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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wife and I got into our new '07 S60R GT this evening. Me in the driver's seat
and wife in the front passenger seat. She kinda stumbled a bit getting into car and struck part of the lower side of the Sport body kit with her shoe. As she sat down I noticed in the top display of the rear view mirror the message "Passenger air bag not active" or some similar words. WE both wondered what we had done to cause this. We drove off and within about 100 feet the message warning disappeared.

Is this normal ? What would cause this message display ? Did we do something wrong ?

Thanks for any insights on this.
 

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Re: Passenger air bag in active message ? (barrysharp)

Definitely something going on with the passenger airbag sensor. I'm not 100% sure how it works, but if she wasn't in the car when you started it, it's likely that the weight sensor had already turned the airbag off, then turned it on when it sensed her weight.

Again, I don't know the exact sequence of when the weight sensor disables the bag, or when you started the car, but my guess is nothing is wrong, it's merely a quirk of the sequence how you started up.
 

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Re: Passenger air bag in active message ? (needsdecaf)

Quote, originally posted by needsdecaf »
Definitely something going on with the passenger airbag sensor. I'm not 100% sure how it works, but if she wasn't in the car when you started it, it's likely that the weight sensor had already turned the airbag off, then turned it on when it sensed her weight.

Again, I don't know the exact sequence of when the weight sensor disables the bag, or when you started the car, but my guess is nothing is wrong, it's merely a quirk of the sequence how you started up.

You are correct sir. Barry just keep an eye on it.
 

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Re: Passenger air bag in active message ? (barrysharp)

Here's how the Occupant Weight Sensor (OWS) works.

It's a silicon gel filled bag that, as pressure is exerted upon it sends gel up a tube. Once the gel reaches a certain height (indicating a certain amount of weight is in the seat), the passenger airbag will then be activated. That's the technical explanation.

Anything in the seat weighing approximately 73 lbs. or less will NOT activate the passenger airbag.

Regarding the warning light, here's how that functions:
0-10 lbs = airbag off, "PASS AIRBAG OFF" light not illuminated.
10-73 lbs = airbag off, "PASS AIRBAG OFF" light is illuminated.
73 + lbs = airbag ON, "PASS AIRBAG OFF" light NOT illuminated.

The thought process here is that you should be able to set your lunch, briefcase, what have you, on the passenger seat and not see a warning light. However, you should see a warning light if something (or someone) in the passenger seat doesn't weigh enough to activate the airbag.

Since it is silicon gel, it flows slower the colder the ambient temp is. Thus, once your wife sat in the vehicle, it took a while for the gel to travel up the tube to the height required to activate the airbag, and deactivate the warning light. This is completely normal, so nothing is malfunctioning. I would, however, suggest you wait that extra minute or two for the gel to rise so that the airbag will be functional while you're driving.

I hope this explanation helps.
 

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Re: Passenger air bag in active message ? (baxteR)

Same thing happens when my girlfriend sits in the car sometimes... I think it's how she shifts her weight when she sits... She doesn't have an ass, so maybe that's it...


My girlfriend of course... not your wife
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Passenger air bag in active message ? (barrysharp)

Hey ALL:

This was a wonderful set of replies. THANK YOU.
I now feel I understand how the front passenger airbag system works. Is this system unique to ONLY the front passenger seat ? What about the driver's airbag system, and the rear seats ?

When did this airbag system become a standard feature on S60Rs ? A trivia question.
 

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Re: Passenger air bag in active message ? (barrysharp)

The system is only on the front passenger seat.

Standard for the 2005 model up.

Another bit of trivia: the OWS system was first introduced on the 2004.5 S40.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Passenger air bag in active message ? (R Salesman)

Thanks.
 

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Here's how the Occupant Weight Sensor (OWS) works.

It's a silicon gel filled bag that, as pressure is exerted upon it sends gel up a tube. Once the gel reaches a certain height (indicating a certain amount of weight is in the seat), the passenger airbag will then be activated. That's the technical explanation.

Anything in the seat weighing approximately 73 lbs. or less will NOT activate the passenger airbag.

Regarding the warning light, here's how that functions:
0-10 lbs = airbag off, "PASS AIRBAG OFF" light not illuminated.
10-73 lbs = airbag off, "PASS AIRBAG OFF" light is illuminated.
73 + lbs = airbag ON, "PASS AIRBAG OFF" light NOT illuminated.

