Received a question from a Webcast viewer regarding jammed doors being worked with while they have an undeployed airbag in them.

The questions was what are the mitigations factors for the door airbag and what difference is there when you must cut the wiring harness.

The reality is that a door with an airbag can be jammed and the door airbag could still be undeployed. Door airbags are not the norm for side impact airbags fortunately. Seat-mounted and the roof airbags are the most prevalent. BMW, a few Volvo cars, and some others have them but they are not that prevalent.

There are no significant differences in opening a jammed door with or without an undeployed airbag. If you have a choice and the electrical system is shut down, then you're OK either way; latch attack or hinge attack. If you are working on a jammed door with a live airbag and the battery is still hot for some reason, then a hinge attack puts the rescuer further away from the airbag than a latch attack.

A vertical crush action to set up and open up a jammed door will not deploy a door-mounted airbag.

The only significant operational difference is when totally removing a door with an undeployed airbag in it. When cutting the umbilical cord, respect the airbag inflation zone and remain clear of it. It might be possible to cut or break just the two hinges and not cut the actual cables. The door can be moved around and out of the way but still be cabled to the car.

After a jammed door has been opened and completely removed, place it in the debris pile armrest UP so the airbag is facing up.

Ron M