Suppose the airbag light on your car is on. In that case, the most likely cause is a defective Passenger Occupancy Mat (also called Passenger Sensor, Passenger Seat Sensor, Passenger Weight Sensor, Occupant Detection Sensor, Airbag Weight Sensor, OCS sensor, ODS sensor, FR sensor).
A sensor mounted in the front passenger seat senses when someone is sitting in the passenger seat. It is one of the most common problems with the airbag systems in most cars, including Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Honda, Audi, Toyota, Chevy, Subaru, Nissan, VW, etc.
Learn what the passenger seat sensor does. Before bypassing the passenger seat sensor, use an airbag scanner to verify that the airbag light is due to the seat weight sensor. If yes, call your dealer to check for a recall for these problems. Most car manufacturers will replace the passenger seat sensor free of charge even if they are out of warranty. Check with your local dealer.
Airbag light illuminated on the dash and a message on the screen about a malfunction of the restraint system.
- Airbag light on
- The airbag light won’t go off.
- Message: Restraint system defective
- Front Pass. Restraint System Fault
- Restraint Sys. Malfunction/Defective
- Fault in Pass. Restraint System Affecting Airbag
What is a Passenger Occupancy Sensor?
A Passenger Occupancy Sensor, also known as a Weight Sensor, Seat Mat, or Passenger Occupancy Mat, is installed under the seat cushion.
Its purpose is to signal to the airbag module if an adult sits in the passenger seat. This will allow the airbag module to deploy the passenger airbag in case of an accident. It is also used to detect if a child or car seat is on the front passenger and not to deploy the airbags since it can injure the child if an airbag is deployed.
To verify that the problem is the passenger seat mat, you can use an airbag scanner to read the fault codes via the diagnostic port under the dashboard on the driver’s side. The YOUCANIC Full System Scanner is a powerful OBD-II scanner that can read and clear fault codes through every control module of your vehicle.
What is a Seat Belt Bypass Emulator?
A passenger seat mat bypass simulates an adult sitting on the seat, ensuring that the airbag always deploys in an accident. The airbag control unit (SRS) will treat the passenger seat as if they are always occupied by an adult, even if a child or no one is sitting there.
The emulator sends the same signal to an airbag control unit as that sent by a mat while the passenger is present. Passenger mat bypass simulates that your passenger seat is occupied. Therefore, the passenger airbag on the passenger side will deploy in case of an accident, even when nobody is sitting in the passenger seat.
Here are a few important facts about installing a passenger sensor bypass.
- The passenger airbag will always deploy in case of an accident, even if no one is sitting or a child is in the front passenger seat.
- It may be illegal to modify the restraint system. Check the laws in your country.
- Do not have children’s seats on the front passenger seat. Front passenger airbags will deploy if you get in an accident, and it can injure your child.
- If you sell your car, you should disclose if you have installed a passenger seat mat bypass to the buyer.
How does the airbag module “see” the bypass emulator?
- Seat Status: Occupied
- Seatbelt Status: Fastened
- Seat Occupancy Sensor: Installed, Working
Once the passenger occupancy sensor bypass is installed, you may notice the seat belt reminder chime. This is a sign that the installation of the bypass went well. The car detects the presence of an adult in the passenger seat. To disable the seat belt warning, you will need to install a seat belt warning emulator.
Even after installing a passenger seat bypass, which is not recommended, the airbag light may stay on. You will need to use an airbag scanner, like the YOUCANIC Full System Scanner, to read and, if needed, clear the codes via the OBD2 port under the dashboard.
We hope you find the Airbag Light On Due to Faulty Passenger Seat Mat Occupancy Weight Sensor guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your vehicle.
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