Chevrolet Equinox Owners Manual

Airbag System
Seats andRestraints / Airbag System

The vehicle has the following airbags:

A frontal airbag for the driver.
A frontal airbag for the right front passenger.
A seat-mounted side impact airbag for the driver.
A seat-mounted side impact airbag for the right front
passenger.
A roof-rail airbag for the driver and the passenger seated directly behind the driver.
A roof-rail airbag for the right front passenger and the passenger seated directly behind the right front passenger.

All of the airbags in the vehicle will have the word AIRBAG embossed in the trim or on an attached label near the deployment opening.

For frontal airbags, the word AIRBAG will appear on the middle part of the steering wheel for the driver and on the instrument panel for the right front passenger.

With seat-mounted side impact airbags, the word AIRBAG will appear on the side of the seatback closest to the door.

With roof-rail airbags, the word AIRBAG will appear along the trim.

Airbags are designed to supplement the protection provided by safety belts. Even though today's airbags are also designed to help reduce the risk of injury from the force of an inflating bag, all airbags must inflate very quickly to do their job.

Here are the most important things to know about the airbag system:

WARNING

You can be severely injured or killed in a crash if you are not wearing your safety belt, even with airbags. Airbags are designed to work with safety belts, not replace them. Also, airbags are not designed to inflate in every crash. In some crashes safety belts are the only restraint.

Wearing your safety belt during a crash helps reduce the chance of hitting things inside the vehicle or being ejected from it. Airbags are supplemental restraints to the safety belts. Everyone in the vehicle should wear a safety belt properly, whether or not there is an airbag for that person.

WARNING

Because airbags inflate with great force and faster than the blink of an eye, anyone who is up against, or very close to any airbag when it inflates can be seriously injured or killed. Do not sit unnecessarily close to any airbag, as you would be if sitting on the edge of the seat or leaning forward. Safety belts help keep you in position before and during a crash. Always wear a safety belt, even with airbags. The driver should sit as far back as possible while still maintaining control of the vehicle.

Occupants should not lean on or sleep against the door or side windows in seating positions with seat-mounted side impact airbags and/or roof-rail airbags.

WARNING

Children who are up against, or very close to, any airbag when it inflates can be seriously injured or killed. Airbags plus lap-shoulder belts offer protection for adults and older children, but not for young children and infants.

Neither the vehicle's safety belt system nor its airbag system is designed for them. Young children and infants need the protection that a child restraint system can provide. Always secure children properly in the vehicle. To read how.

Chevrolet Equinox: Airbag System. There is an airbag readiness light on the instrument panel cluster, which shows

There is an airbag readiness light on the instrument panel cluster, which shows the airbag symbol.

The system checks the airbag electrical system for malfunctions.

The light tells you if there is an electrical problem.

Where Are the Airbags?

Chevrolet Equinox: Airbag System. The driver frontal airbag is in the middle of the steering wheel.

The driver frontal airbag is in the middle of the steering wheel.

Chevrolet Equinox: Airbag System. The right front passenger frontal airbag is in the instrument panel on the passenger

The right front passenger frontal airbag is in the instrument panel on the passenger side.

Chevrolet Equinox: Airbag System. Driver Side Shown, Passenger Side Similar

Driver Side Shown, Passenger Side Similar

The seat-mounted side impact airbags for the driver and right front passenger are in the side of the seatbacks closest to the door.

Chevrolet Equinox: Airbag System. Driver Side Shown, Passenger Side Similar

Driver Side Shown, Passenger Side Similar

The roof-rail airbags for the driver, right front passenger, and second row outboard passengers are in the ceiling above the side windows.

WARNING

If something is between an occupant and an airbag, the airbag might not inflate properly or it might force the object into that person causing severe injury or even death. The path of an inflating airbag must be kept clear. Do not put anything between an occupant and an airbag, and do not attach or put anything on the steering wheel hub or on or near any other airbag covering.

Do not use seat accessories that block the inflation path of a seat-mounted side impact airbag.

