Changing Air Bag Seats for non Air Bag Seats

Submitted: Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 15:41
ThreadID: 136221 Views:745 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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Does anyone have experience in changing their standard Prado Seats (Air Bag) for after market seats (Recaro / SAAS) etc.

Legal issues?? Insurance???

Thanks

Toddy
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Reply By: Zippo - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 15:59

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 15:59
Legal issues is what I would expect, and insurance issues follow on from that. If the vehicle requires air-bag seats per ADR's then you are heading for trouble on both fronts.

(The compliance plate for your Prado *should* list the ADR's that apply, although that seems to have gone by the board since you'd need an A4 plate nowadays).

Check the ADR's, but I don't fancy your chances.
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Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 21:26

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 21:26
The applicable ADR numbers have not been required to be shown on any compliance plate where compliance with the 3rd edition ADR's apply, or for vehicles manufactured after 01/07/1987. The only way that you can now tell if an ADR applies is to read the full 3rd edition ADR's.

It is a requirement in most states, and particularly Queensland, that no safety feature of the vehicle be removed or down graded and to do so makes the vehicle non compliant or no longer roadworthy.

I can understand any engineer being reluctant to certify such a modification as he could be held responsible (partly or fully) should the fitting of non standard seats result in the SRS Air Bags firing in a slightly different direction or area result in some personal injury or death.

Regards
Athol
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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 16:19

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 16:19
Recaro etc make airbag compatible seats.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 16:21

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 16:21
It wouldnt be a go on many fronts, third party insurance, also good reason for your Comprehensive insurer to knock back your claim and the vehicle definitely wouldn't comply with the safety features removed. I would rather have the extra safety than more comfort, especially for my front seat passenger. Maybe there is a better seat in a higher Prado model that you can fit. Michael
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Follow Up By: Toddy S - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 16:47

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 16:47
Drivers Seat is Rooted
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 17:24

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 17:24
What about getting your seat retrimmed at a good motor trimmer! A few hundred dollars would fix your problem! Michael
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Reply By: RobAck - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 16:43

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 16:43
We asked all the 4x4 insurers about coverage in making this change and their predictable reply was you have to prove it's legal. I spoke to my certified practicing engineers and they both said that unless they can get access to the airbag control software they have no way of "legally" certifying any change.

There is a distinct difference between someone supplying/making a seat with side airbags and it being compliant under the ADR's. Put simply if the manufacturer will not warrant it there is a good chance an insurer will not cover it. The bottom line is to be registrable your vehicle has to comply with the ADR's on its compliance plate.

The issue in its simplest sense is "would your vehicle manufacturer warrant the change in specification?"Or is there a qualified CPE in the country prepared to take the risk in doing the certification?

We have looked long and hard at this to the point where last week we were talking to a prominent supplier of 4WD accessories about fitting out a LC200. They suggested Recaros and I said yes. But only if you can give me a legally binding document that if something does go wrong I can take legal action against them

Still waiting

Whilst the above may be a PITA to the reader I do recognise there are lots of 4WD around with after market seats fitted. The majority we have seen would be LC 70 series and pre OE fitment of side airbags. So technically I guess they are legal. But I have seen enough other 4WD with replacement seats that just may be living in a very grey area of the market

Rob
AnswerID: 616694

Follow Up By: RMD - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 17:55

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 17:55
I can't see why an engineer needs access to the airbag control module or software. It simply fires any airbag connected to it when the need arises.
If changing to a seat without an airbag then the vehicle is unroadworthy.
If crashed and the severity is high you may die where the airbag may save you.
That is not a problem, 'cos you don't know about it, or if left vegetated for the rest of life, the family may not think it was a good idea when the related insurances and TAC is reduced or denied.
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 22:27

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 22:27
I have a replacement drivers seat.
I had to choose a model that comes with an airbag as the oe seat had one. No choise, otherwise you are illegal and no company(ARB, TJM, etc) will install it.
I had a compliance plate as well.
The airbag side is easy, it just plugs into the cars existing airbag cable.
AnswerID: 616706

Reply By: RobAck - Wednesday, Feb 07, 2018 at 13:21

Wednesday, Feb 07, 2018 at 13:21
Just had a chat to one of our auto trimmers here in Adelaide and I recommend you try and find one where ever you are. The guys here also sell Recaro and Stratos seats and a really good Recaro is around $4-7k fitted with a side airbag.

Whereas you can get a set retried and reshaped for a heck of a lot less including new trim so give that a go

Rob
AnswerID: 616744

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