UPDATED 12/31/19 GM Issues a Recall of the Passenger Presence Sensor! - Page 69 - Saturn Sky Forums: Saturn Sky Forum
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post #1021 of 1050 (permalink) Old 11-01-2019, 06:32 PM
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I was wondering whether he meant the gator or me.
I believe he was actually talking about me.... Perhaps we need some clarification.
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post #1022 of 1050 (permalink) Old 11-04-2019, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by marlboromike View Post
I believe he was actually talking about me.... Perhaps we need some clarification.
Clarification: I was wondering if you meant the gator or me. ("Tastes like chicken")


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post #1023 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 03:17 PM
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Hey all! Read thru a lot of the stuff in this thread. I've had my Sky for a few months and the dreaded AIRBAG light has just come on. Upon scanning it myself, it is the PPS, which apparently was already repaired under recall about 1.5 years/ 5K miles ago. Been fighting with two dealerships to get it fixed under warranty, but they're all saying too bad, it has a year warranty and its $1000 to replace it. BULLSH&T!!!

I have a GM rep giving me a call tomorrow about this, hopefully I can coax him into at least paying for half. Really sad that this fix didn't even last more than 5K miles on a barely used car.

Has anyone had any success getting it fixed for a second time?

What are my options as far as a repair? A used seat? the "airbag360" emulator? Or a new PPS pad (seems to be $400 online)?
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post #1024 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jonnythrice View Post
Hey all! Read thru a lot of the stuff in this thread. I've had my Sky for a few months and the dreaded AIRBAG light has just come on. Upon scanning it myself, it is the PPS, which apparently was already repaired under recall about 1.5 years/ 5K miles ago. Been fighting with two dealerships to get it fixed under warranty, but they're all saying too bad, it has a year warranty and its $1000 to replace it. BULLSH&T!!!

I have a GM rep giving me a call tomorrow about this, hopefully I can coax him into at least paying for half. Really sad that this fix didn't even last more than 5K miles on a barely used car.

Has anyone had any success getting it fixed for a second time?

What are my options as far as a repair? A used seat? the "airbag360" emulator? Or a new PPS pad (seems to be $400 online)?
Do you know how they fixed it the first time? Did they replace a failed sensor or did they put the reinforcement tape on the existing sensor? I'm betting it is the latter as we have been seeing this. That fix is only delaying an already damaged part from failing completely.

PLEASE be sure to file a complaint with the NHTSA as outlined in the first post of this (I think. It's been a couple years.) to track it. I think it's time I start researching for a new petition.

EDIT: Re-read the first post and no, there isn't a link to NHTSA on that.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/

That's the link to file a complaint with NHTSA.


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Last edited by Robotech; 12-13-2019 at 05:46 PM.
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post #1025 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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12/13/2019 Update:
Round 2

It looks like we may need to go through this again though this time may not be nearly as difficult to research yet will probably be harder to get a result.

In the original paper I wrote for this, I documented how this failure could occur and expressed our recall should be like the Cadillac recall and all PPS mats should be replaced. As you know, this was not the case. An active PPS fault needed to be occurring for a full replacement. If there was no fault, GM would put the reinforcing tape on the existing mat and call it good.

The problem we are seeing is that many of these "tape only fixes" are failing at or just past the 1 year warranty period of the recall repair. It is my hypothesis that these mats were already "damaged" when the tape was applied. By damaged I mean the mat 3D matrix of sensors had already started to tear but that the tear was not big enough to break the printed circuit that causes the fault. Once the mat is damaged in this way though, use of the seat WILL allow the tear to lengthen until it does eventually result in a PPS mat failure. The "tape fix", I believe, would not prevent this, only lengthen the time it takes to happen.

GM cannot tell if a mat is damaged unless the fault is active OR to tear apart the mat and inspect the 3D matrix within it. Of course doing the latter would render the mat unusable so only the active PPS mat fault method was used. It is my belief that ANY car that got only the "tape fix" should be recalled again and have a new mat installed and that, moving forward, the recall solution repair should only be replacing the existing mat, whether or not the PPS error is active or not, with a new mat.