Never secure anything to the roof of a vehicle with roof-rail airbags by routing a rope or tie down through any door or window opening. If you do, the path of an inflating roof-rail airbag will be blocked.

When Should an Airbag Inflate?

Frontal airbags are designed to inflate in moderate to severe frontal or near-frontal crashes to help reduce the potential for severe injuries mainly to the driver's or right front passenger's head and chest.

However, they are only designed to inflate if the impact exceeds a predetermined deployment threshold. Deployment thresholds are used to predict how severe a crash is likely to be in time for the airbags to inflate and help restrain the occupants.

Whether the frontal airbags will or should deploy is not based on how fast your vehicle is traveling.

It depends largely on what you hit, the direction of the impact, and how quickly your vehicle slows down.

Frontal airbags may inflate at different crash speeds. For example:

If the vehicle hits a stationary object, the airbags could inflate at a different crash speed than if the vehicle hits a moving object.
If the vehicle hits an object that deforms, the airbags could inflate at a different crash speed than if the vehicle hits an object that does not deform.
If the vehicle hits a narrow object (like a pole), the airbags could inflate at a different crash speed than if the vehicle hits a wide object (like a wall).
If the vehicle goes into an object at an angle, the airbags could inflate at a different crash speed than if the vehicle goes straight into the object.

Thresholds can also vary with specific vehicle design.

Frontal airbags are not intended to inflate during vehicle rollovers, rear impacts, or in many side impacts.

In addition, the vehicle has dual-stage frontal airbags.

Dual-stage airbags adjust the restraint according to crash severity.

The vehicle has electronic frontal sensors, which help the sensing system distinguish between a moderate frontal impact and a more severe frontal impact. For moderate frontal impacts, dual-stage airbags inflate at a level less than full deployment. For more severe frontal impacts, full deployment occurs.

The vehicle has seat-mounted side impact and roof-rail airbags.

Seat-mounted side impact and roof-rail airbags are intended to inflate in moderate to severe side crashes. In addition, these roof-rail airbags are intended to inflate during a rollover or in a severe frontal impact. Seat-mounted side impact and roof-rail airbags will inflate if the crash severity is above the system's designed threshold level. The threshold level can vary with specific vehicle design.

Seat-mounted side impact airbags are not intended to inflate in frontal impacts, near-frontal impacts, rollovers, or rear impacts. Roof-rail airbags are not intended to inflate in rear impacts. A seat-mounted side impact airbag is intended to deploy on the side of the vehicle that is struck. Both roof-rail airbags will deploy when either side of the vehicle is struck, or if the sensing system predicts that the vehicle is about to roll over, or in a severe frontal impact.

In any particular crash, no one can say whether an airbag should have inflated simply because of the damage to a vehicle or because of what the repair costs were. For frontal airbags, inflation is determined by what the vehicle hits, the angle of the impact, and how quickly the vehicle slows down. For seat-mounted side impact and roof-rail airbags, deployment is determined by the location and severity of the side impact. In a rollover event, roof-rail airbag deployment is determined by the direction of the roll.

What Makes an Airbag Inflate?

In a deployment event, the sensing system sends an electrical signal triggering a release of gas from the inflator. Gas from the inflator fills the airbag causing the bag to break out of the cover. The inflator, the airbag, and related hardware are all part of the airbag module.

For airbag location.

How Does an Airbag Restrain?

IIn moderate to severe frontal or near frontal collisions, even belted occupants can contact the steering wheel or the instrument panel. In moderate to severe side collisions, even belted occupants can contact the inside of the vehicle.

Airbags supplement the protection provided by safety belts. Frontal airbags distribute the force of the impact more evenly over the occupant's upper body, stopping the occupant more gradually. Seatmounted side impact and roof-rail airbags distribute the force of the impact more evenly over the occupant's upper body.

Rollover capable roof-rail airbags are designed to help contain the head and chest of occupants in the outboard seating positions in the first and second rows. The rollover capable roof-rail airbags are designed to help reduce the risk of full or partial ejection in rollover events, although no system can prevent all such ejections.

