Deactivating Automotive Airbags

Discussion in 'Support' started by Bobby B, Oct 11, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      Deactiving automotive airbags

      I recently bought a used car with numerous airbags all over the place .

      The car is an otherwise very quiet Toyota but the airbags is just a time bomb for someone with previous acoustic trauma.

      There are a few YouTube videos where they blow up airbags and it's extremely noisy - some studies say up to 170db and in enclosed environment close to the ears that's guaranteed to cause some permanent damage.

      I remember reading a few threads where people got T and hearing loss from airbags deployment due to some minor accident that would have been no issue damping with seat belts alone.

      I found a small shop that was willing to do it - all they did is to disconnect the airbag computer which is a small device that is located under the center console between the front seats - took them 30 minutes and cost me 30 bucks and that's it - airbags won't blow up no matter what and the airbag indicator is on all the time so I feel a lot safer now .
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. Jason C

      Jason C Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29 May 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Burgler Alarm
      I see your point about the noise but an airbag can safe your life or the life of your passenger. How might you feel if another car slams into you head on, you walk away but your passenger is killed. Then the accident investigation find the life saving air bags have been disabled!

      Think about that!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      Well I have 4 other cars - none of which have airbags, seat belts or even power brakes...

      My passengers know there are no airbags - they have been duly informed and ride at their own risk ...

      I also was riding motorcycles for many years - with passengers

      The key is to drive carefully

      There are many vehicles with no airbags on the road currently anyway that should be a choice not an obligation
       
    4. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      Oh and a car crash is 140 Db on average according to studies so that in addition to the 170db airbag ...another reason to drive carefully
       
    5. Foncky
      Doubtful

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      An explosion, music, and fate.
      I'd like to do that as well, but I won't be insured if I deactivate them.
       
    6. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      No. The key isn't to drive carefully. When two people are driving separate cars and involved in a crash, normally one is driving carefully and the other is not.

      My background is automotive design including crash management, occupant safety, working NHTSA etc.

      I strongly urge you not to disconnect your airbags. There is also the liability issue if you are involved in a crash and someone is hurt in your vehicle with you driving. You could be sued by the family if someone dies or is maimed in your vehicle if you are behind the wheel and you made the decision to disconnect your airbags. Then there is your family members as well....a loved one sitting next to you.

      Airbags aren't perfect. They save countless lives each year out on worldwide roadways.

      Your choice....but remember, you could be making a life or death decision for others that ride with you.

      Good luck to all of us out on the roads.

      Airbags are an integral reason why traffic fatalities have decreased in spite of US population increasing:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year
       
    7. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      Completely agree. You are covered for liability with your insurance company. If anything happens to a passenger, they reject your claim and you end up in court being sued. If anything happens to you and you end up badly maimed, you will never see a dime in help for injuries no matter who is at fault.

      I know what your saying, past cars never had airbags and our motorcycles never did. That defense won't hold up in court when a safety feature was knowingly deactivated. I have airbags in both my vehicles. My older family van has been hit a couple times not very hard by others. People backing out of parking spots and bumping my front bumper etc. Never had one blow for anything minor. You do what ever you please but I hope people reading this thread think twice. When I am driving in bad weather, I feel comfortable knowing I have this safety feature in front and beside me. Only takes one patch of black ice, or some other distracted driver on his/her cellphone and BOOM! Lights out buddy! Be careful of the advice you offer here please. I think you are worrying about tinnitus way too much if your deactivating airbags in case some day............... one may activate from a minor bump!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      You're standing on the sidewalk, just took out the garbage or something. Firetruck roars around the corner sirens blaring. Maybe we should ban all sirens, warning devices, alarms, loud mufflers, and make it illegal for a baby to scream or they get locked up.

      Noise will happen buddy. Airbag deployment is the least of my worries.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      I completely agree with this. I think some members are so deeply embedded in their tinnitus that it controls them in an unhealthy way. As you say, life is full of noise, but we must carry on living as normally as possible. If the concern about the airbags is seriously distressing you @Bobby B, then the use of ear defenders in the car maybe a better solution. But, of course this brings about all sorts of other problems, such as decreased awareness of your surroundings due to the lack of sound. Although deaf people drive and you get others who drive with their music up way too high, which is no different really.

      I would certainly rethink disconnecting the airbags though. This is another instance that reminds me of this old unknown quote:

      I've had a lot of worries in my life; most of which never happened.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    10. Foncky
      Doubtful

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      An explosion, music, and fate.
      Ok.

      December 28th, 2015 :
      I'm in a car, at the rear. A baby holds a balloon, next to me. I've had mild T and mild H for years, but I'm perfectly happy. I don't give a fuck about T really.
      The balloon goes bang. 140dB.just.next.to.my.head.

      December 28th, 2015, a few minutes later :
      I'm starting a long journey toward severe T, severe H and 60dB hearing loss.

      I can't imagine what damage multiple 170dB airbags explosion would have caused.

