[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: Airbags, me wasting your BW

In a message dated 96-12-11 11:07:58 EST, dan_masi@MENTORG.COM (Dan Masi)

<< Sorry if I missed the answer to this question already, but:
 what does one do in an A8, which has airbags in the rear
 sides?  I'd assume you'd put the baby carrier in the center of
 the rear seat, but still... and what if you have twins?  Can
 you not carry them safetly in an A8? >>

You are correct in suggesting that the center, rear seat is the preferred
location for a properly secured child seat.  However, I don't subscribe to
the notion that carrying children in the back seat, next to the side impact
air bags, is inherently more dangerous than in a car without them.  But if a
person really thought that rear seat occupants were safer _without_ the side
impact air bags on the A8, they can readily be deactivated.  In the case of
side air bags - since they are not a federally mandated safety item -
deactivation is legal, reversable and the dealer can do it at the customer's

Before all of you A8 owners rush out to do this, it's worth considering how
the car's side air bags deploy.  Unlike M-B's and BMW's (front seat) side air
bags, Audi's deploy from the seat back. The direction of deployment is
longitudinal to the vehicle, between the occupant and the door panel.  On a
BMW or MB with side bags, they deploy inward, from the door toward the
occupant.  The deployment direction of the Audi side bags (Volvo, too) seems
a little more like "friendly fire."

In addition, consider that, of necessity, door-deployed air bags are larger
than seat back deployed bags.  Larger bag = larger explosion, plus it's in
the direction of the occupant.  If one thinks that side impact air bags are a
good thing, then it seems that Audi has devloped a good thing, and of a good

Bottom line is that you have to decide if you trust pyrotechnics in the
proximity of loved ones.  I'm a fan of seat belts as the first line of
defence if events are no longer under my control.  But I'll take my chances
(and the chances of my loved ones) with a well designed air bag, as a back
up, every time.  Considering the huge variety of accidents, and the
unpredictable nature of same,  I'd keep the air bags active in any car, any

Opposing viewpoints always welcome.