Disabling front passenger airbag?

Discussion in 'Prius c Main Forum' started by Tarara14, Sep 21, 2021.

  1. Tarara14

    Tarara14 New Member

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    Hi there, I have a 2014 prius C I think model three. I am looking to disable the front passenger airbag, and am having a really hard time finding info. It wasn’t in my manual. Some places say in some prius models there is a switch on the dash on the passenger side, it is not present in the 2014 C. One place said there are sensors under the front passenger seat that need to be disconnected, I’d rather not unbolt the seat to accomplish this if possible. Anyone do this and able to lend some tips? Thanks!
     
  2. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Exactly WHY do you want to do this ?

    You do know that it will automatically be disabled unless and until a certain amount of weight is detected on the seat........right ?
    There is a light on the dash to indicate that it is OFF.

    Note: The owners manual doesn't tell you how to disable it because it is dangerous and probably illegal too.
     
  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Is the light on the dash telling you it is enabled when you want it not to be?
     
  4. Tarara14

    Tarara14 New Member

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    Yes I do know that, which is why I need to physically disable it. If it was going to be automatically disabled, I wouldn’t need to manually do so. And thank you, I too know how to read the lights on my dash I have looked at every day for the last 7 years. An indicator light of the airbag being on or off is not what I asked about, and has very little to do with manually disabling the airbag, other than my little light will tell me that it is STILL disabled after the weight limit is exceeded.

    For the same reason why most Prius models after 2015 and many other cars have the option to disable them with the key in a different location. Because if you need to put the front facing car seat or booster in the front seat, an airbag will kill a child or human under 100lbs. If it is not possible to transport the small person in the back seat it is legal to transport them in the front, and as a parent I have researched this, including the legality of doing so, and want to do it as safely as possible. To properly secure and anchor the car seat I need to buckle the shoulder strap and keep the seat bolted to the car.

    a. I don’t see why you think you need to know why I am asking how to do something on my car, do you ask people who want to tow in their Prius WHY they want to tow? Or WHY they want to swap to an aftermarket head unit?

    b. I don’t see why you think you need to moralize to me about the legality of doing something in my car that wouldn’t effect you. Do you police people with front window tint in states that don’t allow it?

    I am not interested in debating parental decisions, state motor vehicle law or anything that isn’t my question. I am here for technical advice for my vehicle.

    You didn’t answer my question which means you probably don’t even know, so why bother responding at all? Did you get a little mini boner with that condescending exaggerated ellipsis? Hur durr can’t she read the light? Hurrdurr how did she get through her manual or own a car for 7 years without understanding basic functionality when every time you turn it on and your groceries are too heavy it beeps till you buckle that precious 5 gallon jug of water in. Hurrdurr.
     
  5. Tarara14

    Tarara14 New Member

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    Nope, my airbag and indicator light work just fine. I need to disable the front passenger airbag so that it doesn’t deploy if there is an accident. This is not a weird or uncommon thing, even early 2000s cars and trucks have key holes to switch front passenger airbags on and off to more safely transport some items.
     
  6. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    I am a bit sorry that several of us seem to have interpreted your request to mean that you want to PERMANENTLY disable the air bag .......and now I see that might not be the case at all.

    HOWEVER, with that in mind..............

    In the legal community there is an offense called "Aiding and abetting".
    This situation is very similar.
    People are trying to give you the BEST advice possible and they can't do that without knowing your motivations.

    Does it come as a surprise to you that people often want "technical advice" on how to do something that is dangerous, illegal or just plain stupid ??? Most people don't want to help accomplish those kinds of goals.

    Your rant has done nothing except waste your time typing it out.
    I hope you somehow feel better now that you have straightened us all out.

    OH......and if you DO manage to accomplish this, will you then be willing to take legal, moral and financial responsibility if and when an adult passenger is maimed or killed because your air bag has been permanently disabled ??
     
  7. Tarara14

    Tarara14 New Member

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    Ever just wake up and realize you’re the embodiment of negative Prius owner memes? Toodling around getting high on your own farts. You’re the BrapKing

    I can’t figure out if you are too lazy to use google, or to busy being uselessly nosey, making wild uneducated accusations, extrapolating and moralizing on the internet. I have already explained it isn’t illegal, you can find your own citations. Frankly, I am surprised you have ever been in a car and not noticed this (pic below), which is a standard feature in most vehicles, if not all new vehicles, because airbags are sometimes more dangerous than not, depending on the circumstances. Notice the little pictures, big people: airbag on, little people: airbag off. It’s like an indicator light, but analog. In fact, the carseat manufacturers all say: “if the seat is moved to the front of the car, turn the airbag off”.

    Here is a picture from the manual warning of risk of death if the airbags deploy, a few pages previously mention that with the booster seat the car might not correctly register the weight difference between “child” and “adult” and may deploy, killing your child.

    If it is as simple as unplugging the yellow wiring harness that connects the sensors under the seat, then they can be replugged in, so I don’t know where you got “permanently disabled” from, but I see that making wild assumptions so that you can run with them and moralize about the supposed intelligence and intentions of people you don’t know anything about is sort of “your thing” amirite?

    So now that we have established that you’re wrong and you don’t know what you’re talking about, why do you keep responding if you are clearly out if your realm of knowledge and ability?

    edit: to fix quote because I was responding to your original post before you edited.
     

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    #7 Tarara14, Sep 24, 2021
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2021
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Well, that's what I was trying to get at. If the airbag and indicator light work just fine, and if it is not telling you it is enabled when you want it not to be, then it's not going to deploy then ... right?
     
  9. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    I looked at my C. It has no provision to manually turn OFF the air bad temporarily......that I can see.
    So you are locked in with the "automatic" system design.
    It would appear that she has a rather unique situation whereby having it turned ON with a child in a "booster seat" might be worse than having it OFF. Might be.

