Results of the Survey on the Use of Passenger Air Bag On-Off Switches

Even though passenger air bags have saved over 2,375 lives as of July 1, 2003, there are some people who should not be exposed to an air bag deployment. In May 1995, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a Final Rule for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, allowing manufacturers to install an on-off switch for the passenger air bag in vehicles that cannot accommodate a rear-facing child safety seat anywhere except in the front seat: e.g., pickup trucks and cars either with no rear seat or with rear seats too small to accommodate rear facing child safety seats. In November 1997, NHTSA issued another Final Rule enabling owners of any vehicle to obtain, at their own expense, an aftermarket on-off switch for their passenger air bag if they transport people in certain high-risk groups.  Click here to read other important information regarding this subject.