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Hyundai Tucson: How does the air bags system operate?

Hyundai Tucson - Fourth generation (NX4) - (2020-2023) - Owner's Manual / Seats & Safety System / Air bag - supplemental restraint system / How does the air bags system operate?

The SRS consists of the following

The SRS consists of the following components:

  1. Driver's front air bag module
  2. Passenger's front air bag module
  3. Side air bag modules
  4.  Curtain air bag modules
  5. Retractor pre-tensioner
  6.  Air bag warning light
  7. SRS control module (SRSCM)/ Rollover sensor
  8.  Front impact sensors
  9. Side impact sensors
  10. Side pressure sensors
  11.  Emergency fastening device system
  12. Occupant classification system
  13.  Seat belt buckle sensor

The SRSCM continually monitors all SRS components while the ignition switch is ON to determine if a crash impact is severe enough to require air bag deployment or pre-tensioner seat belt deployment.

The SRS (Supplemental Restraint System)SRS warning light

The SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) air bag warning light on the instrument panel displays the air bag symbol depicted in the illustration. The system checks the air bag electrical system for malfunctions. The light indicates that there is a potential problem with your air bag system, which could include your side and/or curtain air bags used for rollover protection (if equipped with rollover sensor).

WARNING

If your SRS malfunctions, the air bag may not inflate properly during an accident increasing the risk of serious injury or death.

If any of the following conditions occur, your SRS is malfunctioning:

The light does not turn on for approximately three to six seconds when the Engine Start/Stop button is in the ON position.

  • The light stays on after illuminating for approximately three to six seconds.
  • The light comes on while the vehicle is in motion.
  • The light blinks when the engine is running.

We recommend that an authorized HYUNDAI dealer inspect the SRS as soon as possible if any of these conditions occur.

During a moderate to severe frontal collision, sensors will detect the vehicle's rapid deceleration. If the rate of deceleration is high enough, the control unit will inflate the front air bags, at the time and with the force needed.

The front air bags help protect the driver and front passenger by responding to frontal impacts in which seat belts alone cannot provide adequate restraint. When needed, the side air bags help provide protection in the event of a side impact or rollover by supporting the side upper body area.

  • Air bags are activated (able to inflate if necessary) only when the Engine Start/Stop button is in the ON or START position, and it can be activated within about 3 minutes after the engine is turned off.
  • Air bags inflate in the event of certain frontal or side collisions to help protect the occupants from serious physical injury.
  • There is no single speed at which the air bags will inflate. Generally, air bags are designed to inflate based upon the severity of a collision and its direction.

    These two factors determine whether the sensors produce an electronic deployment/inflation signal.

  • The front air bags will completely inflate and deflate in an instant. It is virtually impossible for you to see the air bags inflate during an accident. It is much more likely that you will simply see the deflated air bags hanging out of their storage compartments after the collision.
  • In addition to inflating in serious side collisions, vehicles equipped with a rollover sensor, side and/or curtain air bags will inflate if the sensing system detects a rollover.

    When a rollover is detected, curtain air bags will remain inflated longer to help provide protection from ejection, especially when used in conjunction with the seat belts. (if equipped with a rollover sensor)

  • To help provide protection, the air bags must inflate rapidly. The speed of air bag inflation is a consequence of extremely short time in which to inflate the air bag between the occupant and the vehicle structures before the occupant impacts those structures. This speed of inflation reduces the risk of serious or lifethreatening injuries and is thus a necessary part of air bag design.

    However, the rapid air bag inflation can also cause injuries which can include facial abrasions, bruises and broken bones because the inflation speed also causes the air bags to expand with a great deal of force.

  • There are even circumstances under which contact with the air bag can cause fatal injuries, especially if the occupant is positioned excessively close to the air bag.

You can take steps to reduce the risk of being injured by an inflating air bag.

The greatest risk is sitting too close to the air bag. An air bag needs about 10 in. (25 cm) of space to inflate. NHTSA recommends that drivers allow at least 10 in. (25 cm) between the center of the steering wheel and the chest.

WARNING

To reduce the risk of serious injury or death from an inflating air bag, take the following precautions:

  • NEVER place a child restraint in the front passenger seat.

    Always properly restrain children under age 13 in the rear seats of the vehicle.

  • Adjust the front passenger's and driver's seats as far to the rear as possible while allowing you to maintain full control of the vehicle.
  • Hold the steering wheel with hands at the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions.
  • Never place anything or anyone between the air bag and the seat occupant.
  • Do not allow the front passenger to place their feet or legs on the dashboard.

Driver's front air bag (1)

When the SRSCM detects a sufficiently

When the SRSCM detects a sufficiently severe impact to the front of the vehicle, it will automatically deploy the front air bags.

Driver's front air bag (2)

Upon deployment, tear seam molded

Upon deployment, tear seam molded directly into the pad cover will separate under pressure from the expansion of the air bags. Further opening of the covers allows full inflation of the air bags.

A fully inflated air bag, in combination with a properly worn seat belt, slows the driver's or the front passenger's forward motion, reducing the risk of head and chest injury.

Driver's front air bag (3)

Passenger's front air bag

Passenger's front air bag

After complete inflation, the air bag

After complete inflation, the air bag immediately starts deflating, enabling the driver to maintain forward visibility and the ability to steer or operate other controls.

WARNING

To prevent objects from becoming dangerous projectiles when the passenger's air bag inflates:

  • Do not install or place any objects (drink holder, CD holder, stickers, etc.) on the front passenger's panel above the glove box where the passenger's air bag is located.
  • Do not install a container of liquid air freshener near the instrument cluster or on the instrument panel surface.

What to expect after an air bag inflates

After a frontal or side air bag inflates, it will deflate very quickly. Air bag inflation will not prevent the driver from seeing out of the windshield or being able to steer. Curtain air bags may remain partially inflated for some time after they deploy.

WARNING

After an air bag inflates, take the following precautions:

  • Open your windows and doors as soon as possible after impact to reduce prolonged exposure to the smoke and powder released by the inflating air bag.
  • Do not touch the air bag storage area's internal components immediately after an air bag has inflated. The parts that come into contact with an inflating air bag may be very hot.
  • Always wash exposed skin areas thoroughly with cold water and mild soap.
  • We recommend that an authorized HYUNDAI dealer replace the air bag immediately after deployment. Air bags are designed to be used only once.

Noise and smoke from inflating air bag

When the air bags inflate, they make a loud noise and may produce smoke and powder in the air inside of the vehicle.

This is normal and is a result of the ignition of the air bag inflator. After the air bag inflates, you may feel substantial discomfort in breathing because of the contact of your chest with both the seat belt and the air bag, as well as from breathing the smoke and powder. The powder may aggravate asthma for some people. If you experience breathing problems after an air bag deployment, seek medical attention immediately.

Though the smoke and powder are nontoxic, they may cause irritation to the skin, eyes, nose, throat, etc. If this is the case, wash and rinse with cold water immediately and seek medical attention if the symptoms persist.

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