airbags - midlifecrisis
Having just become a dad for the second time yesterday evening,(the two seat roadster gets further away), I would like to disable the passenger airbag on my wifes 1999 1,25 zetec fiesta. Is this a matter of taking out a fuse or is it something a dealer has to do. Advice appreciated (other than don't have kids.)
airbags - Cyd
It should be done by a dealer. Most manufacturers have a proceedure for disabling the electronics. If you pull the fuse the warning light will stay on and probably the driver bag won't work too.

Word of warning: there was a case in Germany about 2yr ago where a certain German manufacturers car had been disabled properly by the dealer. Weeks later Mum had an accident and the bag deployed, decapitating the baby. This caused quite a stir in automotive circles - obviously it was not too well publicised!

My personal opinion - whether you have bags or not, put Junior in the rear, this is statistically the safest place to be anyway. If you have bags, do you trust a dealer to disable them? They may have the responsibility if anything goes wrong, but it's your childs life, not theirs.

In order, safest first (proven by NHSTA):
1. centre rear
2. passenger side rear
3. driver side rear
4. passenger front
5. driver front
Many third row seats on vehicles more than 3yrs old are dangerous in a rear end shunt. Vehicles launched since then have solved the problem.

Having two kids myself (2 & 5 yrs) I appreciate why you ask. I have passenger bags too and always put kids in rear. BTW in the US it's illegal to disable airbags except under very well defined circumstances - if you disable the passenger bag you are then increasing the risk of injury to any 'standard' passenger.
airbags - M.M
Congratulations MLC, hope all is going well.

Cyd has said it all really.

Ours are now 5 & 7 so we have moved up to the booster seat stage which gives more flexability for where they sit.

I have no idea about the particular procedure for the Ford but you must take dealer advice and I would ask them for the publication of a copy of a data sheet that details what they should have done.

Even then, as Cyd says, try not to use the front seat at all. I know it's easier said than done when you (or SWMBO I assume) feel the need to have eye contact when travelling a baby.

There are enough stories doing the rounds of passenger bags deploying accidentally to cause some concerns.

airbags - midlifecrisis
Thanks for the replys. I was never really happy with the idea in the first place. However knowing the misus always takes the path of least resistance (her car is 3dr), I thought I would ask. I have now shown her the decapitation story and this has firmly convinced her that the little 'un will always travel in the back.
Thanks again
airbags - Cyd
Actually, we had a 3dr Metro (co car) when our first was born. When I left Rover and we had to buy private, we got a 5dr Metro. Funnily enough it was easier to get the seat into the rear of the 3dr than it was the 5dr thanks to the larger doors on the 3dr. This might not be true of the Fiesta as it's a larger car. Hope you get on OK.


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