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off switch for airbags

4287 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  scobbo
is there an off switch for the airbag in the maser spider for when there are small children in the front seat?


I spent 90%of my money on cars, wine, and women.THE OTHER 10% I WASTED!
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No, But one can be installed. I am in the process of doing this. You need to get a waiver from the NHTSA. All you need to do is prove you have no back seat. My dealer said once I get the waiver they can throw on switch quickly. My 6 year old is bugging me for rides but am a little nervous as she also did this when I had my S2000, then I got a Boxster and Porsche put in that special seat with a cut off, After one ride she decided she was scared and never got in again. Hopefully now that she is older this will not be a waste of time and money. Below tells you how to about
Edit: Just noticed your in Canada, Would think same kind of process

If you have been exempted by the NHTSA (for either a switch or a wiring disconnection) and would like a professional to do it, you could look at the web site for AirBag Options Inc. at and see the services they have to offer.

NHTSA finally published their rule for Air Bag On-Off Switches on 11/18/97, more than nine months after the comment period closed on 2/5/97. NHTSA will “allow” you to protect the lives and health of you and your family IF you send a request form swearing that among users of the vehicle:

Drivers side:

Some driver has a medical condition that would make the risks of air bag deployment more dangerous than not having the bag operative.
Some drivers cannot sit with at least 10 inches between their breastbone and the steering wheel. (Ford suggests measuring from the wheel to driver's chin.)
Passenger side

Must carry an infant in front because the vehicle has no back seat, a back seat too small to use an infant seat, or the infant has a medical condition which requires he or she to be carried in front for constant monitoring.
Must carry a child in front because the vehicle has no back seat, there is no space avail able for them in the rear seat, or the child has a medical condition that requires he or she to be carried in front for constant monitoring.
A passenger has a medical condition which would make the risks of air bag deployment more dangerous than not having the bag operative.
You must also swear that:

you have read a NHTSA brochure about air bags.
you understand you lose all air bag protections when they are turned off.
you understand that the repair business may require a waiver of liability to be signed.
For most people, it is possible to truthfully swear that SOME drivers of the vehicle cannot get 10 inches back and that SOMETIMES the vehicle carries more children than there are rear seat safety belts. This will legally qualify for switches on both sides.

To get the required brochure to read and the form to send in, call the NHTSA hotline at 1-800-424- 9393. The forms are also available at most AAA offices, state DMV offices, and many dealerships.

Then, to try to move this whole rulemaking process on toward more freedom of choice, you could do the following:

Send letters to your representative and both of your senators asking that Congress override NHTSA's recent rulemaking regarding on-off switches, and grant all citizens the free rights of deactivation, on request, as proposed by NHTSA on 1/6/97 and as supported by President Clinton on 12/28/96. Ask that deactivation be allowed by either switches, or by the simpler, cheaper, and fully-reversible wiring disconnection process. Tell your legislators that you find the new rule of 11/18/97 to be unacceptable, dangerous and even demeaning to well- informed vehicle owners who want to protect the lives and health of themselves and their families.
Send letters to your representative and both of your senators asking that Congress override NHTSA and immediately grant Senator Kempthorne’s proposal to suspend unbelted testing. This would allow manufacturers, as early as 1999 models, to sell air bags specifically calibrated for belted occupants, a common-sense change that NHTSA and the Big 3 now oppose.
Send letters to your representative and both senators asking that they repeal the basic air bag mandate, so that air bags become optional equipment on all new vehicles, not mandatory equipment. Explain that you could spend the $500 to $1,000 that air bags cost on other options, safety features and changes in vehicle models that would provide your family with more safety than air bags can, even under NHTSA’s very optimistic projections of air bag benefits. You could purchase a heavier car, ABS brakes, premium brakes, premium tires, premium steering systems, premium suspension systems, etc. Explain that you feel it is wrong for NHTSA and Congress to prohibit you from optimizing the safety of your vehicle and your family by forcing you to spend this $500 to $1,000 on air bags that are less effective for overall safety than the choices you had in mind.
If you are purchasing a new vehicle and do not want air bags, send a letter to the automobile manufacturers which make the automobiles you are considering, and tell them you will not consider their vehicles unless air bags are optional equipment. Possibly explain that you must carry children in the front seat (but do not qualify for an on-off switch under NHTSA’s highly restrictive rules), and that you do not wish to purchase any vehicle with a live passenger-side air bag. Possibly explain that you and all of your other adult drivers and passengers are regular safety belt users and that you consider the possible non-fatal injuries from air bags to outweigh any potential benefits for you. Explain that you consider it to be unacceptable to have to pay for expensive devices that you will then have to pay even more to have deactivated. Explain that you do not consider the pro-air-bag arguments from NHTSA and the car companies to be valid, and that you simply do not want a vehicle with air bags. Suggest that you might be better off purchasing a used vehicle without a driver and/or passenger-side air bag if they cannot supply a new vehicle that suits your needs.
You can also send copies of all the above letters to:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 Seventh Street, S. W.
Washington, DC 20590

Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street, S. W.
Washington, D.C. 20590
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Does anyone know if the North American versions of the spider have an
on-off switch for the pasenger side airbag?
No they don't. You need to have dealer install one. Here in the U.S you need to get a waiver from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Would think you have some similar procedure to go thru in Canada

An owner who wants deactivation for any of the above reasons should describe the reason in a letter and send it to: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Attention: Air Bag Deactivation Requests, 400 7th St. S. W., Washington, D.C. 20590. Deactivation is not available for other reasons. The request can also be faxed to (202) 366-2106.

The request must contain the following:

Name and address of the vehicle owner.

The justification for the request. (See the list of accepted justifications above.) The letter should be as specific as possible about the justification and state whether the request applies to the driver or passenger air bag, or both.

A description of the facts creating the need for an on-off switch.

Each request based on a medical condition must be accompanied by a statement from a physician, if the condition is not one for which the National Conference recommended deactivation.(47) The physician's statement must not only identify the particular condition of the patient, but also state the physician's judgment--

That the condition causes air bags to pose a special risk to the person, and

That the condition makes the potential harm to the person from contacting an air bag in a crash greater than the potential harm from turning off the air bag and allowing the person's head, neck or chest to hit the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield. (Hitting the vehicle interior is likely in a moderate to severe crash, even if the person is using seat belts.)(48)

If the request concerns a child that must ride in the front seat to enable the driver to monitor the child's medical condition, the supporting physician's statement must identify the condition and state that frequent monitoring by the driver is necessary. NHTSA notes that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that medical conditions requiring such monitoring are very rare. According to the final report of the National Conference on Medical Indications for Air Bag Disconnection: "It is anticipated that the American Academy of Pediatrics will make recommendations regarding which specific conditions warrant close monitoring while driving" (passenger air bag only).

3. The agency will respond in writing, enclosing a copy of the information brochure in Appendix A of Part 595, labels to be attached to the vehicle interior for alerting vehicle users about the deactivated air bags, and a form to be filled out and mailed back to the agency regarding the deactivation. NHTSA will answer the deactivation requests as quickly as possible. It screens the incoming requests for requests involving rear-facing child restraints (because of the higher risk associated with those requests) and processes those requests first. Depending on the volume of requests being received by the agency, the processing usually occurs within several days. All other requests are handled in the order in which they are received. These requests currently take a couple days longer to answer.
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I guess our Government just feels we are sue happy idiots who cannot think for ourselves. Have been trying for months to get the waiver and still do not have. How tough should it be to prove my Spyder has no back seat? Not sure if law has changed but when I had my Porsche Boxster in 2001 it was very simple as their child seat came with a devise under the seat that you hooked car seat to and it disabled bag, with no waiver needed
I'm brand new to this forum and look forward to continuing to learn more and share what I encounter with this fabulous car. I also had the same issues with not having a cut-off switch and thought about going the waiver route, but ultimately figured that the rearmost seat positioning is far enough back for my 2 or 4 year old in a booster seat to not get much force from deployment, if any. Is this thinking reasonable?
No, If you have that doubt I don't think you want to find the answer after deployment with a 2 or 4 year old in car
When I bought my car I was pleased to see it had the pasenger airbag switch as most european cars do these days. I have a five year old who loves to ride up front. However I saw this post on "Enrico's Maserati Pages" and I am now reluctant to touch it:

Hi Enrico,

After switching off the passenger side air bag for a ride with my son during the weekend, two lights were on, the air bag warning light (the red one) and the air bag deactivited warning light (the yellow one). After the ride I switch back on the passenger side air bag, but the red light is still on.

Any idea with that? Thanks in advance.



Can anyone who uses the switch advise if it works as advertised?

Also what is the general consensus as to how old a child should be before it is safe to seat them behind an airbag?
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