But airbags would not help in many types of collisions, primarily because the occupant's motion is not toward those airbags.

Airbags should never be regarded as anything more than a supplement to safety belts.

What Will You See after an Airbag Inflates?

After the frontal airbags and seat-mounted side impact airbags inflate, they quickly deflate, so quickly that some people may not even realize an airbag inflated.

Roof-rail airbags may still be at least partially inflated for some time after they inflate. Some components of the airbag module may be hot for several minutes. For location of the airbags.

The parts of the airbag that come into contact with you may be warm, but not too hot to touch. There may be some smoke and dust coming from the vents in the deflated airbags. Airbag inflation does not prevent the driver from seeing out of the windshield or being able to steer the vehicle, nor does it prevent people from leaving the vehicle.

WARNING

When an airbag inflates, there may be dust in the air. This dust could cause breathing problems for people with a history of asthma or other breathing trouble.

To avoid this, everyone in the vehicle should get out as soon as it is safe to do so. If you have breathing problems but cannot get out of the vehicle after an airbag inflates, then get fresh air by opening a window or a door.

If you experience breathing problems following an airbag deployment, you should seek medical attention.

The vehicle has a feature that may automatically unlock the doors, turn the interior lamps on, turn the hazard warning flashers on, and shut off the fuel system after the airbags inflate. You can lock the doors, turn the interior lamps off, and turn the hazard warning flashers off by using the controls for those features.

WARNING

A crash severe enough to inflate the airbags may have also damaged important functions in the vehicle, such as the fuel system, brake and steering systems, etc. Even if the vehicle appears to be drivable after a moderate crash, there may be concealed damage that could make it difficult to safely operate the vehicle.

Use caution if you should attempt to restart the engine after a crash has occurred.

In many crashes severe enough to inflate the airbag, windshields are broken by vehicle deformation.

Additional windshield breakage may also occur from the front outboard passenger airbag.

Airbags are designed to inflate only once. After an airbag inflates, you will need some new parts for the airbag system.

If you do not get them, the airbag system will not be there to help protect you in another crash. A new system will include airbag modules and possibly other parts. The service manual for the vehicle covers the need to replace other parts.
The vehicle has a crash sensing and diagnostic module which records information after a crash.
Let only qualified technicians work on the airbag systems.

Improper service can mean that an airbag system will not work properly. See your dealer for service.

Passenger Sensing System

The vehicle has a passenger sensing system for the right front passenger position. The passenger airbag status indicator will be visible on the overhead console when the vehicle is started.

Chevrolet Equinox: Airbag System. United States

United States

Chevrolet Equinox: Airbag System. Canada

Canada

The words ON and OFF, or the symbol for on and off, are visible during the system check. If you are using remote start, if equipped, to start the vehicle from a distance, you may not see the system check.

When the system check is complete, either the word ON or OFF, or the symbol for on or off, will be visible.

The passenger sensing system turns off the right front passenger frontal airbag under certain conditions. The driver airbag, seat-mounted side impact airbags and the roof-rail airbags are not affected by the passenger sensing system.

The passenger sensing system works with sensors that are part of the right front passenger seat. The sensors are designed to detect the presence of a properly-seated occupant and determine if the right front passenger frontal airbag should be enabled (may inflate) or not.

According to accident statistics, children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the correct child restraint for their weight and size.

We recommend that children be secured in a rear seat, including: an infant or a child riding in a rear-facing child restraint; a child riding in a forward-facing child seat; an older child riding in a booster seat; and children, who are large enough, using safety belts.

A label on the sun visor says, Never put a rear-facing child seat in the front. This is because the risk to the rear-facing child is so great, if the airbag deploys.

WARNING

A child in a rear-facing child restraint can be seriously injured or killed if the right front passenger airbag inflates. This is because the back of the rear-facing child restraint would be very close to the inflating airbag. A child in a forward-facing child restraint can be seriously injured or killed if the right front passenger airbag inflates and the passenger seat is in a forward position.

