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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 11-18-2012, 05:28 PM
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Zooks527 Zooks527 is online now
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Will passenger airbag deploy if no passenger in seat ?

Good evening.

Noticed something odd tonight. As we were leaving a store parking lot, my wife forgot to put on her seatbelt (she was fussing with her purse as we got into the car) and while driving off, I noticed there wasn't a seatbelt nag chime.

She put her belt on and we kept driving. At the first red light, I unbuckled my belt and got an immediate nag. I refastened mine, and she undid hers. No nag at all.

Not having the reminder doesn't bother me. I only have full sized adults as passengers and I always insist they wear their belts (and I do check). If the seat sensor has failed and the only consequence is that I don't get the reminder chime, I have no problem living with that.

However, if the seat doesn't detect a passenger and therefore won't deploy the airbag or the head restraint (in a rear end), that's a real problem, and I'll need to get it addressed.

Anyone have any info on this?

Thanks,
George
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Prior 33 years of cars: 1967 BelAir wagon / 1968 LeMans Tempest / 1970 Mustang Mach 1 / 1972 El Dorado / 1978 Corvette (kept until first Bronco) / 1981 Subaru GL wagon AWD / 1983 s10 Blazer 4x4 (big mistake) / 1985 Bronco 4x4 / 1996 Bronco 4x4 / 2004 Passat 4motion
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2012, 05:46 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Zooks,

We have had a similar issue happen a couple of time with the E93 when SO was driving and I was in the the passenger seat. It's usually been when I got in after he drove the car out of the garage or I physically lifted myself off the passenger seat to retrieve/rearrange something in the back seat that the airbag off warning stayed illuminated. What I have discovered is that if I see I am sitting firmly on the seat and the warning is illuminated, I will lift myself off the seat, then try to forcefully plop back down on it. This will usually reset it, usually with my derierre as firmly planted toward the L of the backrest/seat cushion as possible. I have found that if I am
"slouching" i.e. my derierre is not firmly planted in the seat, we can drive for miles with the airbag not engaged warning illuminated and I know that I weigh more than a chihuahua or a Halliburton briefcase.
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2012, 11:48 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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There has been a recall for the passenger seat detection mat.
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  #4  
Old 11-19-2012, 05:08 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
There has been a recall for the passenger seat detection mat.
I found about a dozen restraint system TSBs for a 2009 335ix, but nothing which addressed the OP's issue. There is one TSB which describes when the light is supposed to illuminate, but nothing about a non-illuminating light.
Got a TSB # for reference?
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  #5  
Old 11-19-2012, 05:19 AM
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Zooks527 Zooks527 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
It's usually been when I got in after he drove the car out of the garage or I physically lifted myself off the passenger seat to retrieve/rearrange something in the back seat that the airbag off warning stayed illuminated. What I have discovered is that if I see I am sitting firmly on the seat and the warning is illuminated, I will lift myself off the seat, then try to forcefully plop back down on it. This will usually reset it, usually with my derierre as firmly planted toward the L of the backrest/seat cushion as possible. I have found that if I am "slouching" i.e. my derierre is not firmly planted in the seat, we can drive for miles with the airbag not engaged warning illuminated and I know that I weigh more than a chihuahua or a Halliburton briefcase.
Interestingly, the "airbag off" warning does trigger when I have my laptop and notebook on the seat. In that case, the "Passenger Airbag Off" light illuminates.

However, that light is off when the seat is empty, and it's also off when the seat is occupied. The warning I'm not getting is the seatbelt icon and chime. It appears to detect objects in the 10 - 30 pound range and handle that correctly, but not detect my wife is in the seat and unbelted.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Got a TSB # for reference?
+1 on that request.
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Prior 33 years of cars: 1967 BelAir wagon / 1968 LeMans Tempest / 1970 Mustang Mach 1 / 1972 El Dorado / 1978 Corvette (kept until first Bronco) / 1981 Subaru GL wagon AWD / 1983 s10 Blazer 4x4 (big mistake) / 1985 Bronco 4x4 / 1996 Bronco 4x4 / 2004 Passat 4motion

Last edited by Zooks527; 11-19-2012 at 05:21 AM.
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2012, 05:26 AM
pony_trekker pony_trekker is offline
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If something changes the airbag off light above the passenger seat will illuminate. For example if a very skinny adult moves shifting his weight so that he is not fully in the seat the light will go on. I thought I read that this happens when the detector went bad too.
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  #7  
Old 11-19-2012, 06:27 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooks527 View Post
Good evening.

Noticed something odd tonight. As we were leaving a store parking lot, my wife forgot to put on her seatbelt (she was fussing with her purse as we got into the car) and while driving off, I noticed there wasn't a seatbelt nag chime.

