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Old 05-23-2012, 03:40 PM   #1
ST Eye
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Default 2012 Impreza 2.0i Passenger Airbag System Malfunction

This is a topic that has been talked about in the "big thread" and it seems to be a persistent one that many have experienced. Having been one of the first to take delivery of the car (first one on this forum as well), I picked up my 2012 Impreza Premium on December 1st of last year. On the second day of ownership with 87 miles on the odometer, I had a passenger riding with me when the airbag malfunction light illuminated. This happened a few hundred miles later when I had another passenger in the car. After three trips to the dealership, they finally were able to pull a hard code and they said it was the sensor in the seat bottom. To make a long story shorter, I ended up getting another 2012 Impreza Limited which I have not had this problem thus far (knock on wood). I have asked many folks what their outcome was (since I no longer have my car), and I have only heard that people are waiting for a new seat bottom to get shipped. Has anyone had the seat bottom replaced and had the issue go away?
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:32 PM   #2
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I've never been a fan of sensors galore on any new product these days, they fail too often. I had to replace the lid sensor on my new washing machine once
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:27 PM   #3
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+1

I have the problem.
I haven't taken it to the dealer yet.
I'm going to wait until the replacement seats are well in the pipeline.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:53 PM   #4
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At exactly 2001 miles, I have not had an airbag light come on... yet. I've only had a front passenger with me a handful of times, but hopefully it would of happened by now if it was going to happen. Not sure if it matters, but my build date is 2/2012.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somebody else View Post
+1

I have the problem.
I haven't taken it to the dealer yet.
I'm going to wait until the replacement seats are well in the pipeline.
Just be careful if you do take passengers. If you trip the condition, I don't think your airbags will deploy. At least that is what the passenger airbag indicator says.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:59 AM   #6
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Parts on the way for mine, I'm curious what all they are replacing.Rather it be just the seat base or the harness or anything else around there.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:24 AM   #7
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If someone is in an accident and that airbag malfunctions and does not deploy, Subaru is opening themselves up to lawsuits. I guess they figure their pockets are deep enough, otherwise they would place those that are experiencing the problem in another vehicle until the problem is solved.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretAZ View Post
If someone is in an accident and that airbag malfunctions and does not deploy, Subaru is opening themselves up to lawsuits. I guess they figure their pockets are deep enough, otherwise they would place those that are experiencing the problem in another vehicle until the problem is solved.
I think they are ,but whoever is having the issue needs to take their car in.I have a Forester as a loaner and I loathe that car.The car has the new FB25 motor and under heavy acceleration I've had the check engine light come on, for a miss fire in cylinder 3 and 4.Subaru needs to slow down instead of just throwing stuff out there until they are sure its good to go, just like the passenger airbag in the Impreza
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:49 AM   #9
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I had the same issue with my Impreza. The airbag harness had to be replaced. They brought it in and replaced it. Took over a week, but they gave me a loaner. Everyone has been very responsive to the issue.

Has anyone else noticed that an iPhone plugged in and resting on the passenger seat will arm the airbag? They changed from a pressure sensor to an electrical field sensor apparently. A very sensitive one...
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durid View Post
I had the same issue with my Impreza. The airbag harness had to be replaced. They brought it in and replaced it. Took over a week, but they gave me a loaner. Everyone has been very responsive to the issue.

Has anyone else noticed that an iPhone plugged in and resting on the passenger seat will arm the airbag? They changed from a pressure sensor to an electrical field sensor apparently. A very sensitive one...
We all better get ready for a recall
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durid View Post
I had the same issue with my Impreza. The airbag harness had to be replaced. They brought it in and replaced it. Took over a week, but they gave me a loaner. Everyone has been very responsive to the issue.

Has anyone else noticed that an iPhone plugged in and resting on the passenger seat will arm the airbag? They changed from a pressure sensor to an electrical field sensor apparently. A very sensitive one...
That's odd and doesn't make sense. The airbag is supposed to stay off if the passenger is under 80 pounds.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haunty View Post
That's odd and doesn't make sense. The airbag is supposed to stay off if the passenger is under 80 pounds.
The new sensor is a capacitive sensor that responds to the electrical charge of the human body, not a weight sensitive sensor present on most vehicles. The sensor can be triggered by an electronic device like an iPhone or iPad. I believe this is even mentioned in the manual.
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_dog

The new sensor is a capacitive sensor that responds to the electrical charge of the human body, not a weight sensitive sensor present on most vehicles. The sensor can be triggered by an electronic device like an iPhone or iPad. I believe this is even mentioned in the manual.
Wow, that's interesting. I didn't know such a sensor even existed. Wonder why they went with this type of sensor over a weight sensitive one.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:12 PM   #14
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SOA authorized replacement for mine back in March or April, haven't heard back from the dealership though. Time to go bug them.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:39 PM   #15
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This happened to me once when the passenger was moving around alot, but have yet to see it happen again and I have a passenger quite often.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretAZ View Post
If someone is in an accident and that airbag malfunctions and does not deploy, Subaru is opening themselves up to lawsuits. I guess they figure their pockets are deep enough, otherwise they would place those that are experiencing the problem in another vehicle until the problem is solved.
I was in a loaner car for over a month with my first Impreza.

