How the Front Airbags Work

Honda Pilot / Honda Pilot 2009-2024 Owner's Manual / Safe Driving / Airbags / Front Airbags (SRS) / How the Front Airbags Work

While your seat belt restrains your torso, the front airbag provides supplemental protection for your head and chest. The front airbags deflate immediately so that they won't interfere with the driver's visibility or the ability to steer or operate other controls.

The total time for inflation and deflation is so fast that most occupants are

The total time for inflation and deflation is so fast that most occupants are not aware that the airbags deployed until they see them lying in front of them.

How the Front Airbags Work

After a front airbag inflates in a crash, you may see what looks like smoke. This is actually powder from the airbag's surface. Although the powder is not harmful, people with respiratory problems may experience some temporary discomfort. If this occurs, get out of the vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. Although the driver's and front passenger's airbags normally inflate within a split second of each other, it is possible for only one airbag to deploy. This can happen if the severity of a collision is at the margin, or threshold, that determines whether or not the airbags will deploy. In such cases, the seat belt will provide sufficient protection, and the supplemental protection offered by the airbag would be minimal.

When front airbags should not deploy

Minor frontal crashes: Front airbags were designed to supplement seat belts and help save lives, not to prevent minor scrapes, or even broken bones that might occur during a less than moderate-to-severe frontal crash.

Side impacts: Front airbags can provide protection when a sudden deceleration causes a driver or front passenger to move towards the front of the vehicle. Side airbags and side curtain airbags have been specifically designed to help reduce the severity of injuries that can occur during a moderate-to-severe side impact which can cause the driver or passenger to move towards the side of the vehicle.

Rear impacts: Head restraints and seat belts are your best protection during a rear impact. Front airbags cannot provide any significant protection and are not designed to deploy in such collisions.

Rollovers: Seat belts and, in vehicles equipped with a rollover sensor, side airbags and side curtain airbags offer the best protection in a rollover. Because front airbags could provide little if any protection, they are not designed to deploy during a rollover

When front airbags deploy with little or no visible damage

Because the airbag system senses sudden deceleration, a strong impact to the vehicle framework or suspension might cause one or more of the airbags to deploy. Examples include running into a curb, the edge of a hole, or other low fixed object that causes a sudden deceleration in the vehicle chassis. Since the impact is underneath the vehicle, damage may not be readily apparent.

When front airbags may not deploy, even though exterior damage appears severe

Since crushable body parts absorb crash energy during an impact, the amount of visible damage does not always indicate proper airbag operation. In fact, some collisions can result in severe damage but no airbag deployment because the airbags would not have been needed or would not have provided protection even if they had deployed.

Advanced Airbags

Your front airbags have advanced features to help reduce the likelihood of airbag related injuries to smaller occupants.

Your front airbags have advanced features to help reduce the likelihood of airbag related injuries to smaller occupants.

The driver's advanced front airbag system includes a seat position sensor. If

The driver's advanced front airbag system includes a seat position sensor. If the seat is too far forward, the airbag inflates with less force, regardless of the severity of the impact.

The passenger's advanced front airbag system has weight sensors. Although Honda

The passenger's advanced front airbag system has weight sensors. Although Honda recommends against carrying an infant or small child in front, if the sensors detect the weight of a child (up to about 65 lbs or 29 kg), the system will automatically turn off the passenger's front airbag.

Advanced Airbags

If there is a problem with the driver's seat position sensor, the SRS indicator will come on and the airbag will inflate with full (normal) force, regardless of the driver's seating position. For both advanced front airbags to work properly:

• Do not spill any liquid on or under the seats.
• Do not put any object under the passenger’s seat.
• Make sure any objects are positioned properly on the floor. Improperly positioned objects can interfere with the advanced airbag sensors.
• All occupants should sit upright and wear their seat belts properly.
• Do not place any cover over the passenger side dashboard. Make sure the floor mat behind the front passenger's seat is hooked to the floor mat anchor. An improperly placed mat can interfere with the advanced airbag sensors.

    See also:

    How to Refuel
    1. Stop your vehicle with the service station pump on the left side of the vehicle in the rear. 2. Turn off the engine. 3. Pull on the fuel fill door release handle under the lower left corner of ...

    Playing the XM® Radio
    To Play the XM® Radio 1. Press the button to select the XM® radio band (XM1 or XM2). 2. Press and hold the TITLE button to switch between the channel mode and category mode. If you press ...

    Specifications
    Vehicle Specifications *1: 2WD models *2: 4WD models *3: LX models with 4WD *4: Except LX models with 4WD Light Bulbs *5: Not available on all models *3: U.S. LX *4: Except U.S. LX ...