Kia Carnival Owners Manual

How does the air bag system operate
Safety features of your vehicle / Air bag / How does the air bag system operate

  • Air bags are activated (able to inflate if necessary) only when the ignition switch is turned to the ON or START position.
  • The appropriate air bags inflate instantly in the event of a serious frontal collision or side collision in order 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.
  • Air bag deployment depends on a number of factors including vehicle speed, angles of impact and the density and stiffness of the vehicles or objects which your vehicle hits in the collision. The determining factors are not limited to those mentioned above.
  • 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, side and/or curtain air bags will inflate if the sensing system detects a rollover.
  • When a rollover is detected, side and/or curtain air bags will remain inflated longer to help provide protection from ejection, especially when used in conjunction with the seat belts.
  • In order to help provide protection, the air bags must inflate rapidly. The speed of the 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 life-threatening injuries and is thus a necessary part of the air bag design.
    However, 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 steering wheel or passenger air bag can cause fatal injuries, especially if the occupant is positioned excessively close to the steering wheel or passenger air bag.

Kia Carnival: How does the air bag system operate. WARNING - Airbag inflation WARNING - Airbag inflation

Sit as far back as possible from the steering wheel while still maintaining comfortable control of your vehicle. A distance of at least 10" from your chest to the steering wheel is recommended. Failure to do so can result in airbag inflation injuries to the driver.

Noise and smoke

When inflated, the air bags make a loud noise and leave smoke and powder in the air inside 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 due to the contact of your chest with both the seat belt and the air bag, as well as from breathing the smoke and powder. Open your doors and/or windows as soon as possible after impact in order to reduce discomfort and prevent prolonged exposure to the smoke and powder.

Though smoke and powder are nontoxic, it may cause irritation to the skin (eyes, nose and throat, etc). If this is the case, wash and rinse with cold water immediately and consult a doctor if the symptom persists.

Kia Carnival: How does the air bag system operate. WARNING - Hot components WARNING - Hot components

Do not touch the air bag storage area's internal components immediately after airbag inflation. The air bag related parts in the steering wheel, instrument panel and the roof rails above the front and rear doors are very hot. Hot components can result in burn injuries.

Do not install a child restraint on the front passengers seat

Kia Carnival: How does the air bag system operate. Never place a rear-facing child restraint in the front passengers seat. If the

Never place a rear-facing child restraint in the front passengers seat. If the air bag deploys, it would impact the rear-facing child restraint, causing serious or fatal injury.

In addition, do not place front-facing child restraints in the front passengers seat either. If the front passenger air bag inflates, it could cause serious or fatal injuries to the child.

Kia Carnival: How does the air bag system operate. WARNING - Air bag deployment WARNING - Air bag deployment

When children are seated in the rear outboard seats of a vehicle equipped with side and/or curtain air bags, install the child restraint system as far away from the door side as possible. Inflation of the side and/or curtain air bags could impact the child.


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