      We all have our definition of "life or death" situations.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    11. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      I'm not going to live my life in a plastic bubble. Scared of every noise. Scared to go shopping. Scared of little babies that scream. I have the information needed to protect myself now with simple measures and will cause no harm to others. Foam earplugs are a buck a pair. Fit nicely in the front pocket in the package. Toss em away after a few uses.
       
      • Useful Useful x 1
    12. Julien87
      Balanced

      Julien87 Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud sound (concert)
      I also have the fear that one of these airbags blow up. So I usually drive with plugs in... Not comfortable but it makes me feel better.
       
    13. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      Just cancel your insurance on the vehicle then. It's going to be useless anyway. Save the money and wrap yourself up in a plastic bubble!
       
    14. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Airbags save lives, and when we are talking about cars we are usually talking about other people's lives as well. It is a calculated risk; that loud bang could well save your head from going into the dashboard or through the windscreen, and that goes for any passenger that may be present as well. I'm pretty sure that severed arteries and/or a smashed head is also bad for your ears. Airbags don't go off in minor collisions; it takes a lot more force for them to be deployed. The kind of force where your life is on the line.

      The other danger is if others follow this advice and then sell their car onto a new unsuspecting owner who has no clue the airbags have been disabled. Maybe he takes his kid to school one day and is involved in a serious accident in which the airbags do not deploy.

      The noise of the airbag deploying is by far the lesser of two evils.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    15. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      I'm actually shocked how paranoid people are. Disabling airbags?? I decided to order 8 billion feet of bubble wrap from a manufacturer in China. I can sell you enough real cheap and y'all can wrap yourselves up in a plastic bubble and hide in the closet. No more worries right..............?

      Message me with your height, weight and how scared you are. I can give you a quote on this wrap. Free shipping if you order 2 kits!! Act now. This is a limited time offer. Once the 8 billion feet is gone, your outa luck! Get yours today. Money back guarantee (less a restock charge that's actually higher than the cost of the product).
       
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    16. Foncky
      Doubtful

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      An explosion, music, and fate.
      25 km/h (16mph) is what it takes (I won't talk about airbags deployed for no reason when you start the car...). That's possibly a minor collision.

      Your concern about second hand cars (I like the naive dad + nice kid + school cliches you use) is not justified. If your airbag goes off after an accident and you decide not to replace it without telling the next owner, the result is the same. When you sell a car, you sell it as it should be and you tell everything, or you're just a moron. Morons exist but it's not the point here.

      No way. Plastic bubbles are loud when they burst !

      Anyway, could you read carefully guys ? I'm not talking about the two main frontal airbags, which are the ones saving most lives. No, I'm talking about recent cars which show off a lot of airbags (front, top, rear, side etc). You're talking about plastic bubble... 10 airbags in a car feels like a giant plastic bubble to me !

      Mike, you say "When I am driving in bad weather, I feel comfortable knowing I have this safety feature in front and beside me." Yes, we are so used to live in a technological plastic bubble that we think we can do everything. If you're not confident enough to drive in this bad weather, maybe you should wait a few hours to start the car ? Your car is not the only one on the road.

      One last thing : we are in 2016, technology probably makes possible an instantaneous airbag deployment in silence (so, without explosives). Better safety : no hearing loss, no burns. It's just not a priority for manufacturers.
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    17. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      I read threads where people walk down the road or mall staring at their smartphones with a db app running. They HAVE to know the level of noise everywhere they go. I don't need to stare at some inaccurate app on a phone to tell me the place is noisy. If it's loud, it's loud period! I fear walking off a cliff while hiking and staring at my cell apps!! Ah, this area is quiet.....walk walk..... not sure if there are tree's or animals around but my db meter comforts me.....walk walk...... wholly crap, I just walked off a cliff........ yell yell....... hey my db meter shows my level of scream on the way down is dangerous to my hearing....... THUD..........
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    18. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      I'm pretty
      I'm pretty sure they fire somewhere between 25-30mph. This is based on static force equivalent to hitting a wall. Any less than that and most fender bender collisions would deploy the bags which is not the case at all. Airbags very rarely fire in shunts and small collisions, it's takes the required g-force at which serious injury occurs.

      Maybe I'm wrong, I haven't looked at the official figure, but I know from personal experience that small collisions do nothing to the airbags.
       
    19. Foncky
      Doubtful

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      An explosion, music, and fate.
      It all depends on the type of collision, but 25 mph is already a lot (it's a 100 % deployment at that speed, maybe not at 16mph).

      Also, don't forget that airbags are efficient too because they are linked to seat belts (which also use explosives to block your body during a collision).
       
    20. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015

      I'm sorry Foncky but this is nonsense. Are you for real? Over 10,000 people pass through this site a month, that's a lot of people who may potentially go and disable their airbags. I was making a valid point. People are not idealistic they can be very stupid and you could very well end up with someone disabling a life saving device, only to sell on their car, or die from a fatal injury.

      The fear that is often expressed on here goes too far, it's as simple as that. It is not rational advice at all, just more worrying evidence of how far tinnitus can drag you down if you let it. I still believe there's good and bad on these forums but new sufferers can be put into a very bad state of OCD in a matter of days by reading some of the stuff that's put on here. Sometimes I just have to shake my head in disbelief.
       