She put her belt on and we kept driving. At the first red light, I unbuckled my belt and got an immediate nag. I refastened mine, and she undid hers. No nag at all.

Not having the reminder doesn't bother me. I only have full sized adults as passengers and I always insist they wear their belts (and I do check). If the seat sensor has failed and the only consequence is that I don't get the reminder chime, I have no problem living with that.

However, if the seat doesn't detect a passenger and therefore won't deploy the airbag or the head restraint (in a rear end), that's a real problem, and I'll need to get it addressed.
Anyone have any info on this?

Yes and no:

If I put a book on my pass seat, chime bugs me to distraction.

Have seen nothing indicating malfunction.

Check codes.
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  #8  
Old 11-19-2012, 06:37 AM
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55 55 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooks527 View Post
Good evening.

Noticed something odd tonight. As we were leaving a store parking lot, my wife forgot to put on her seatbelt (she was fussing with her purse as we got into the car) and while driving off, I noticed there wasn't a seatbelt nag chime.
She put her belt on and we kept driving. At the first red light, I unbuckled my belt and got an immediate nag. I refastened mine, and she undid hers. No nag at all.

Not having the reminder doesn't bother me. I only have full sized adults as passengers and I always insist they wear their belts (and I do check). If the seat sensor has failed and the only consequence is that I don't get the reminder chime, I have no problem living with that.

However, if the seat doesn't detect a passenger and therefore won't deploy the airbag or the head restraint (in a rear end), that's a real problem, and I'll need to get it addressed.

Anyone have any info on this?

Thanks,

George
The exactly same happened on Saturday with us. We left our home and my wife asked me: "Why there is no chime? I didn't buckle up the seat belt."
I thought that maybe it not supposed to monitor a passenger. Never paid attention before.
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  #9  
Old 11-19-2012, 06:46 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55 View Post
The exactly same happened on Saturday with us. We left our home and my wife asked me: "Why there is no chime? I didn't buckle up the seat belt."
I thought that maybe it not supposed to monitor a passenger. Never paid attention before.
My X5 monitors the front passenger for their seatbelt.
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  #10  
Old 11-19-2012, 07:04 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooks527 View Post
Good evening.

Noticed something odd tonight. As we were leaving a store parking lot, my wife forgot to put on her seatbelt (she was fussing with her purse as we got into the car) and while driving off, I noticed there wasn't a seatbelt nag chime.

She put her belt on and we kept driving. At the first red light, I unbuckled my belt and got an immediate nag. I refastened mine, and she undid hers. No nag at all.

Not having the reminder doesn't bother me. I only have full sized adults as passengers and I always insist they wear their belts (and I do check). If the seat sensor has failed and the only consequence is that I don't get the reminder chime, I have no problem living with that.

However, if the seat doesn't detect a passenger and therefore won't deploy the airbag or the head restraint (in a rear end), that's a real problem, and I'll need to get it addressed.

Anyone have any info on this?
I suggest taking it to the dealer and having the system inspected. Given it's a safety system they / BMW may perform the inspection and any potential repairs at no cost.
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  #11  
Old 11-19-2012, 04:34 PM
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Thunder Dump Thunder Dump is offline
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Mine definitely nags both driver and passenger audibly and visibly (both in dash and on iDrive) if seatbelts aren't latched. George, methinks you have a faulty sensor.
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  #12  
Old 11-19-2012, 05:38 PM
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Zooks527 Zooks527 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder Dump View Post
Mine definitely nags both driver and passenger audibly and visibly (both in dash and on iDrive) if seatbelts aren't latched. George, methinks you have a faulty sensor.
It's funny, though. I tested it again tonight, and it does detect my notebook and case, to light up the "Passenger Airbag Off". It just doesn't seem to recognize a full size adult.


Still looking for the original question's answer: Does the passenger airbag deploy if there is no one in the seat? The first picture in this thread: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=658101 would seem to indicate "No.:, which is a hard push to get it fixed.
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ED May 12, 2009, Munich dropoff May 16, Redelivery June 22, 2009




Prior 33 years of cars: 1967 BelAir wagon / 1968 LeMans Tempest / 1970 Mustang Mach 1 / 1972 El Dorado / 1978 Corvette (kept until first Bronco) / 1981 Subaru GL wagon AWD / 1983 s10 Blazer 4x4 (big mistake) / 1985 Bronco 4x4 / 1996 Bronco 4x4 / 2004 Passat 4motion
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  #13  
Old 11-19-2012, 05:49 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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The passenger side front airbag does not deploy if the seat is not occupied. The side curtain airbag, which protects the front and rear, deploys regardless.
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2006 330i Sonora w/ ActiveAutoWerke flash tune :-)
2004 330i ZHP Imola/NB - missed
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** Join the BMW CCA www.bmwcca.org
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