    My only remaining question is: Exactly how has she determined that having the air bag deploy is likely to be worse than NOT having it activate in a crash ??

    The answer to her original question appears to be: You can't. And/or nobody wants to be a part of doing something that might make matters worse.
    It would appear that she has the wrong car........and needs one with the "switch".
     
  10. Tarara14

    Tarara14 New Member

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    I am following carseat manufacturer instructions to bypass a system Toyota should have implemented (ability to turn off front passenger airbag) and DIDN’T in this model, but DID in later models, meaning they woke up to the importance of it AS A SAFETY FEATURE to be able to turn it off. In the UK it is actually illegal to use rear facing car seats in the front seat without a deactivated front airbag, and carries with it a hefty fine.

    This will be my last post on this thread and I am adding it for archive purposes in case anyone searches for the solution and doesn’t want to put up with a bunch of bullshit.
    I consulted a friend who used to be a supervisor in a Toyota Service Department (which I obviously should have done first and bypassed this forum entirely), his answer to me was exactly as I thought.

    “Unplug the front passenger seat sensor and the system can't work. It will need recalibration when it's plugged back in.
    It's the yellow connector under the seat. If I remember correctly, you have to push the latch then it'll come apart with low force.
    I don't remember if the Prius C has side airbags in the chair. There's 2 connectors there if it does.“
     
    #10 Tarara14, Sep 24, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
  11. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    She still hasn't said that it is ON though. That was why I asked if it was showing as ON when she didn't want it to be, and she answered 'Nope.'
     
  12. Tarara14

    Tarara14 New Member

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    The automatic system of airbag, sensors and indicator lights function normally.
    When there is nothing in the seat, or something lightweight in the seat, it is off.
    When something heavy, like a 5 gallon jug if water, makeup kit, or human are in it, then it turns on, and beeps at you to buckle the seat belt.

    I want to temporarily disable the sensor so that it remains off, even if something heavy is placed in the seat, like a carseat + child. Most cars have this as a functionality for safety of children being transported in front passenger seats.

    Sorry if my post was insufficiently explicit. I hope this answers your questions.
     
  13. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    She is too busy being outraged over what she perceives as rude, inappropriate answers to actually clarify the situation to get BETTER answers.
    I don't feel too sorry for her.
    But I do hope she makes the right choices to keep her child as safe as possible.
     
  14. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Maybe so, I'm just not as interested in playing pile-on-the-newbie. Sometimes somebody just reads a question too fast, and just following up for a clarification is enough, without going all "you're doing it wrong".
     
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  15. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Sorry, I think I didn't see some of your posts right away, maybe because of moderation delays.

    I think this might have been more true for "most cars" that are now of a certain age. For example, I wasn't able to confirm this:

    I downloaded and skimmed a 2016 and a 2022 Prius owner's manual (forgive me, I didn't repeat for every year in between), and I didn't find any reference to a disable option. On the other hand, this does seem familiar:

    I think the pattern is that those manual switches were around in the earlier models, and have generally gone away in our later models, and the timing lines up with when NHTSA was phasing in "certified-advanced" airbag requirements, over a period spanning 2003 to 2012. Now we mostly have the advanced ones, which are supposed to pass tests with dummies representing adult males, 5th-percentile females, 6 year old, 3 year old, and 1 year old kiddos, all without you having to manually do stuff. The key changes include an airbag with more than one squib so it can be triggered with different levels of force, and an occupant-classification ECU with sensors at all four seat corners so it can infer what kind of occupant is in the seat.

    That means with these systems, the plain ON / OFF light on the dash is a simplification: it's showing you less information than the system really has. If you have a chance to plug in Techstream and watch the "passenger classification" value with different members of your clan in that seat, you should see it can really have several different values. I don't have a Prius c repair manual, but for a 2010 liftback there are these five:

    • AM50 (adult male of median size)
    • AF05 (adult female, fifth percentile)
    • Child
    • CRS (a child restraint system)
    • OFF

    This might mean that it's already picking the right classifications for the passengers you might be driving. If you have a chance to view that value for the different passengers you're concerned about, and you see that it is getting the classifications right, then it's possible your concerns have been addressed already by the way the system is built, and you might not have to do anything.

    If you unplug the OCS as your mechanic buddy suggests, that probably will get you a fail-safe condition without the right front airbag (and a constant airbag malfunction light). It might just be something that was more important to do in the cars of a couple decades ago than it is in the car you've got.

    I would double-check your buddy's advice on the color of the connector though. In a 2010 anyway, neither connector on the OCS is yellow. If you do see any yellow connector under there, it's probably going to be the seat-back airbag squib, and definitely not something you want to disturb, unless you have followed the safing steps beforehand.
     
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  16. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Like Chapman, I sampled several Prius Owner's Manuals of the claimed vintage range, and have not yet found any reference to this Disable function. So am curious to hear which year-model combinations have it.
    That is what he does. Please don't judge all of PriusChat by one particular frequent thorn in many people's sides.
    For similar archive purposes, I'll post links to NHTSA's information on this topic, for those who wish to legally have a switch installed or airbag(s) deactivated by an authorized shop. Beware that much of this appears rather dated, older than the advanced features mentioned earlier:

    NHTSA: Air Bags | Topic | On-Off Switch

    Air Bags & On-Off Switches -- Information for an Informed Decision

    Request for Airbag On-Off Switch
    https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/airbagswitchrequestform_03012017_v3.pdf
     
    #16 fuzzy1, Sep 25, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
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  17. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I should also have added that when it adjusts for CRS, that still has to be a front-facing one, with the seat rolled all the way back. The system does not have any safe way to accommodate a rear-facing CRS in the front seat.
     
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