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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2012, 10:57 AM
Happy Trails Happy Trails is offline
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Airbags supposed to deploy?

I was rear-ended by someone at a high speed and none of the airbags deployed on my 2004 BMW X3. I assumed that they typically don't from a rear hit when my front end was free to travel (nothing in the front to stop my car). Is this the case or should I have them checked out to make sure they are functioning properly?

If they should deploy from a rear end hit, what kind of force is required to trigger them - I'm surprised they didn't inflate when I've read about the dangers of pot holes setting them off.

Also, how do I know if the rear airbags are "on"? I have two small children (one in a car seat), and I'm wondering what is really the safest way to travel for them.

Thanks for any possible input.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2012, 11:13 AM
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Dominic49 Dominic49 is offline
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kids in the backseat with booster seats as applicable.

the only time the front airbags would deploy would be when there is a danger of your head whipping forward. side curtain airbags come on when rollover or side impact is detected.

the fact that your car was able to roll forward free means that the energy used to move your car was not transferred to to you, this is good.

if your airbag light in the dash comes on initially during stating the car then goes off then your system is free of errors

the front passenger airbag has a light that shows its status (on/off) up by the sunroof switch.

Have your entire vehicle checked out by a BMW certified body shop as they will be able to check the electric system for any hidden faults.
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2012, 11:14 AM
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invariant invariant is offline
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Airbags shouldn't deploy from the rear impact. Front airbags should deploy from front hit, and side airbags will deploy from a side impact (on the side of impact).

I think a malfunctioning airbag will trigger a light on the dash, but you can ask a dealership to run diagnostics if you are worried.

The rear seat is considered to be the safest place for child seats.
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2012, 11:19 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Trails View Post
I was rear-ended by someone at a high speed and none of the airbags deployed on my 2004 BMW X3. I assumed that they typically don't from a rear hit when my front end was free to travel (nothing in the front to stop my car). Is this the case or should I have them checked out to make sure they are functioning properly?

If they should deploy from a rear end hit, what kind of force is required to trigger them - I'm surprised they didn't inflate when I've read about the dangers of pot holes setting them off.

Also, how do I know if the rear airbags are "on"? I have two small children (one in a car seat), and I'm wondering what is really the safest way to travel for them.

Thanks for any possible input.
The short answer is that it's not uncommon to have no airbag deployment in rear end collisions.

Since you were rear ended I'm assuming this accident was not your fault so just take the car to the nearest BMW dealer and have them check it out on the other guys dime. And don't let an insurance adjuster try to tell you where to take it. It's your car..... you can take it wherever you want.
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2012, 03:22 PM
ShakyDog ShakyDog is offline
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I hit someone who turned left in front of me as I entered the intersection. I was between 45-35 MPH and braking when I hit him. I had a full air bag deployment. Total repair cost $15,500 plus $6500 diminished value, they would have been better off totaling. Be glad your air bags did not deploy, as they are very costly, but one side benefit, they replaced my pano-roof cassette as it broke due to air bag deployment. I had to hire a lawyer to get their insurance to do almost anything. Not a fun process.
Steve
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2012, 09:44 AM
Happy Trails Happy Trails is offline
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Thanks to all for your input - sounds like an airbag only deploys if there's an impact at the side / end where the airbag is located. If I understand correctly, the rear hit would only deploy front airbags if the front end had slammed into someone else? This happened several years ago, and I've never understood why none of my airbags deployed, but the drunk driver who hit us had the benefit of his. The force was severe enough to give me a whiplash and others some lasting damage. As for insurance, not much luck there. The driver carried a minimum, and I had to sue my own insurance company. I never received a penny beyond fixing my X3, and they refused to fix a few things at that. (For instance, a front light bulb was knocked out to dangle against the reflector lens.)
Incidentally, I don't believe we would be alive if it weren't for the DSC - I wasn't able to control it, but my car managed to stay on the road without even spinning!
Thanks for all your input, and I'll get the dealership to look at my passenger airbag & light.

Happy Trails
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