So please, ANYONE who has taken their car in without the airbag light being on to have the PPS mat recall performed but who then later had the airbag light come on again only to find out their PPS mat has now failed, please go to the NHTSA complaint site (link below) and register a complaint. I will start going through that database next week to collect complaint counts. Thank you.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/
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post #1026 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
Do you know how they fixed it the first time? Did they replace a failed sensor or did they put the reinforcement tape on the existing sensor? I'm betting it is the latter as we have been seeing this. That fix is only delaying an already damaged part from failing completely.

PLEASE be sure to file a complaint with the NHTSA as outlined in the first post of this (I think. It's been a couple years.) to track it. I think it's time I start researching for a new petition.

EDIT: Re-read the first post and no, there isn't a link to NHTSA on that.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/

That's the link to file a complaint with NHTSA.

I'm not exactly sure if they replaced the mat or just the tape fix (I just bought the car a few months ago) so I will check it out.

I JUST got off the phone with a GM rep to complain about this. They won't budge, and keep telling me too bad, its covered under a 1-year warranty, like all other GM parts blah blah blah.

And yessir, I DID file a complaint earlier today!


Back to my original question, how can I fix it myself? emulator, used seat (which will probably fail) or a brand new replacement PPS?
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post #1027 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 08:17 AM
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The used seat may or may not fail. Not all of them do. My 2.4 has 105k miles with no problem. A replacement sensor is the easiest and surest and is not hard to change yourself. The emulator doesn't work, or at least it hasn't worked for most who have tried it.

Several of our European members have sent their airbag controller to a German company that reprograms it to keep the passenger airbag on all of the time.

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post #1028 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 09:54 AM
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Certainly if you modify the car to have the airbag on constantly there should be a warning label installed, and a future owner should be notified. And there could be problems selling the car. I expect that anyone choosing that option is adult enough to understand the consequences.

That said, the only risk of life or injury is if someone places a rear-facing child seat there. So within reason it is a safe option.

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post #1029 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RedOne07 View Post
The company that reprograms your system clearly tells you one should get if fixed asap. I guess the are very well aware of the physical and legal risks involved when tampering with an important safety device.

I also wonder what would happen, after programming, when there is a fault in the passenger airbag system.
I did not see that warning on their website, but maybe my translation wasn't so good.

A good question, and it comes down to how reliable the company doing the programming is. Assuming that they do their job properly, a fault in the system after programming would have the same result as a fault before: Lighting the airbag light and delivering a message to the DIC. They say that all they do is remove the function of the PPS, but again that comes down to their reliability.

One distinct effect of the programming is that the Passenger Airbag On or Off indicator no longer functions, and does not show either condition.

Clearly the best solution is to replace the sensor, and of course to submit a complaint to NHTSA in any case.

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post #1030 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 05:37 PM
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Be aware that might have enormous financial/physical/emotional consequences in case of an accident, even after you sold the car. And of course one of your loved ones could get severely injured.

I was lucky/smart/afraid/right enough to buy a few new seat cushions including sensor before the recall. Bought it from a European Opel parts dealer and only paid (iirc) 90 USD each.

Oh do you know the part number and/or place to buy the seat cushion? That seems like a good price!
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post #1031 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 12:12 PM
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That said, the only risk of life or injury is if someone places a rear-facing child seat there. So within reason it is a safe option.
Or small person who would be under the weight limit.

I am a GM Engineer.

I do not claim to be a GM representative, all of my postings are my own interpretation and personal opinions.

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post #1032 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 12:49 PM
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Or small person who would be under the weight limit.
I have heard that stated before and have never understood the actual risk. I understand a short driver, who actually sits closer to the steering wheel airbag, is statistically more likely to be killed by the airbag than saved by it.

What is the rationale behind a light person sitting in the normal seating position being at risk?

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post #1033 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RedOne07 View Post
Because seat belt and airbags are not designed for small people and kids.



. . . . The body structure of a young child is
quite unlike that of an adult or older child,
for whom the safety belts are designed.
A young child’s hip bones are still so
small that the vehicle’s regular safety belt
may not remain low on the hip bones, as
it should. Instead, it may settle up around
the child’s abdomen. In a crash, the belt
would apply force on a body area that
is unprotected by any bony structure.
This alone could cause serious or fatal
injuries. Young children always should be
secured in appropriate child restraints. . . . . . .

