most of BMWs competition does not offer or provide them. It seems the market standard is for side curtain airbags that deploy over the window area. Even the Volvo S80 doesn't have dedicated side air bags. Is the current technology such that side curtain airbags are more effective than the door mounted units? Are the rearseat side airbags becoming obsolete in the market because of liability concerns or because of the effeciency of the side curtain airbags? Any thoughts?

I ordered them on my 535xi - Not that much for a little more safety (IMHO). I am wondering if my insurance will acknowledge it.... I'll let you know when I get mine in about ten days or so...

scott10s
05-12-2007, 08:01 AM
I think they are not recommended if the primary occupant of the rear seat is going to be a child. Even a child restrained properly in a car seat is more likely to sustain injury from the airbag than if there were no airbag. You might check the NHTSA web-site, but I wouldn't get them and did not get them on my car for that reason. Cheers.

Vitacura
05-12-2007, 08:29 AM
I am wondering if my insurance will acknowledge it.... I'll let you know when I get mine in about ten days or so...

I have been wondering the same thing. Please let us know if they give you any kind of break.

macct
05-12-2007, 09:06 AM
I think they are not recommended if the primary occupant of the rear seat is going to be a child. Even a child restrained properly in a car seat is more likely to sustain injury from the airbag than if there were no airbag. You might check the NHTSA web-site, but I wouldn't get them and did not get them on my car for that reason. Cheers.


The NHTSA....Safecar.gov site - suggest that Side AirBags that meet the voluntary working group guidelines are designed to reduce the risk to children and other passengers seated too closely to doors. It does not, however, specifically differentiate between side air curtain and door mounted rearseat units. It also doesn't detail the level of risk or downside of a having SAB. The overall message, however, is positive.

In terms of the BMW 5 series, they follow these guidelines. None of the information in their brochure, however, is specific to BMW. I still find it interesting that BMW provides these door mounted units, while most of its competitors do not.

I attached two excerpts from the safecar.gov site (hopefully, that is permissible). Question 7 itself can be confusing b/c when talking about child safety the emphasis is on the roof mounted bags.


6. What has been done to minimize risks from SABs?
A group of experts representing the automotive and insurance industries and known as the Technical Working Group (TWG) has developed voluntary SAB testing procedures to minimize the potential risk of SAB-related injuries for occupants, especially children, who are seated very close to a deploying SAB (called "out-of-position").

Manufacturers now report to the government if the SABs in a given vehicle model have met the voluntary TWG out-of-position testing procedures. NHTSA provides this information to consumers in our "Buying a Safer Car" brochure and at our www.safercar.gov Website. Vehicles whose SABs meet all the voluntary guidelines are designated with an "M" for Meets requirement in the column labeled "SAB Out of Position Testing" in the Available Features chart for each vehicle at www.safercar.gov. If your vehicle does not have an "M," you should check your owner's manual or contact the vehicle manufacturer for their recommendation on where your child should be seated in that vehicle.

Although out-of-position testing procedures are very good at identifying "aggressive" SABs and are intended to minimize risks to children and small adults seated next to them, they are not intended to replicate all possible scenarios.

7. How do I know if my SABs were designed to minimize risks to children? Prior to the development of the recommended TWG performance guidelines for SABs (see #6 above), many chest (torso) and head/chest combination (combo) SABs showed a potential for serious or fatal injury to children seated very close to the deployment of the bag. However, very few cars sold in the U.S. have these types of SABs in the rear seating positions. The first head SABs were introduced in model year 1998, but did not become widely available until recently. NHTSA has not seen any indication that current roof-mounted head SABs pose a risk to children. Many roof-mounted SABs now extend rearward to include the second and even the third row seating positions.

Vehicles that meet the voluntary TWG guidelines will have an "M" for Meets requirement in the column labeled "SAB Out of Position Testing" in the Available Features chart of each vehicle's page at www.safercar.gov. If your vehicle does not have an "M," you should check your owner's manual or contact the vehicle manufacturer to find out whether your car's SABs are safe for children.

jcflys
05-12-2007, 11:16 AM
I didn't get them because I never really have anyone seated in the back. The side curtain bags are the most important and come standard.

killcrap
05-12-2007, 07:25 PM
all new bmw's with optional side air bags come with side air bags already, they are just disconnected and not activated. you can always decide to get them activated.

GN2
05-13-2007, 09:49 AM
According to the NHTSA website http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ncap/cars/4219.html the 2007 BMW 5 sedan meets the specifications for SAB out of position test.

NHTSA additionally notes the following in a question answer format:

What is the real world experience with children and SABs?
NHTSA crash investigators actively seek out cases where SABs have deployed in crashes. So far, 92 cases have been investigated; of these only 6 involve children. There have been no moderate or serious injuries to children from SAB deployments, and only one minor injury - a skin laceration from an SAB cover. This small number of cases involves a limited number of vehicles with SABs and may not be representative of the variety of SAB systems currently available. NHTSA continues to closely monitor the real world performance of SABs involving children and adults.

Did NHTSA issue a Consumer Advisory warning against seating children near SABs?
Yes. In 1999, prior to the establishment of the TWG voluntary guidelines, NHTSA issued a Consumer Advisory warning consumers not to seat children next to activated SABs. At that time nearly all of the SABs in the rear seat were chest (torso) or head/chest combination SABs. However, the information provided in this Web page supercedes the 1999 Consumer Advisory and reflects the agency's most current understanding regarding the protection provided by SABs and any potential risk to children seated near them. NHTSA is monitoring the new SAB technologies and will continue to provide consumers with additional updates as more information becomes available.

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We have children and went with safe driving and airbags.