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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So far, I've been holding out for side air bags. But it is looking like I can make a pretty darn good deal on one without SAB, since these are more plentiful.

So my question is, how desirable is this safety feature? I can think of one downside- you cannot install seat covers. I like seat covers because they reduce wear and tear on the original seat surface.

An hidden advantage of the EXS (side air bag model) may be that they have fixed various problems in the first production runs, so maybe this is a good reason to get the EXS.

Opinions?
 

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You raise good points. I was also holding out for SABs. This should not affect your deal at all, though, other than the extra $250 they cost. I had three dealers tied to x over invoice and they didn't try to upcharge me for SABs, they just said a car like this would be harder to get, which is true.

That said, I signed my deal yesterday on an SOP EX AWD 5speed. Sans SABs. I figure this is one safe car anyway, and if I change my mind in the next two weeks, I can also get one with SABs, it will just take longer. On seat covers, ehh, these seats are so hardy and durable, I can't imagine a need for anything other than cosmetic seat covers.

Fear not on the problem fixes -- check the TSB section on this site and the other E sites -- those problems ARE fixed. Just look at the production models the TSBs effect -- that means the models AFTER those have the problem fixed already. This does require a little homework on the VIN of the car you buy to ensure it has a production number (the last five digits) beyond the TSBs. But as the E is apparently moving well, this should be moot.

Good luck with your purchase, I'm sure you'll be quite happy.

Best,
Steve
 

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I really thought hard about waiting on the SAB but decided to go without it. I knew the E had anti-lock brakes and was really safe cause it's a HONDA :D I know you can't avoid accidents but if you drive safely and watch the road, you should do just fine.

My opinion :wink:
 

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JMHO -

Get the side airbags.

It's a wild woolly world of drunk, reckless, stupid or cell-phone jabbering drivers out there. I pray you'll never need them, but a little extra protection means a little more peace of mind, at a minimum, and perhaps your life, or that of a passenger, in a worst-case scenario.

I have no doubt that my little Lucy is going to be one tough girl in protecting me and all who ride with me, but -- this just gives her a little extra help.
 

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If you can handle the wait I recommend getting the Side Air Bags.. You'll have so many rubber neckers recklously checking out your Element while your going down the high way you might need them ( hopefull not... )
 

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You all realize the side airbags are not the curtain style that would actually be beneficial, these are are just side body protection (or in some cases might cause more damage then good).

By wearing a seatbelt you are covered on those side impacts, and so on, if you have a side balloon it will not protect you any more against a car coming at the side of your car.

You also have the front airbag which will help with the common accidents, and reduce the probability of smashing your face or whip lash (to a degree).

If they offered the side curtain airbags, I would say yeah wait, as I would have too.. but the ones popping from the side of your seat are not worth the wait or bother.

I think the main rubber necking season has come to past, the E has been seen, it is not the new anymore to the common people... so they will not be gawking like they did day one.. two and three. We are closing in on the next year models before long.

Another concern i have is the location the air bag comes from, pressing up on the seat belt.. this is one of the areas I see more harm then good. I don't think this side air bag is worth it.

Again these side air bags will not be that worth the wait.. if they are cool, yeah, wonderful.. but I would not bet on that.

Plus you can not use the seat covers with the side air bag models.
 

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I don't thing they would even bother making them if they did no good. There is so much testing and engineering that goes into creating somthing like the Side Impact Airbag,, there is a reason for it.. It is safer. They wouldn't blow the Huge dollars it takes to put these into vehicles if it wasn't for a reason of making the vehicle\\occupant safer. Insurance companies no the benefits as well giving you a discount if you have them..
 

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Though I don't have side airbags in My GalaGreenBullPup, I just received
and installed the WORLD'S BEST sheepskin seat covers that are DESIGNED
JUST FOR AUTOS WITH SIDE AIRBAGS...

I have Honda's optional 'neoprene' seat covers installed over the stock E
seats, but when I saw the features on the sheepskin covers made by
New Zealand Austrlian Companies I ordered a set straight away.

