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Non-Deploying Air Bags

I am a fleet administrator with many vehicles designed to carry wheelchairs. Frequently, the front passenger seat must be removed to accommodate another wheelchair. When the seat is removed and the power cord withdrawn, the vehicle computer inhibits the air bags from being deployed. Is there a shunt available that can be pushed into the power outlet that will fool the computer into keeping the air bags active? I recognize that the force of an air bag may be too much for an anchored wheelchair to withstand but I am looking at all safety options. We use Dodge and Toyota vans in the accessible fleet.

I doubt anyone is going to be willing to chance the legal responsibility in the event of an accident.

I would not attempt to “trick” the airbag computer. Besides, it’s probably illegal to do what you suggest. And even if it isn’t it’s downright dangerous.

The system is designed to operate with the standard seat in its standard position, not with a wheelchair. Leave it alone.

I with the rest here, but I am a bit confused, you believe that having the air bag deploy when a wheelchair (occupied I conclude)is in the space normally reserved for the passenger seat is safe?

Thanks for all the replies. My company’s insurance company is researching the issue right along with me. We are concerned that not having the bags deploy will put us in a precarious liability position - of having to rely solely upon whatever seat belts are in the wheelchair, and those are often not certified by anyone. It is kinda a lose-lose. My gut is that the air bags will deploy with more force than the chair tie downs can stand but I don’t know this. With respects to the comments about legality of a shunt - there are industry videos (the latest one uses the big Ford 350)about inserting shunts so perhaps they are legal. Even if we didn’t use the front position for a wheelchair - we still have to use the amidships position and generally the seat belts don’t adapt to those positions either and these are government approved aftermarket installers. Arrgghhhh!

To answer your question, a simple jumper across the correct two wires should spoof the bag module…But no matter what you do, it’s going to be a field day for lawyers should one of your vans be involved in an accident serious enough to deploy the bags…

Your best defense would be to hire quality professional drivers who very seldom are involved in accidents…Forget the bags and belts…School buses have neither…