Quote:
Originally Posted by durid View Post
I had the same issue with my Impreza. The airbag harness had to be replaced. They brought it in and replaced it. Took over a week, but they gave me a loaner. Everyone has been very responsive to the issue.

Has anyone else noticed that an iPhone plugged in and resting on the passenger seat will arm the airbag? They changed from a pressure sensor to an electrical field sensor apparently. A very sensitive one...
Did that fix your problem? How many miles did you put on your car since the harness replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_dog View Post
The new sensor is a capacitive sensor that responds to the electrical charge of the human body, not a weight sensitive sensor present on most vehicles. The sensor can be triggered by an electronic device like an iPhone or iPad. I believe this is even mentioned in the manual.
Correct, this is a different sensor than in previous model Imprezas. More late model cars are using capacitive sensors. I can gently place my one hand on the passenger seat and it will detect a passenger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rm1mty View Post
SOA authorized replacement for mine back in March or April, haven't heard back from the dealership though. Time to go bug them.
Are you driving your car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by An owned guy View Post
This happened to me once when the passenger was moving around alot, but have yet to see it happen again and I have a passenger quite often.
Did it actually give you a malfunction light?
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:20 PM   #17
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So when I went to pick up my personal effects from my old Impreza, I was welcomed by two engineers from SOA. There were also three engineers from Denso and two from Fuji Heavy Industries all of which were flown in from Japan. They had many parts of the car disassembled (i.e. center console and front seats) and were finishing up troubleshooting the car. Needless to say I was quite surprised as I was told the car was just waiting for the seat bottom to be replaced.

On a side note, did anyone have a iPod or iPhone connected to the USB and in the center console (not the seat)?
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ST Eye View Post
So when I went to pick up my personal effects from my old Impreza, I was welcomed by two engineers from SOA. There were also three engineers from Denso and two from Fuji Heavy Industries all of which were flown in from Japan. They had many parts of the car disassembled (i.e. center console and front seats) and were finishing up troubleshooting the car. Needless to say I was quite surprised as I was told the car was just waiting for the seat bottom to be replaced.

On a side note, did anyone have a iPod or iPhone connected to the USB and in the center console (not the seat)?
I always have a Ipod classic in the center console connected I never listen to the radio.I know the new seats aren't based of weight , but the issue with mine only happens when my one friend is in the car he weights right around 280-300 pounds ,so i don't know if more body mass has anything to do with it or what?
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2007imprezi

I always have a Ipod classic in the center console connected I never listen to the radio.I know the new seats aren't based of weight , but the issue with mine only happens when my one friend is in the car he weights right around 280-300 pounds ,so i don't know if more body mass has anything to do with it or what?
I too keep my iPod hooked up in the center console tray at all times. But even with an iPod or iPhone in the passenger seat I've never had an issue with the sensor.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2007imprezi View Post
I always have a Ipod classic in the center console connected I never listen to the radio.I know the new seats aren't based of weight , but the issue with mine only happens when my one friend is in the car he weights right around 280-300 pounds ,so i don't know if more body mass has anything to do with it or what?
Body mass should have nothing to do with it since it isn't a weight based system. I ask about the iPod because my friend that was in the passenger seat plugged in my iPod a second before the airbag light came on the first time. The engineers also asked me if I had an iPod plugged in.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SleepNMnky View Post
I too keep my iPod hooked up in the center console tray at all times. But even with an iPod or iPhone in the passenger seat I've never had an issue with the sensor.
I only have the issue with just my one friend ,even though I know its not based of weight.Somehow Robert from Subaru of America has some connection with someone in a factory because he was able to have them overnight me the seat base today even though the parts are on back order til late June.The car is "fixed" and I get to pick it up tomorrow so if I can I will post part numbers and let you guys know what they tell me tomorrow.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:01 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ST Eye View Post
Body mass should have nothing to do with it since it isn't a weight based system. I ask about the iPod because my friend that was in the passenger seat plugged in my iPod a second before the airbag light came on the first time. The engineers also asked me if I had an iPod plugged in.
The new seats are based of electric in the body so maybe bigger people have more of a electric charge I'm kidding.... I don't know I find it odd though the light comes on only when hes sitting in that seat
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:48 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2007imprezi View Post
The new seats are based of electric in the body so maybe bigger people have more of a electric charge I'm kidding.... I don't know I find it odd though the light comes on only when hes sitting in that seat
Do you have other passengers with you as well?
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:00 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ST Eye View Post
Do you have other passengers with you as well?
No ,everytime the light comes on hes the only other passenger in the car .He also seems to be the only one that can trigger the light too.I don't know , hopefully when I pick it up this morning its fixed....I want tinted windows,but if its not fixed I have to wait
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:12 AM   #25
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Well, how is the sensor mounted and wiring run? Could it be that because of his size, he puts more pressure on a spot and it compresses something that causes the issue.
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