As I anticipated they would, the new 'skins fit perfectly under the Honda
optional covers...BTW, since my Honda protective covers have 5 months
and 5,000 miles' use on them, they've stretched enough to accomodate the
new WOOLIES.

These woolskins can be eyeballed at: wwwmisssideless.com
Inquiries: 949.492.5174 - Orders: 888.777.3301

Even though I'm a 6-footer and tho' I drive with the seat dialed to max
height, I like the extra elevation to better see the roadway and all its
potential hazards. Also, my old and aching spine and constant sciatic
'burning' now have the extra CUSHIONING provided by these shamelessly
exquisite WOOL COMFORT BLANKETS...

BUT, THEY ARE DESIGNED FOR BUGGIES WITH SIDE AIRBAGS.

Cheers, tblask San Francisco GalaGreenBullPup beepbeep
 

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That is awesome you found some super covers that accomodate the side airbags.. good deal.. sounds like you are happy!

RE: the testing etc.. think of all the safety changes over the years, and when a new item has been introduced they are typically never or far from perfect, and asl years pass they fine toon it.. just because it is labeled as a "safety feature" does not guarentee it is a safe feature. Nor does it guarentee it is perfect or free from flaws.. Go back to the intro days of the front air bags, go further back to the variety of shoulder belts and that nightmare of the door mounted automatic seat belt. Just because it is offered, available etc does not mean it is worth it.

I would go for the curtain style, overall i would be thrilled beyond wonder if they would stop safe guarding EVERYTHING so darn much.. but alas they do, and thankfully for the meanwhile not all vehicles are stuck with these side air bags.

Good luck..
 

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TBlask --

Thanks for sharing that link. One of my friends swears by his sheepskin seat cover - summer (and I mean Texas summer!) and winter - as his best ever investment for anything automotive, period.

So now I'm thinking - sheepies! It's excellent that they're cushy for the tushy, but I'm thinking of how nice it is to have something natural, not synthetic , next to one's skin or close to it.

Of course, that takes away the spill-proof seat component - but I could still spill with impunity on the floor!

Something to think about. Thanks for sharing!

Kim
 

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Side impact airbags (such as those on the element) have shown stroong evidence contributing to increased torsional whiplash - that kind of whiplash occurring on an axis of rotation parallel to your body and in circular degrees.

It goes something like this:

in a side impact, the driver's right shoulder is likely to separate from the seat, because the left shoulder is caught by the seatbelt. This effect is compounded by the SRS tensioner.

The head also moves from right to left, concurrent with the body motion.

The side impact airbag deployes, which does so from the back of the seat, forward and to the left - into the encroaching driver.

This interruption causes a torsional whiplash from bottom left to top right (looking up and to the right at finish).

There is strong evidence (Dr. Douglas Chute, Drexel University) showing a characteristic pattern of neuropsychological and physiological failure, with the most common effect being a reduction or loss of one's sense of smell.

That being said, I have side impact airbags on my Element (purchased yesterday!)

I will be getting an "X" crossover seatbelt over the right shoulder as well, which will completely rectify this problem.

I recommend you do the same!

I will, however, still have to cut the sides off of my neoprene covers! :(

Beats missing out on the lady's Chanel No. 5
 

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look what happened to passenger side airbags. Just when you thought you were safer, your kids got delegated to the rear seats. That could happen to side-airbags. They'll do a study saying in a not so severe side impact (more common then the terminator test we all know and love) they're determine that SAB will cause more injury. I'm not saying not to wait, but personally I want to see more time for engineers to improve this new technology.

This topic has been so fatalistic. It's time to motor like we've always done since Henry Honda, sorry - Henry Ford.

:wink:
 

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The side airbag is deploying away from the driver or passenger. The driver's or passenger's airbags are deploying toward the driver or passenger.

So explain to me how the situations are even remotely comparable.

Torsional injury? Oh please. I've probably gotten more torsion skiing, horseback riding or on a roller coaster ride.
 

