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Seat Ibiza: Side airbags - Airbag system - Safety First - Seat Ibiza Owners Manual

Seat Ibiza: Side airbags

Seat Ibiza Owners Manual

Description of side airbags

The airbag system is not a substitute for the seat belts.

Fig. 21 Side airbag in driver seat

The side airbags are located in the driver seat and front passenger seat backrests ⇒ fig. 21. The locations are identified by the text “AIRBAG” in the upper region of the backrests. In conjunction with the seat belts, the side airbag system gives the front seat occupants additional protection for the upper body in the event of a severe side collision, “Safety notes on the operation of the side airbag system”. In a side collision the side airbags reduce the risk of injury to passengers on the front seats to the areas of the body facing the impact. In addition to their normal function of protecting the occupants in a collision, the seat belts also hold the passengers on the front seats in a position where the side airbags can provide maximum protection.

The airbag system is not a substitute for seat belts, but is an integral part of the vehicle's overall passive safety system. Please bear in mind that the airbag system can only work effectively when the occupants are wearing their seat belts. For this reason, it is most important to wear the seat belts at all times, not only because this is required by law in most countries, but also for your safety.

The side airbag system will not be triggered

• if the ignition is switched off,

• during a minor side collision,

• during a frontal collision,

• during a rear-end collision,

• or if the vehicle rolls.

The main parts of the airbag system are

• an electronic control and monitoring system (control unit),

• the side airbags in the sides of the backrests of the front seats,

• a warning lamp in the dash panel

The functionality of the airbag system is monitored electronically. The airbag warning lamp will light up for approx. 4 seconds every time the ignition is switched on (self-diagnosis).


• In a side-on collision, the side airbags will not work, if the sensors do not correctly measure the pressure increase on the interior of the doors, due to air escaping through the areas with holes or openings in the door panel.

• Never drive the vehicle if the interior panels have been removed.

• Never drive if the interior door panels have been removed or if the panels have not been correctly fitted.

• Never drive the vehicle if the loudspeakers in the door panels have been removed, unless the holes left by the loudspeakers have been correctly closed.

• Always check that the openings are closed or covered if loudspeakers or other equipment are fitted in the interior door panels.

• Any work carried out to the doors should be made in a qualified authorised workshop.

• The seat belts and airbags can only provide maximum protection if the occupants are seated correctly, “Proper sitting position for occupants”.

• If a fault should occur in the airbag system, have the system checked immediately by a qualified workshop. Otherwise there is a danger that during a side collision, the system may fail to trigger, or not trigger correctly.

Function of side airbags

Inflated airbags can reduce the risk of head or chest injury in many side impact collisions.

Fig. 22 Inflated side airbag on left side of vehicle

In some side collisions

the side airbag is triggered on the impact side of the vehicle ⇒ fig. 22. In certain types of accident the front, curtain and side airbags may be triggered together. When the system is triggered, the airbag is filled with propellant gas. In order to provide the desired extra protection in an accident, the airbags have to deploy extremely rapidly (within fractions of a second). A fine dust may develop when the airbag deploys. This is normal and is no indication that there was a fire in the vehicle. The fully deployed airbags cushion the movement of the occupants of the front seats and help to reduce the risk of injury to the upper body.

The special design of the airbag allows the controlled escape of the propellant gas when an occupant puts pressure on the bag. Thus, the head and chest are surrounded and protected by the airbag.

Safety notes on the operation of the side airbag system

If airbags are used correctly, they can considerably reduce the risk of injury in side impact collisions.


• If you do not wear a seat belt, if you lean forward, or are not seated correctly while the vehicle is in motion, you are at greater risk of injury should the side airbag system be triggered in an accident.

• In order for the side airbags to provide their maximum protection, the prescribed sitting position must always be maintained with seat belts fastened while travelling.

• Occupants of the outer seats must never carry any objects or pets in the deployment space between them and the airbags, or allow children or other passengers to travel in this position. It is also important not to attach any accessories (such as cup holders) to the doors. This would impair the protection offered by the side airbags.

• The built-in coat hooks should be used only for lightweight clothing. Do not leave any heavy or sharp-edged objects in the pockets.

• Great forces, such as hard blows or kicks, must not be exerted upon the backrest bolster because the system may be damaged. In this case the side airbags would not be triggered.

• Under no circumstances should protective covers be fitted over the driver seat or front passenger seat unless the covers have been expressly approved for use in your vehicle. Because the airbag deploys from the side of the backrest, the use of conventional seat covers would obstruct the side airbag, seriously reducing the airbag's effectiveness.

• Any damage to the original seat upholstery or around the seams of the side airbag units must be repaired immediately by a qualified workshop.

• The airbags provide protection for one accident only, if they have been deployed they must be replaced.

• When children assume an incorrect sitting position, they expose themselves to an increased risk of injury in the event of an accident. This is particularly the case if the child is travelling on the front passenger seat and the airbag system is triggered in an accident; this could have critical consequences including serious injury or death, “Child safety”.

• Any work on the side airbag system or removal and installation of the airbag components for other repairs (such as removal of the front seat) should only be performed by a qualified workshop. Otherwise, a fault may be introduced into the operation of the airbag system.

• Do not attempt to modify components of the airbag system in any way.

• The side and head airbags are managed through sensors located in the interior of the front doors. To ensure the correct functioning of the side and head airbags neither the doors nor the door panels should be modified in any way (e.g. fitting loudspeakers). If the front door is damaged in any way, this may affect the correct working of the system. All work carried out on the front door must be made in a qualified workshop.

    Front airbags

    Curtain airbags

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