Front airbags (driver and passenger) have been designed to protect the occupants in the event of head-on crashes of medium-high severity, by placing the cushion between the occupant and the steering wheel or dashboard.
Front airbags are designed to protect vehicle’s occupants in front crashes and therefore non-activation in other types of collisions (side collisions, rear shunts, roll-overs, etc.) is not a system malfunction.
In case of crash, an electronic control unit, when required, triggers the inflation of the cushion according to the severity of the collision.
The cushion immediately inflates, placing itself as a protection between the body of the front occupants and the structure that could cause injuries.
Immediately after, the cushion deflates.
The front air bag (driver and passenger) is not a replacement of but complementary to the use of belts, which should always be worn, as specified by law in Europe and most non- European countries.
In case of crash, a person not wearing the seat belt moves forward and may come into contact with the cushion while it is still inflating. Under this circumstance the protection offered by the airbag is reduced.
Front airbags may not activate in the following situations:
– in collisions against highly deformable objects not affecting the vehicle front surface (e.g. bumper collision against guard rail);
– in case of wedging under other vehicles or protective barriers (for example under a truck or guard rail), the air bag is not triggered as it offers no additional protection compared with the seat belts, consequently it would be pointless.
Therefore, failure to come into action in the above circumstance does not mean that the system is not working properly.
Do not apply stickers or other objects to the steering wheel or to the air bag cover on the passenger’s side or on the side roof lining.
Never put objects on the dashboard on passenger side since they could interfere with proper air bag inflation.
The driver and passenger front airbags have been designed and calibrated to protect a person wearing seat belts.
At their maximum inflation, their volume fills most of the space between the steering wheel and the driver and between the dashboard and the passenger.
In minor crashes (for which the restraining action of the seat belts is sufficient), the air bags are not deployed.
Also in this case it is of vital importance to wear the seat belts since in case of front crash they guarantee proper positioning of the occupant.
DRIVER’S FRONT AIR BAG fig. 140
It consists of an instant-inflating cushion contained in a special recess in the centre of the steering wheel.
PASSENGER’S FRONT AIR BAG fig. 141
It consists of an instant-inflating cushion contained in a special recess in the dashboard; its volume is bigger than the driver’s one.
With passenger’s air bag active (ON), never place child’s seats with the cradle facing backwards since the air bag activation could cause to the child serious injuries, even mortal. In the case of need, always deactivate the passenger’s air bag when a child’s seat is placed on the front seat. The front passenger’s seat shall be adjusted in the most backward position to prevent any contact between child’s seat and dashboard.
Even if not compulsory by law, you are recommended to reactivate the air bag immediately as soon as child transport is no longer necessary.
The passenger side airbag can be deactivated if it is absolutely necessary to carry a child in the front passenger seat.
Deactivation / reactivation shall be carried out with ignition device at STOP. Turn the specific switch fig.
142 on the dashboard on passenger side with the ignition key.
Operate the switch only with engine off and ignition key removed.
The switch fig. 142 has two positions:
– Passenger front airbag on: (position ON ): instrument panel warning light off. Do not carry children on the front seat.
– Passenger front airbag off: (position OFF ): instrument panel warning light on. A child can be carried on the front seat with a suitable restraint system.
Warning light on the cluster stays on permanently until the passenger’s airbag is reactivated.
Deactivation of the passenger’s front air bag does not inhibit operation of the side air bag.
It consists of an instant-inflation cushion housed in the back rest of the front seat to increase protection of the occupants’ chest in the event of a side crash of medium-high severity.
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