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  1. Presents

  2. Air BagsAnd New Technology

  3. Part #3 Passenger Frontal Air Bags

  4. Passenger Frontal Air Bags The Biggest Controversy In The Automotive Industry

  5. The Controversy The debate over the safety of passenger air bags, has been an ongoing thing since the mid ‘60s. This one debate has generated most all of the new technology we face today. The passenger air bag poses more dangers than all the others put together. Especially for Rescuers !

  6. Why The Increased Danger? Because of the larger space between the dash and occupant, the bag must be bigger. To fill the larger bag, we must have a larger gas capacity. In order to supply larger amounts of gas, we must add outside sources, such as compressed gas cylinders. Because of the dangers we have seen to children, we’ve added cut off switches.

  7. To make them safer for the occupant, they added weight sensors, seat position sensors, seat belt sensors, out of position sensors, and on and on. To control injury risk, they added one, two, and three stage igniters. To make them reliable, they added internal capacitors, in case of battery failure.

  8. Let’s Start With The Basics The earlier passenger air bags worked basically the same as the drivers’ that we just studied. They received an impulse from the control module to the igniter, that set off the gas cylinder, that ignited the azide, that made nitrogen gas to fill the bag. But manufactures soon learned the larger bag needed a different source, so they added the Compressed Gas Cylinder.

  9. Compressed Gas Cylinder High Pressure Gas Is Stored, Until The Impulse To Deploy Is Sent. At That Time A Disc Inside Bursts And Allows The Gas To Escape, To Inflate The Air Bag.

  10. Rescuer’s Beware! These cylinders contain about 3000 psi of compressed gas. (a few as much as 4000) They are being used more and more each year. We will get into a section on these later.

  11. Passenger Air Bag Cut Away With Hybrid Inflator Squib Bag


  13. Look and Sound Simple Enough? Then why all the controversy over the Passenger air bag? We will begin to see why we had the history class in section one. Remember the 24 pigs in 1975, all but three were injured or killed. Look at the statistics, Confirmed deaths 66 children, 5 adult passengers. ( FEAR )

  14. But, on the other hand Look back at 1976, the records show that air bags would save 12,000 lives per year. Look at Joan Claybrook’s statement NHTSA, “The trade-off in terms of saving thousands of lives clearly out weighs these infrequent risks.” So manufactures were forced to keep the air bag, but develop a solution to these risk.

  15. The Solution Passenger Air Bag Cut Off Switches

  16. Passenger Air Bag Cut OffSwitch

  17. Early 1990’s Manufactures and after market companies began to install these cut off switches to protect children and small adults. To maximize safety NHTSA stepped in and regulated the use of the switch. By setting groups who met certain qualifications, these persons could apply for a permit to obtain a switch in their vehicle.

  18. May 1995 NHTSA allows automakers to install on-off switches on new cars and light trucks that have no rear seats or rear seats that are too small to properly accommodate a child seat. To give you an idea ( the latest stats. I could find). April 2001 there was 3.2 million of these on the road, in 219 different models, plus after markets.

  19. How do they work ? Most switches must have a key to turn them off and on. When turned off, a light on the dash indicates that it is in the off position, and that air bag never receives a signal from the control module to deploy. This is all accomplished by means of the Cut off switch module.

  20. Though some are highly unlikely I want us to look at the many possibilities we will face on scene. The idea is to make you think. .

  21. Many firefighters especially Vol. work other jobs. In the body shop industry, they are taught to unplug the control module when working on the systems under the dash. So let’s say we are on scene, we have one pat. on the drivers side. Drivers air bag is deployed, passenger air bag switch is in the off position and bag is not deployed. The pat. is submarined under the dash.

  22. Your partner, the body man, tells the EMT not to get in front of the undeployed air bag until he unplugs it under the dash. Is your EMT safe? Let’s see what your body man unplugged.

  23. 2002 Ford: one is control module and one is on/off switch module

  24. How about Russian Rolette? Same car, same patient, his foot is hung between the peddles. Your partner is going to spread them to get him loose. The dash wiring harness runs over the peddle support. As he spreads, the support mashes the wires. Is the bare yellow wire on the control module side of the cut off switch or the air bag side?

  25. Ok, you listened good, now you say, “I already disconnected the battery.” What about the static elect. we talked about. What about the .5 volts it takes to set off an air bag.

  26. Mr. New Technology awaits your decision ! You Have 6 millionths of a second To Make That Decision And Act On It

  27. My point is this. We do not need to be finding ways to work around these systems, we need to learn to work With these systems. As we seen in part #2 by moving the seat we changed the control module, here by unplugging the wrong module we are in danger, that we thought we had done away with.