Even if the passenger sensing system has turned off the right front passenger frontal airbag, no system is fail-safe. No one can guarantee that an airbag will not deploy under some unusual circumstance, even though the airbag is turned off.

Secure rear-facing child restraints in a rear seat, even if the airbag is off. If you secure a forward-facing child restraint in the right front seat, always move the front passenger seat as far back as it will go. It is better to secure the child restraint in a rear seat.

The passenger sensing system is designed to turn off the right front passenger frontal airbag if:

The right front passenger seat is unoccupied.
The system determines that an infant is present in a child restraint.
A right front passenger takes his/her weight off of the seat for a period of time.
There is a critical problem with the airbag system or the passenger sensing system.

When the passenger sensing system has turned off the right front passenger frontal airbag, the off indicator will light and stay lit to remind you that the airbag is off.

The passenger sensing system is designed to turn on (may inflate) the right front passenger frontal airbag anytime the system senses that a person of adult size is sitting properly in the right front passenger seat.When the passenger sensing system has allowed the airbag to be enabled, the on indicator will light and stay lit to remind you that the airbag is active.

For some children, including children in child restraints, and for very small adults, the passenger sensing system may or may not turn off the right front passenger frontal airbag, depending upon the persons seating posture and body build. Everyone in the vehicle who has outgrown child restraints should wear a safety belt properly whether or not there is an airbag for that person.

WARNING

If the airbag readiness light ever comes on and stays on, it means that something may be wrong with the airbag system. To help avoid injury to yourself or others, have the vehicle serviced right way.

If the On Indicator is Lit for a Child Restraint

If a child restraint has been installed and the on indicator is lit:

1. Turn the vehicle off.
2. Remove the child restraint from the vehicle.
3. Remove any additional items from the seat such as blankets, cushions, seat covers, seat heaters, or seat massagers.
4. Reinstall the child restraint following the directions provided by the child restraint manufacturer
5. If, after reinstalling the child restraint and restarting the vehicle, the on indicator is still lit, turn the vehicle off. Then slightly recline the vehicle seatback and adjust the seat cushion, if adjustable, to make sure that the vehicle seatback is not pushing the child restraint into the seat cushion.

Also make sure the child restraint is not trapped under the vehicle head restraint. If this happens, adjust the head restraint.

6. Restart the vehicle.

The passenger sensing system may or may not turn off the airbag for a child in a child restraint depending upon the childs seating posture and body build. It is better to secure the child restraint in a rear seat.

If the Off Indicator is Lit for an Adult-Size Occupant

Chevrolet Equinox: Airbag System. If a person of adult-size is sitting in the right front passenger seat, but the

If a person of adult-size is sitting in the right front passenger seat, but the off indicator is lit, it could be because that person is not sitting properly in the seat. If this happens, use the following steps to allow the system to detect that person and enable the right front passenger frontal airbag:

1. Turn the vehicle off.
2. Remove any additional material from the seat, such as blankets, cushions, seat covers, seat heaters, seat massagers, laptops, or other electronic devices.
3. Place the seatback in the fully upright position.
4. Have the person sit upright in the seat, centered on the seat cushion, with legs comfortably extended.
5. Restart the vehicle and have the person remain in this position for two to three minutes after the on indicator is lit.

Safety belts help keep the passenger in position on the seat during vehicle maneuvers and braking, which helps the passenger sensing system maintain the passenger airbag status. See Safety Belts and Child Restraints in the Index for additional information about the importance of proper restraint use.

A thick layer of additional material, such as a blanket or cushion, or aftermarket equipment such as seat covers, seat heaters, and seat massagers can affect how well the passenger sensing system operates. We recommend that you not use seat covers or other aftermarket equipment except when approved by GM for your specific vehicle.