The thought process here is that you should be able to set your lunch, briefcase, what have you, on the passenger seat and not see a warning light. However, you should see a warning light if something (or someone) in the passenger seat doesn't weigh enough to activate the airbag.

Since it is silicon gel, it flows slower the colder the ambient temp is. Thus, once your wife sat in the vehicle, it took a while for the gel to travel up the tube to the height required to activate the airbag, and deactivate the warning light. This is completely normal, so nothing is malfunctioning. I would, however, suggest you wait that extra minute or two for the gel to rise so that the airbag will be functional while you're driving.

I hope this explanation helps.
Okay, rather than post a brand new thread, I thought I'd dig up this old one, because basically my car is having this same problem. When passengers who are >130 lbs are in the passenger seat, especially longer trips, the PASSENGER AIRBAG DISABLED light will come on the mirror. We've discovered that lifting oneself off the seat with your arms and "re-sitting" on the seat rather "firmly" (sit down HARD) we can get the light to go off. But its really obnoxious to have to do this every 30 minutes on a longer trip, etc...

Is there any way to "hack" the OWS so it always thinks there is a heavy passenger? Or just bypass it? I have VIDA/DICE and playing around with it I could recalibrate the unit (didn't help) but there was nothing else to do. No way to turn it off or tell the ECU it was being removed etc...

Could I do something like have someone really heavy sit in the seat, then clamp off that tube so the gel stays up high? Or is that not accessible at all? Any other ideas? Dealer quoted me $2100 just for PARTS to replace the OWS since it's all one unit now (since people were hacking them... hah).
 

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so i was reading this entire thread, and no one has mentioned YET that the SEAT BELT, plays a great role in activating that "pass airbag off" light as well. If you have an adult sitting in the passenger side but they forgot to fasten their seat belt, the "Passenger Airbag Off" will turn on because Weight Occupying Sensor has detected a heavy person but cant enable the air bag because there is no seat belt buckled. I tested this and it works as intended on mine. I had my brother sit in the passenger seat without a seat belt and driving for a little bit and the "passenger airbag off" was turned on, and then I had him buckle up seat belt while the car was in motion and then it took about 5 seconds for it go away.
 

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so i was reading this entire thread, and no one has mentioned YET that the SEAT BELT, plays a great role in activating that "pass airbag off" light as well. If you have an adult sitting in the passenger side but they forgot to fasten their seat belt, the "Passenger Airbag Off" will turn on because Weight Occupying Sensor has detected a heavy person but cant enable the air bag because there is no seat belt buckled. I tested this and it works as intended on mine. I had my brother sit in the passenger seat without a seat belt and driving for a little bit and the "passenger airbag off" was turned on, and then I had him buckle up seat belt while the car was in motion and then it took about 5 seconds for it go away.
My passengers are always buckled.
 

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My passengers are always buckled.
Instead of having her bounce down on the seat to reset the light, have her just unbuckle and re buckle. Maybe it just needs to sense it again.
 

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My passengers are always buckled.
liar.

perhaps it's as simple as your gel bag has a tiny leak or enough has evaporated over time that it doesn't rise high enough up the tube to activate air bag, thus thumping yourself down hard on it causes it to spike (in the tube) and activate. fixing that though.... might as well by a new seat, it'd be way cheaper. though you'd either have to find an equally conditioned nordkap seat or swap leather which would be a bit of a pain too.
 

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Instead of having her bounce down on the seat to reset the light, have her just unbuckle and re buckle. Maybe it just needs to sense it again.
We will try that, thanks.

perhaps it's as simple as your gel bag has a tiny leak or enough has evaporated over time that it doesn't rise high enough up the tube to activate air bag, thus thumping yourself down hard on it causes it to spike (in the tube) and activate. fixing that though.... might as well by a new seat, it'd be way cheaper. though you'd either have to find an equally conditioned nordkap seat or swap leather which would be a bit of a pain too.
On my TODO list is crawling down there and having a good look under the seat to see if there is any evidence of leaks or if that tube is caught on something or whatever.
Running the calibration seemed to maybe help a little but it still has a problem usually once per trip or if she shifts her weight around, sometimes she likes to sit indian style with a foot (bare) up on the seat.

Another idea I have if that tube is exposed would be to have someone heavy (me! hah!) sit on the seat to force that gel up really far and then clamp the tube so the gel can't retreat... that should fool it to think someone really heavy is always sitting there right?
 
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