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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 11-15-2014, 12:21 PM   #1
fiveightandten
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Has anyone unplugged their passenger airbag while we wait for these recall parts?

I got my initial letter from BMW saying they'd contact me when the parts were available for the recall. Go knows how long that's going to be, so i'm considering just unplugging the damned thing so I can drive without worrying about that safety issue.

Are there any issues with doing this outside of the SRS light?
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:38 PM   #2
jdstrickland
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If you unplug them and start the car, you will trigger an airbag fault that turns the SRS light on. Except for this minor detail, there should be no problem with doing this.

I wonder if there is a fuse that can be pulled to defeat the entire system. I also wonder if only unplugging the air bag they intend to replace is a bad thing if the other air bags happen to deploy. The idea of the air bags is to surround you with a cushion of air, but if one bag is missing while the others deploy, will this cause more harm than good? We drove around the planet for almost 100 years without airbags, and we know the consequences of doing this. But we (I) do not know the consequence of having a partial airbag system, and the main bag is disabled.

I suppose I worry about nothing, if the system takes a poll of the components and any of them is missing, then the system is disabled and the light comes on to alert you of this.
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:15 PM   #3
fiveightandten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdstrickland View Post
If you unplug them and start the car, you will trigger an airbag fault that turns the SRS light on. Except for this minor detail, there should be no problem with doing this.

I wonder if there is a fuse that can be pulled to defeat the entire system. I also wonder if only unplugging the air bag they intend to replace is a bad thing if the other air bags happen to deploy. The idea of the air bags is to surround you with a cushion of air, but if one bag is missing while the others deploy, will this cause more harm than good? We drove around the planet for almost 100 years without airbags, and we know the consequences of doing this. But we (I) do not know the consequence of having a partial airbag system, and the main bag is disabled.

I suppose I worry about nothing, if the system takes a poll of the components and any of them is missing, then the system is disabled and the light comes on to alert you of this.
It's a valid concern. Though my thinking is that running without the airbag is the lesser of evils, considering the documented injuries that have come from that passenger side airbag firing.

If I enter the space that the passenger airbag would occupy during a collision, I think I have bigger problems than the airbag not being there. If I have a passenger in the car, i'd rather have them move the seat back to make sure they won't hit the dash and let the side airbag do its job.

I just wasn't sure if the connector being unseated from that airbag would affect the functionality of the other airbags. My guess is no, but I can't say that definitively.
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:43 PM   #4
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I'm not sure either. The SRS goes out and polls the system components, and if any is missing/does not respond to the poll, then the light is turned on to tell you that the system is unreliable -- you cannot rely on it deploying when called upon to do so.

The question mark here is if entire system is unreliable or only the affected seating position. If you unplug the passenger side air bag, then the SRS light will certainly be illuminated. Will only the passenger seat be affected, or are all seats affected? I do not know. If I say that all seating is affected and the airbag hits you unexpectedly, you will be mad. If I say that only the affected side is disabled, and your side is disabled too, then you will also be mad. If the light is on, the only thing we know with any certainty is that the system is not reliable, whether it is the entire system or only parts of it is an unknown. Well, we also know that the air bag that is unplugged will not deploy, we only do not know how many others will not deploy.
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:58 PM   #5
wildirish317
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I took mine out entirely. Posted a "how to" on another thread. You can use PA Soft to disable the passenger air bag.

Link to post: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...8&postcount=17
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:43 PM   #6
-lynel-
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disabling an air bag is only as bad as not having that one working. Im not sure if all the others will stop working but to say that 1 will effect the condition and purpose of all the others doesn't take into account that the forward collision air bags and side intrusion bags are fired independents if and when they are needed
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Old 11-15-2014, 08:43 PM   #7
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They are not recalling the airbags because they don't work. They are recalling them because they send shrapnel into the passenger when they deploy, and have killed a few people.

I'm not really sure I'm addressing your comment though, because you only used one punctuation mark. It's difficult to follow.
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Old 11-15-2014, 08:59 PM   #8
Kar Laeda
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BMW is also doing it as a precaution too. I don't believe any injuries resulted in from an e46 airbag.

On a side note, all the parts should be in by now. I did my recall about 2 months ago and a friend of mine did his 2 months before I did.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:56 AM   #9
avincent52
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No, the parts are NOT in. My dealer, Paul Miller in North Jersey, called to cancel my appointment tomorrow, and when I called back they said the parts are back ordered and they have no timetable for when they'll be in.