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    21. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      Yes but you didn't list acoustic trauma as a cause of your hearing loss and resulting T so you don't need to worry too much about more noise I would think.

      People without an experience of acoustic trauma won't be able to understand what we have been through..

      I rode for decades in non airbags and non seat belts cars with passengers..In this case unless the passenger was lied to about the car having airbags and would have not sat in the car knowing that the car has no working airbags, I just don't see how you can be held responsible in court.

      This (ex-) airbag car is driven by me alone for 90% of the time - its just a boring modern car.

      On the other hand the fun cars are much older with no airbags, no seat belts, no power brakes and solid steel dashboards and those are having the most passengers by far ...
       
    22. Foncky
      Doubtful

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      An explosion, music, and fate.
      @Ed209 People have to use their common sense. If I disable something on my car, I will never sell it like that. I expect most people will act the same, but maybe I'm not for "real". Are you the one being paranoid about safety and human beings here ?

      I agree with you on one thing : everything we write here is related to our personal story. My personal story involves a devastating airbag-like noise. I'm not suggesting anyone to deactivate airbags. It's just something we can discuss, just like we can discuss the danger of live music or shooting ranges. This board can be dangerous for new sufferers, because we are all different. We should insist on that more often.
       
    23. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      Person 1 has been drinking and crosses double yellow and hits person 2 head on driving in opposite direction on two lane road at 50mph. Person 2 who has tinnitus would have been dead without airbags.

      Exchange Person 2 scenario for Person 3:

      Person 1 has been drinking and crosses double yellow and hits person 3 head on driving in opposite direction on two lane road at 50mph. Person 3 who doesn't have tinnitus but is an idiot is saved by airbags which upon deployment result in mild 1st degree burns to his forearms. Person 3 tries to sue automaker for mild burns when he would have dead without an airbag.

      Life is a chess game. Some decisions are life and death.
       
    24. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I haven't really looked into this, but how does that deactivate them? Maybe disabled the airbag igniter, but if there is still sodium azide present there is still potential.

      And you cannot just count on driving safely. I'm an extremely careful and safety oriented person, I've worked much more hazardous jobs than my current one, but all it takes is one idiot that isn't concerned about the safety of others to permanently change your life. The same is true for driving.
       
    25. Foncky
      Doubtful

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      An explosion, music, and fate.
      Nobody is saying airbags don't save lives @stophiss
      I would never sue a manufacturer for resulting T or burns, I knew the risks before. It doesn't mean I don't think the technology could be improved.
       
    26. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      I do agree Bobby. I believe even tho airbags saves lives, they also do unnecessary damages that may not have otherwise occurred. I also had fast cars ranging from a 67 Camaro hopped up to race 1/4 mile races, and many others that never had airbags. No matter what, if the vehicle is fitted with a safety device and was knowingly deactivated, you are liable. Doesn't matter what you tell a passenger or yourself. Someone else gets hurt, they will deny hearing a warning and insist on financial help for loss of limbs, suffering, etc.

      I was fortunate enough to have been able to be a drummer in many local bands without suffering bad side effects. Drumming was the onset of my early stages of tinnitus but it was a surgery and reaction to drugs from it that did my damage. If I need a surgery in the future I'm still going to have it, even tho it might worry me. What's next? Disable smoke alarms? Ban all sirens on emergency vehicles?
       
    27. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      Speed of impact for airbag deployment depends on not only airbag design aka staged versus single stage inflator but what is known as the crash pulse of a vehicle which is based upon not only the weight of a vehicle, but length of its crush zone but also chassis stiffness. So no universal truth when an airbag will deploy. In general, smaller vehicles will deploy airbags at a lower speed compared to larger vehicles due to a smaller car having a higher crash pulse which also sometimes requires a higher energy inflator to inflate the airbag more rapidly as crash intrusion is 'faster' with a small car not to mention higher energy.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    28. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      @Alue
      The bag can only blow if there is current sent to it - since the computer/control unit is disconnected it cannot send any current . Activation is triggered by the sensors switches at the front of the car.

      The potential of bags blowing up on their own is still remotely possible but extremely low - ideally I would have liked to remove the whole damn things but its too much work and the steering handle horn bag is an integral part of the horn.

      Its not illegal to remove/de-activate airbags provided you do it yourself.

      In the USA It's not illegal for an auto shop to deactivate airbags provided you have a medical condition that requires it - and I do.

      Hence there are no issues in court.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    29. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      As a guy...probably the only guy here who fully understands the design of airbags, they are already highly evolved. New cars are better than older cars in crash protection. Crash protection is a system of energy management.
      Airbags have to save everybodies grandma and a NFL linebacker. A huge technical challenge as saving a linebacker takes a much more powerful airbag that can kill grandma without proper management.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    30. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      Then do it brother. OK if you take yourself out based upon a conscious decision you make knowing the variables at play. Just only hope no others who ride with you are hurt in the process. Also crashes without airbags well exceed 100 dB as well...lol.
       

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