airbags! - bugged {P}
Yesterday my friend and I and her new baby were off to a BBQ,
it was at my parents house and I offered to drive. However
we were discussing the issue of the front passenger airbag.

Obviously you cannot put a rear facing babyseat in the front where there is an airbag, So what DO you do??? My friend had mentioned we may be able to put the seat in the back but the seatbelt may not be long enough to go round the child seat. We didnt bother trying I must admit and went in her car in the end.

My question is....... How do dealers turn the airbag off and
can I do it myself???? I notice on her car (pug 307) and also the seat leon have a switch to turn it off, you use your car key for it. I dont seem to have this on the beetle.

Its more hassle than its worth to go to the dealer everytime you want to carry a little person, especially as its not likely to happen often, and i want other big passengers to have the benefit of the airbag if needed!! What do I do????????
airbags! - volvoman
What's wrong with using a front facing car seat in such circumstances ?
airbags! - Blue {P}
Not been a dad myself I can only huess, but I have seen cars with rear facing baby seats in the back. I'm sure they must be designed to fit in the back seeing as *lots* of cars now have front passenger airbags. Plus I wouldnt trust a dealer to disable my airbag properly!

airbags! - bugged {P}
When my friend looked for a new car one of the things was that the seatbelts had to be long enough to fit around all the bits and bobs of the child seat, it is one of these clever travel systems where the base stays put and you just click the actual seat in and out, I guess you can use a front facing seat in the front with an airbag but unfortunatly she has the rear facing type. It would only be for a few journeys so don't want it disabled forever. Apparently the belts in the back are sometimes shorter in lengh?????
airbags! - Stargazer {P}

We have been through this in the past few years with our own little one and the issues of grandparents being able to carry her in the car.

You are correct that it is unsafe to carry a rearward facing baby seat in the passenger seat of any car with an air bag. My personal experience/ view is that the front seat is an inappropriate place for a baby/child seat full stop.

The problem with car seats is that they are not all interchangeable between cars and even fron to rear of the same car. I know that Britax will tell you what combinations of carseats fix in which locations of which cars if you phone them.

Given my preference for a rear seat location I was looking for a rear/front facing car seat to fit in my parents Citroens (Saxo and Xantia) and our Volvo V40....only one was possible and that was specified as only fitting in the middle rear seat of the Volvo...true enough the side seat belts were about 1 inch too short.

The only solution is to check all possible combinations with the seat manufacturer before buying and then trial fit before buying....we had three cars lines up for this at the store we bought the car seat from.

ISOFIX was supposed to fix this hassle by having a standard car seat interface built into all cars but this isnt working terribly well yet with support from few car or car seat manufacturers and early ISOFIX car seats not faring too well in testing against standard well fitted car seats.


Ian L.
airbags! - Blue {P}
I think I would rather have longer seatbelts fitted to the back than disable my airbag in the front.

I'm sure someone said that they simply had a longer seatbelt fitted to the back of the car...
airbags! - bugged {P}
The trouble is its my friend baby so they didnt buy the seat with my car in mind!! I just can't believe that car manufactures are so stupid as to put short belts in some positions and long belts in others!! why cant they just be a standard lengh and be done with it!
airbags! - AR-CoolC
Being the proud father of my 7 month old girl, we have recently changed over from a rear facing seat to a front facing seat.

After looking around and reading all the reviews, we visited Halfords to purchase the new seat. The very helpful chap who helped us check the fitting etc, said that he has as yet not found a modern car where the seatbelts won't fit around a seat.

In our Focus with the rear facing seat in the back the seatbelt was on pretty much full extention, and now that we have the forward facing seat hardly any belt is used.

And by the way, the Halfords is in Lincoln, Sorry I can't remember the chaps name but he was very helpful and knowlegable, I have no problem with recomending him to others in the area looking for child seats.

airbags! - TrevP
The seatbelt is but one of the problems.

From Which? June 2003 - car child seats:-

"In a test of 20 car seats, we found only a few that we're prepared to recommend. The other seats we looked at simply wouldn't provide the protection needed in a severe crash."
airbags! - bugged {P}
Thats disgracefull, people imagine that all safety products, especially those connected with babies and small children are going to protect them, My dad commented on how good the baby seat was and said that when i was born you couldnt get anything like you can today, technology has moved on so much and im sure alot of time and money goes into development of such equipment
but it would be nice to know what sort of inpact they can take,
they can design canisters for radioactive material to be hit by high speed trains and not fall apart so why cant they make baby seats from the same stuff!!!!!

airbags! - AR-CoolC
it was this article that made our minds up as to which seat to buy.

Scary reading.

airbags! - PR {P}
Alfa Romeos have a key slot in the side of the dash when you open the front passenger door, which you can turn the pass side airbag off. Whilst disengaged there is a yellow warning light so you know it is disengaged. A good idea after reading this thread!
airbags! - bugged {P}
yeah thats what my friend has in her own car, really handy!
cant understand why all cars dont't have that.

But how do dealers turn them off in a car without the key slot??? does anyone know??? I would be much happier if i could do it myself, at least then i would be able to carry my friends baby knowing it was off and he was safe in the front! Like
blue oval im not sure i trust dealers to do it properly!
airbags! - Dynamic Dave
But how do dealers turn them off in a car without
the key slot?

Some do it by plugging in a computer and changing the parameters of the ecu software.
airbags! - bugged {P}
oh! Thanks DD!
airbags! - Marcos{P}
If you buy a Merc child seat it is fitted with a transponder that turns off the airbags when in place.
I still think childrens seats should stay in the back though.
airbags! - bugged {P}
how do you know you can trust the transponder though?!!!

Im sure when i was a kid there were never seats designed to go in the front of the car anyway, it is my friends baby so im not about to preach to her about where the baby should ride,
however i also agree the back is probably a better place to be,
but then you have the seatbelt lengh problem!

On one of the golfs (and im sure others are doing this now)
as part of the rear seat itself this piece sort of pops up and locks into position like a booster seat for older children and toddlers!!! I thought that was so neat when i saw it!!!

It would be intresting to see where my friends car seat came in the Which? magazines thing though, is it on the internet at all or do you have to buy the magazine???
airbags! - AR-CoolC
"how do you know you can trust the transponder though ?"

You just have to. I know that is hard to do, but the airbags and their warning lights always show "right".

Just imagine the court case if an airbag that was "off" went off.

airbags! - disco2andy
You think you,ve got problems, we have 3 children, two in forward facing seats, one in a rearward facing seat & we are off to France in a couple of weeks. We normally travel with one forward facing seat in the front as we have been unable to find any combination of three seats which will fit on the back seat in either of our cars. In France apparently no one under 12 is allowed in the front. As we have a seven seater discovery we have to put at least one child in the boot & buy a roofbox to put the luggage in.

Incedentaly there is no way of disabling a discovery air bag, dealers will not touch them.

airbags! - Welliesorter
It would be intresting to see where my friends car seat
came in the Which? magazines thing though, is it on the
internet at all or do you have to buy the magazine???

It's available on the web but you have to subscribe. They key facts (including names of those that are considered dangerous) are at

Best buys (in order of size of child they're designed for) were the Bébé Confort Elios Safe Side at £79, Maxi Cosi Priori XP at £120, and Britax Kid at £80.

Incidentally, a switchable passenger airbag is an optional extra in my car (Skoda Fabia), so I dare say it is in others too.

Value my car