  28. With so many new sensors and systems intertwining together. If we make one change, it may change many systems. But, by knowing What is out there. What it’s purpose How it works. What makes it work. Where these components are located. All these systems become constantsthat we can learn to work With.

  29. Back to our switch With the cut off switch now installed in so many cars and pick-ups, it soon became a new problem, people forgot to turn them back on, or mom forgot to turn it off with the baby in the seat. Defeating the whole purpose. So manufactures had to come up with a new strategy.

  30. Smart Air Bags The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard208, states that 35 % of all vehicles sold in the United States, must be equipped with smart air bags, by the 2004 model year, and 100 % by 2007. What are they ?

  31. Dual Stage Passenger Frontal Air Bags With control systems

  32. Dual Stage PyrotechnicInflated

  33. Dual Stage Pyrotechnic Inflated

  34. Dual Stage Compressed Gas Inflated

  35. Dual Stage Pyrotechnic Inflator Low Side High Side

  36. Compressed Gas Cylinder High Pressure Gas Is Stored, Until The Impulse To Deploy Is Sent. At That Time A Disc Inside Bursts And Allows The Gas To Escape, To Inflate The Air Bag.

  37. Deploying the bag This is were the danger to rescuers starts to get worse. There are so many new factors involved in deploying this air bag. With 66 confirmed deaths, the first thing was to protect children. So the air bag must know if there is a child or adult in the seat.

  38. Weight Sensors The earliest systems that came out in 1999 and 2000 models simply measured weight. That weight was put into three categories, 45 pounds or less was relayed as a baby, 45-108 pounds small adult, and 109 up a full size adult. Then the control module did, or did not, deploy the bag accordingly

  39. How do you put a scales in a car seat? Delphi Corp. used a silicon jell felled bladder in the cushion of the seat, combined with a pressure sensitive electronic device to measure the weight mashing into the bladder. This works much like checking blood pressure, it measured the pressure the jell applied on the walls of the bladder.

  40. Delphi Bladder

  41. This was to be the solution to the problems with the on/off switch. This would stop the air bag from injuring a baby, or small adult, but still allow the bag to deploy for a full size adult, without worrying about someone forgeting to turn the switch on or off, or making the mistake of putting a baby in the front seat. And also it could be instilled in all cars, rather than just pickups and sports cars, without a permit.

  42. But it did nothing to stop injuries to out of position occupants Such as a passenger leaning forward, falling asleep and leaning against the door, or turning side ways in the seat. So many companies, like Siemens Automotive, came up with an other sensor that went a little farther and still did the same job.

  43. The Sensor Mat Siemens is applying force-sensing resistor techniques and silicon strain-gauge sensors to their respective OEMs. They are applying 100 resistive pressure-point sensors to create a sensor mat, which is placed under the seat cushion. This force-sensing resistor array generates an image, or footprint, of the passenger, or an object, sitting on this sensor mat. This technique evaluates the footprint to determine the size of the occupant.

  44. Siemens Sensor Mat

  45. But still didn’t give a good account of the occupants position By comparing the size of the pattern, setting on the mat, compared to the weight, it can give the control module a more accurate size of the occupant. It does give some account of the position, but only that there is more weight on one side of the pattern than on the other. Indicating the occupant is leaning that direction.

  46. July 5, 2004 Bosch introduced their Intelligent Bolt or iBolt System.

  47. iBolt The "iBolt" system measures the forces operating on the four anchor points of the seat frame. From that measurement, the weight on the passenger seat and how the weight is distributed are calculated electronically. This data is then used by the control module to determine the best way of deploying the passenger airbag.

  48. Remember we are still trying to set off a passenger air bag. Our control module must receive an impulse from one of these systems. Let’s start with the bladder system and see how these affect us as rescuers. Let’s say the bladder indicated that the weight was less than 45 pounds and did not deploy the air bag.

  49. Scenario The driver is pined in, and in bad need of medical help, the best way to reach him is through the passenger door, your new EMT in excitement runs to help, the bladder indicated less than 45 pounds in the seat, the battery is not yet disconnected. Will his weight change the control module data ? YES

  50. The data process continues as long as there is electrical supply Will the air bag deploy ? Probably not because the data was not there at the time the rest of the impulses were. But YOUR DECISION will it deploy when the crew cuts the cables and one accidentally arcs ? Guess who awaits your answer. Mr. New Technology