Sewell Ford - Passenger airbag, problem with the 2012 Ford F150

Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2012 at 2:26pm CDT by 5ae93e76

Product: 2012 Ford F-150 Pickup

Company: Sewell Ford

Location: ODESSA, TX, US

Category: Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Vehicles

Passenger airbag, problem with the 2012 Ford F150 Super Cab pickup, with XLT trim, and Eco-Boost engine. This problem may also exist in other 2012 Ford 150 pickups.

The passenger airbag system will display the ?passenger airbag off? light for light weight adult passengers, thereby turning off all 3 air-bags for the front seat passenger (front, side, and curtain). This happens with adults weighing approximately 132+ pounds or below. At 150 pounds and above, the system works properly. This problem is intermittent, that is it may be off for periods of time, and then on for periods of time. These times may vary from anywhere from 5 minutes to one hour or more. This problem was not only present in my truck, but an identical brand-new truck, which was brought up for testing to verify that the problem was not just my vehicle, but was a system design problem. The Ford repair shop at Sewell Ford ran through the diagnostic tests and found no problems detected. Subsequently, after a written complaint to Ford, a field service engineer came out and again substantiated that their system test read normal function. He stated that the system passed government standards, and there was nothing to be done, and that there was no problem with the system. If this is the case, then according to the Ford manual, my wife must ride in the rear seat for safety.

It was pointed out to Sewell Ford repair team as also to the field service at engineer that this problem only occurred in this vehicle model. The loaner car, which was a Ford Escape SUV 2011 model, had no such problems. We haven't had this problem in any other vehicle. (This problem didn't show up in test drives, nor in the checkout drive of this truck after purchase.) The reason for my complaint is that my wife only weights 104 pounds(5'-5? tall, slim), and as a result, the system goes intermittently on and off. Testing the system by adding 28 pounds of dead weight to seat itself bringing the weight to 132 pounds, still resulted intermittent disarming of the passenger air-bag system. Since the 28 pounds of dead weight was added directly to seat itself, this would represent more than a personal weighing 132 pounds with a weight distributed to seat and the feet on the floor.

Ford refuses of knowledge there is a problem in the system. My advise is that if you are considering buying this vehicle or other Ford F-150s, that, you drive it for at least an hour, with a lightest weight adult passenger you anticipate sitting in the front seat. It is interesting to note that a significant percentage of the Olympic athlete's would not be able to ride the safely in the front seat of this Ford F-150. I feel there is an engineering design problem with this system that makes it unsafe for light weight adult passengers.

Temporary fix found:

So, that I would be able to have my wife riding in the front passenger seat safely, I applied the following temporary fix.

With the passenger seat fully back, two rafting lash-down belts were wrapped around the very front and very back of the seat, running under the frame and over the top of the seat, and then pulled tightly. This added ?apparent? weight, caused a system to work properly thereafter. The strain gauges are installed on the inboard side of the passenger front seat lower frame. By wrapping the seat and compressing the seat to the frame, it added the necessary pressures to indicate an adult was sitting in the seat, when an adult was present. When no adult was actually present, the system would indicate and ?Passenger Airbag Off? light.

Other than this problem, this is a great truck! Now that I have found a work-around, we can continue to use it. The belts do not interfere with passenger comfort. Children should still ride in the rear seat!


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