A wet seat can affect the performance of the passenger sensing system. Here is how:

The passenger sensing system may turn off the passenger airbag when liquid is soaked into the seat. If this happens, the off indicator will be lit, and the airbag readiness light on the instrument panel will also be lit.
Liquid pooled on the seat that has not soaked in may make it more likely that the passenger sensing system will enable (turn on) the passenger airbag while a child restraint or child occupant is on the seat. If the passenger airbag is turned on, the on indicator will be lit.

If the passenger seat gets wet, dry the seat immediately. If the airbag readiness light is lit, do not install a child restraint or allow anyone to occupy the seat.

The on indicator may be lit if an object, such as a briefcase, handbag, grocery bag, laptop or other electronic device, is put on an unoccupied seat. If this is not desired remove the object from the seat.

WARNING

Stowing of articles under the passenger seat or between the passenger seat cushion and seatback may interfere with the proper operation of the passenger sensing system.

Servicing the Airbag-Equipped Vehicle

Airbags affect how the vehicle should be serviced. There are parts of the airbag system in several places around the vehicle. Your dealer and the service manual have information about servicing the vehicle and the airbag system.

To purchase a service manual.

WARNING

For up to 10 seconds after the vehicle is turned off and the battery is disconnected, an airbag can still inflate during improper service. You can be injured if you are close to an airbag when it inflates. Avoid yellow connectors.

They are probably part of the airbag system. Be sure to follow proper service procedures, and make sure the person performing work for you is qualified to do so.

Adding Equipment to the Airbag-Equipped Vehicle

Q: Is there anything I might add to or change about the vehicle that could keep the airbags from working properly?
A: Yes. If you add things that change the vehicle's frame, bumper system, height, front end or side sheet metal, they may keep the airbag system from working properly. Changing or moving any parts of the front seats, safety belts, the airbag sensing and diagnostic module, steering wheel, instrument panel, roof-rail airbag modules, ceiling headliner or pillar garnish trim, overhead console, front sensors, side impact sensors, rollover sensor module, or airbag wiring can affect the operation of the airbag system.

In addition, the vehicle has a passenger sensing system for the right front passenger position, which includes sensors that are part of the passenger seat. The passenger sensing system may not operate properly if the original seat trim is replaced with non-GM covers, upholstery or trim, or with GM covers, upholstery or trim designed for a different vehicle.

Any object, such as an aftermarket seat heater or a comfort enhancing pad or device, installed under or on top of the seat fabric, could also interfere with the operation of the passenger sensing system.

This could either prevent proper deployment of the passenger airbag(s) or prevent the passenger sensing system from properly turning off the passenger airbag(s).

If you have questions, call Customer Assistance. The phone numbers and addresses for Customer Assistance are in Step Two of the Customer Satisfaction Procedure in this manual.

If the vehicle has rollover roof-rail airbags.

Q: Because I have a disability, I have to get my vehicle modified. How can I find out whether this will affect my airbag system?
A: If you have questions, call Customer Assistance. The phone numbers and addresses for Customer Assistance are in Step Two of the Customer Satisfaction Procedure in this manual.

In addition, your dealer and the service manual have information about the location of the airbag sensors, sensing and diagnostic module and airbag wiring.

Airbag System Check

The airbag system does not need regularly scheduled maintenance or replacement. Make sure the airbag readiness light is working.

Notice: If an airbag covering is damaged, opened, or broken, the airbag may not work properly. Do not open or break the airbag coverings. If there are any opened or broken airbag covers, have the airbag covering and/or airbag module replaced. For the location of the airbags, see Where Are the Airbags? on page 3‑21. See your dealer for service.

Replacing Airbag System Parts after a Crash

WARNING

A crash can damage the airbag systems in the vehicle.

A damaged airbag system may not work properly and may not protect you and your passenger(s) in a crash, resulting in serious injury or even death. To help make sure the airbag systems are working properly after a crash, have them inspected and any necessary replacements made as soon as possible.

If an airbag inflates, you will need to replace airbag system parts. See your dealer for service.

If the airbag readiness light stays on after the vehicle is started or comes on when you are driving, the airbag system may not work properly. Have the vehicle serviced right away.


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