Weight for passenger air bag to turn off? - Nissan Pathfinder Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Weight for passenger air bag to turn off?

Anyone been able to figure out what the weight limit is to turn off the front passenger air bag? My 100 pound 14 year old rides to school every day in the front passenger seat. Some days the light comes on and the air bag is off. The next day, the light stays dark, so the air bag would deploy in an accident. I am not sure which is worse - him getting injured because the air bag didn't deploy and was supposed to, or the air bag deploying even though he was under the weight limit.

I emailed Nissan, and they gave me their typical non-answer. I have looked thru the owners manual and could not find the magic number.

Anyone know?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cvjw View Post
Anyone been able to figure out what the weight limit is to turn off the front passenger air bag? My 100 pound 14 year old rides to school every day in the front passenger seat. Some days the light comes on and the air bag is off. The next day, the light stays dark, so the air bag would deploy in an accident. I am not sure which is worse - him getting injured because the air bag didn't deploy and was supposed to, or the air bag deploying even though he was under the weight limit.

I emailed Nissan, and they gave me their typical non-answer. I have looked thru the owners manual and could not find the magic number.

Anyone know?
The magic number as required by the Federal government is 108 lbs. The simple answer is to have him sit in the back until he gains at least another 10 -12 pounds, which should not be hard for a pre-teen. And keep in mind that you are correct - if the passenger air bag warning light is ON, the air bag will not fire, so err on the side of safety and keep him out of the front seat for a while.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by lewist57 View Post
The magic number as required by the Federal government is 108 lbs. The simple answer is to have him sit in the back until he gains at least another 10 -12 pounds, which should not be hard for a pre-teen. And keep in mind that you are correct - if the passenger air bag warning light is ON, the air bag will not fire, so err on the side of safety and keep him out of the front seat for a while.
Good to know 108 is the magic number.

Definitely a good idea to keep anyone under 110 in the back seat. I guess it's a good idea the weight requirement is at 108, considering how they do their crash test, I bet a child won't be able to take an impact as well as an adult
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply. I emailed Nissan for the answer and they emailed me this:


At this time, we're not in the position to disclose an exact number.

So we are just supposed to guess whether or not it is safe for our kids to ride in the front seat??
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cvjw View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. I emailed Nissan for the answer and they emailed me this:


At this time, we're not in the position to disclose an exact number.

So we are just supposed to guess whether or not it is safe for our kids to ride in the front seat??
They know, they don't want to give you a number that you could use against them in legal action.

The 108 lbs was established in 2006 by the Federal government as equal to the average weight of the lightest 5% women in America (female readers, don't blame me, I did not come up with that number). So if someone weighs 108 lbs or more that should mean there is a 95% chance that it is an American man or woman, and not a child.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 05:16 PM
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The head of service at my Nissan dealership this morning told me it was 66 pounds. My Pathfinder is back in the shop for the airbag issue. They "fixed" it a couple weeks ago, and the problem is back.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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The head of service at my Nissan dealership this morning told me it was 66 pounds. My Pathfinder is back in the shop for the airbag issue. They "fixed" it a couple weeks ago, and the problem is back.
66 pounds? That is awful light. My 2007 Toyota Sienna that we traded in (huge mistake) for the PF had a cut off weight of 80 pounds.

What makes me so nervous is that one day my 100 pounder is safe to ride with the airbag turned on, and the next day, he is not. There is something wrong with the sensor, but the service dept tells me it is normal. It should either be on or off, not both - his weight isn't changing.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cvjw View Post
66 pounds? That is awful light. My 2007 Toyota Sienna that we traded in (huge mistake) for the PF had a cut off weight of 80 pounds.

What makes me so nervous is that one day my 100 pounder is safe to ride with the airbag turned on, and the next day, he is not. There is something wrong with the sensor, but the service dept tells me it is normal. It should either be on or off, not both - his weight isn't changing.
I have a 9 year old around 60 lbs and I do not let him ride in the front seat other than to test the sytem recently since we were having issues with my wife in it. Anyways I have noticed with the PF off with him in the seat it recognizes him and turns off the airbag right away. If the PF is on and he gets in then it takes awhile, anywhere from 5 to 20+ minutes to turn it off. Is this a sensor issue???
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by nickiandjason View Post
I have a 9 year old around 60 lbs and I do not let him ride in the front seat other than to test the sytem recently since we were having issues with my wife in it. Anyways I have noticed with the PF off with him in the seat it recognizes him and turns off the airbag right away. If the PF is on and he gets in then it takes awhile, anywhere from 5 to 20+ minutes to turn it off. Is this a sensor issue???
The Federal regulations define an infant - 12 year = almost zero to 80 lbs. For adults, it defines the smallest adult (the average weight of the lowest 5% of American women) as 108 lbs. There is a "dead band" between 80 lbs and 108 pounds that it is possible that the light (and airbag) is either on or off in that weight range. In theory, the system should recognize and classify the occupant in under 10 seconds, so 5 - 20 minutes might be a problem.

In Nissan's defense, the car makers are now required to put these systems in to warn the driver that if someone weighs less than 108 pounds, the airbag will not go off and that passenger should be in the back seat. Ultimately, the driver must take responsibility for the safety of the passenger, regardless of how the light functions (or malfunctions). That is another reason they have all those air bag warnings plastered all over the interior of the car.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2013, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lewist57 View Post
The magic number as required by the Federal government is 108 lbs.
Would you happen to have a source on that?

I've been interested in this topic for some time now, especially as these systems have evolved in the very recent past but have never heard of hard a number. This debate has been ongoing on the other Nissan forum where I moderate for years now, and has had little results.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...CrPDpUTD-AiFGw

That mentions the 5th percentile female frame, which seems like a good reference point, but I have never seen a hard number, but even a 120 lb person may only be applying 105 lbs to the seat sensors with their feet on the floor and arms on the side rests.

I do not think you will ever see a number published for common sense legal reasons but it is good to have a rough idea of the weight threshold.

I would agree with your initial assessment that if you are within 10 lbs that sounds like a margin of error/weight shifting situation.

-These are just my opinions on this topic, I have no facts nor am I speaking on behalf of this or any manufacturer.
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