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My previous post said passenger side airbags. It suppose to say passenger front airbag. That was (is) an engineering with many flaws still yet to be worked out. The problem is when they redesign to say inflate at different rates based on the crash, everyone who already has older version is stuck with a problem. (ie. delegating kids to back seats)

Question? Once SRS sideairbags are available are they going to be on every E?
 

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SRS airbags are available. They are an option. The cost is $250.

I also still have this question, based upon my very rudimentary knowledge of physics:

Side airbags deploy AWAY from the person.
Front airbags deploy TOWARD the person.

Therefore, I do not understand why the "dangers" are even remotely comparable.

Also, IMHO, a kid is just plain safer in the backseat.
 

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Better wait for the test results instead ASsumming that side air bags will do better. That may be the case, but according to the testing agencies - it's no guarantee. I would think the unusual design of the element brings even more variable into the equation.
 

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Again, let me try to make myself clear here.

Front airbags were deemed to be "dangerous" in their first generation because they were too forcefully exploding into the faces and chests of the people they were protecting.

(Note that most front airbag fatalities occurred while the person was NOT also wearing a seatbelt).

So since nothing is contacting the body of the person protected by the side airbag, since they inflate AWAY from the person,

tell me what the danger is.

I'm not making assumptions. I'm looking for someone to state the physics, mechanics or operations of this. That's all.
 

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While I have yet to purchase an Element (and the crash tests had little factor in my hesitation) it should be pointed out that the airbags are of little value in protecton against cabin penetration. The inference is the protection they MIGHT afford with regard to head injuries in reaction to a side impact collision.
The pillar-less design of the doors, while claimed to be as safe as a conventional array, is the culprit here. It remains to be seen whether this "press" hurts the vehicle in any manner in the marketplace. It is certainly fodder for the competition. Honda must have had countless sleepless nights since the crash test contemplating "damage control" (absolutely no pun intended). In all candor, a decision must be reached on how to effectively demonstrate that the door design does not constitute a threat to occupant safety, and in short order. If internal testing to the same standard that was utilized last week does not convince Honda that A) The design is sound as it stands, or B) A fix can be enabled that does not alter the strived for concept of the vehicle, it may have a shorter market presence than the Civic Del Sol.
I hope that this is not the case, as the vehicle is perfect for what myself and others that I know require in basic city transportation (plus shorter, out of town excursions).
 

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[quote:d6668244fa="Coyotes"].
The pillar-less design of the doors, while claimed to be as safe as a conventional array, is the culprit here. [/quote:d6668244fa]

Then explain why the crash tests on cars with door pillars were as bad or worse than the Element.

Please don't take my reply here as hostile, but unless you're an automotive engineer, you cannot make the above statement with any authority. The IIHS tests gave a score, a score without any explanation as to how it was created from various sub-scores, for the Element. The IIHS test in no way specified the pillarless door design as the problem area for the Element. Unless you have based your statements in your post based upon detailed examination of the underlying data of the IIHS score, data unavailable on the website, and possibly unavailable to the public as proprietary information, then your statement is as much a guess as anything else.

I don't mean to shoot you down, but I see a ton of people making pronouncements around here, and although everyone's entitled to an opinion, an opinion is not the same as fact.

This is sure to bring more insane accusations of "You're defensive! You're an ostritch with her head in the sand!" from the Peanut Gallery but I'll repeat for the record: they didn't test an Element with side airbags which is what I have. And all I want are the facts.
 

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Directly from the IIHS website, regarding the Element:

STRUCTURE/SAFETY CAGE: The occupant compartment intrusion measurements were acceptable.

________________________________________________________

Doesn't sound to this layman like an indictment of the door design.

It's all very confusing, the degree of intrusion into the cabin was acceptable, but that very degree of intrusion caused injuries severe enough for a poor rating. As the Hellcat said, unless you're an engineer with access to the details of the test parameters, you're doing some guessing and making some generalizations. All we can do is make note of the published results, and consider them as just one factor in making our car buying decision. Best of luck to all in whetever decision they make.
 
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