I called BMW NA (which is in North Jersey only 10 miles from me) and spent 25 minutes on the phone, and got essentially the same answer: the parts aren't available and we don't know when they will be.

Funny, GM is actually bribing customers with Starbucks gift cards to come in and get their ignition recall done.
I'm hounding BMW and they don't have the parts. Go figure.

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Old 11-16-2014, 01:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by avincent52 View Post
Funny, GM is actually bribing customers with Starbucks gift cards to come in and get their ignition recall done.
I'm hounding BMW and they don't have the parts. Go figure.
Let me educate you on the differences.

GM's recall is the direct result of GM's own negligence. They are solely responsible for that one.

BMW's recall is the result of a design flaw in airbags supplied by Takata. There was no negligence in this matter. It affects many car brands. And Takata and whatever other suppliers are building as many airbags as possible to supply them. Do you think 1 million+ airbags can be made in just a few days or something? Also, the new bags are being supplied to humid areas first.
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:22 PM   #11
avincent52
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Let me educate you on the differences.

GM's recall is the direct result of GM's own negligence. They are solely responsible for that one.

BMW's recall is the result of a design flaw in airbags supplied by Takata. There was no negligence in this matter. It affects many car brands. And Takata and whatever other suppliers are building as many airbags as possible to supply them. Do you think 1 million+ airbags can be made in just a few days or something? Also, the new bags are being supplied to humid areas first.
Good points, WDE.

That said, none of that makes much difference if someone is injured in my BMW because of a failure of the Takata air bag.

I understand the massive logistics involved in this, but I'm being selfish right now. I want one air bag in my car sooner rather than later.

I was rather surprised at BMW's laissez faire attitude given that this is a safety related recall.
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:31 PM   #12
WDE46
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That was my point. It's not laissez faire. Did they not contact you? Once you're contacted, it's pretty much your liability. They will disable the airbag for you if they don't have the parts in stock so no one gets grenaded in the face.
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by fiveightandten View Post
It's a valid concern. Though my thinking is that running without the airbag is the lesser of evils, considering the documented injuries that have come from that passenger side airbag firing.
There are no documented injuries with regard to the E46 chassis. I believe Toyota had a few and BMW is taking the opportunity to do this as a precautionary measure. Smart, and right, move.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avincent52 View Post
No, the parts are NOT in. My dealer, Paul Miller in North Jersey, called to cancel my appointment tomorrow, and when I called back they said the parts are back ordered and they have no timetable for when they'll be in.
Try other dealers in the area. BMW of Tenafly did mine the other week, although they said I got the last of the current batch of new airbags they had at the time.
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:50 PM   #14
avincent52
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Actually, they didn't contact me. I contacted them.
Neither the dealer, nor BMW NA offered to notify me when the parts became available or even discussed the option of disabling the air bag.
I spent almost an hour on the phone and the upshot of that was "Um, I dunno."

I called around to all of the dealers in the area--I'm in North NJ and there are several--and none had the parts in. When I called a month ago Paul Miller estimated that the parts would be available in three weeks and gave me an appointment, but still no parts.
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Old 11-16-2014, 05:44 PM   #15
WDE46
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They sent me a letter. They must not know your address.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:18 PM   #16
kr3678
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Is it the bag in the dash or the one in the door?

My local dealer has a waiting list but no parts. They said they don't know when they will get parts or how many they will get when they come in. They also told me there was no risk to driving the car...
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:45 PM   #17
WDE46
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The bag is the passenger dash bag AFAIK.
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Old 11-16-2014, 09:10 PM   #18
avincent52
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They sent me a letter. They must not know your address.
I've brought the car into a dealership for an oil change since I bought it, but no, they didn't have my address, I guess.

I can see how it's going to be a task to replace the parts in tens of thousands of e46s. But I'm being pretty aggressive, checking multiple dealers, and calling the corporate headquarters, hoping to find one airbag and get it installed sooner rather than later.
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Old 11-16-2014, 09:55 PM   #19
WDE46
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I think part of the problem is that you're in New Jersey. All the airbags are being routed down south.
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Old Yesterday, 09:37 PM   #20
Mike Antonetti
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03 330, Waiting on ours, was supposed to be @nov.8, then they called to postpone to Dec. 15th, they said the part was dedicated to the our Vin.
I'm having a time believing it's just one airbag that isn't safe.
In Florida, very humid, car is outdoors, headliner dropping(humidity indicator?)
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