. . . . .A child in a rear-facing child restraint can
be seriously injured or killed if the right
front passenger’s airbag inflates. This is
because the back of the rear-facing child
restraint would be very close to the
inflating airbag. Be sure the airbag is off
before using a rear-facing child restraint
in the right front seat position. . . . . .


. . . . and 50 more pages on the seatbelts / airbags / restraint system in the owners manual
Neither of those descriptions covers a small person and an airbag when the person is facing forward.

I guess I have 50 pages of reading to do.

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post #1034 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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I believe it has to do with the amount of mass to absorb the impact of a fast deployed air bag and where a lighter...and most likely shorter...person would make contact with the airbag versus a larger person.

I'm sure @davhamm will come back with something far more concrete though. LOL


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post #1035 of 1050 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
I believe it has to do with the amount of mass to absorb the impact of a fast deployed air bag and where a lighter...and most likely shorter...person would make contact with the airbag versus a larger person.

I'm sure @davhamm will come back with something far more concrete though. LOL
I am hoping he will, because it doesn't make sense to me.

The only study I have found cites proximity to the airbag as a contributor to injury, the primary at-risk group being short drivers. That study indicated that drivers over 6-3 are more likely to be injured along with those under 4-11. There was a specific comment that weight had no effect.

It makes perfect sense that if someone is too small to be properly restrained by the seat belt they are more likely to be thrown forward and therefore be injured by the airbag. But they would also be thrown forward into the dashboard or windscreen, or injured as described by the excerpt from the owners manual, if the airbag was disabled.

Here is the article:

Quote:
Air Bag Injury Risk Linked to Height
Study: Air Bags May Increase Risk of Injury in Crash for Short, Tall Passengers

By Miranda Hitti
FROM THE WEBMD ARCHIVES
May 16, 2007 -- In a crash, automobile air bags may raise the odds of serious injury for short or tall front-seat passengers, a new study shows.

The study comes from Craig Newgard, MD, of Oregon Health & Science University. He's due to present his findings Friday in Chicago at the annual meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

Newgard analyzed injury statistics for 1995-2005 from a motor vehicle crash database.

The database shows that during the years studied, 52,552 drivers and 14,732 passengers were involved in crashes.

Most of those people weren't seriously injured, but 2.5% of the drivers and 2.6% of the passengers sustained serious injuries to any part of the body.

Newgard reviewed data on the drivers' and passengers' height and weight, air bags, and 10 factors about the crash.

He found that air bags were "modestly protective" for front-seat passengers of medium height, which he defined as being between 5 foot 3 inches tall to 5 foot 11 inches tall.

However, Newgard writes that "air bags appear to increase the risk of injury for large- and small-stature adults."

Newgard calculates that for drivers taller than 6 foot 3 inches, air bags were associated with a 5% greater risk of serious injury. He also estimates that for drivers shorter than 4 foot 11 inches, air bags were associated with a 4% increase in the risk of serious injury.

Weight didn't affect the results, Newgard notes.

Distance From Air Bag
Newgard's study doesn't provide information on how far the drivers and passengers were seated from the air bags in the crashes.

Distance from the air bag is the most important factor in preventing air bag injuries, according to background information on the web site of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

"There is no precise height and weight at which an individual is considered to be at risk" from air bags, says the NHTSA. "The primary determinant as to whether an individual will be injured by a deploying air bag is the distance from which the individual is seated from the air bag."

The NHTSA notes that there is no precise distance guaranteed to avoid air bag injury since all air bags are unique and deploy with different forces.

The NHTSA's advice:

Wear your seatbelt.
Sit as far from the air bag as possible to allow the air bag to deploy.
Short drivers should move the driver's seat back and tilt the seat back slightly to allow space between the driver's chest and the steering wheel.
Drivers should refrain from leaning forward.
To the extent possible, drivers should hold steering wheels from the side, so that their arms aren't in the way of the air bag.

John
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