Question about 2001 GMC Savana

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Air bag disabling

We have written permission from transport Canada to disable the passenger air bag in a 2001 GMC Savana. We transport a young child in the van, and need to disable the air bag in some way for safety reasons.

The dealership refused to help us.

If we had a wiring diagram for the passenger air bag, I was told that a mechanic would fix this for us.

I am very concerned for my daughters safety, but we have to use the van.

Can you please help me find the information I need?

Thank you


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  • LorraineL Sep 07, 2008

    Well the problem is that there is no "behind" the front seats. Directly behind is a metal barrier, to keep the tools etc from flying forward.

    We applied because there is a warning not to put kids in the front seat due to possible death from air bags.

    I wasnt suggesting disengaging them permanently, just to have a switch like most trucks have to turn them on or off, depending on whether there are kids in the passenger seat.




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Hi Lorraine,

I think it would be far safer for your daughter, to have a seat, even a fold up, that could lock into it's position, when in use, fitted into the rear behind the front seats....I'd also suggest that it is fitted with full harness safety belt....

I don't have a diagram and even if I had one, I would not give it to you.... I cannot understand why anyone would give a letter of authority, to disengage such an important safety device....It is something which may save her life.....

Do you never see the possibility, of carrying anyone else in the vehicle?

I'm sorry if I seem harsh.....I am with the traffic department where I live, and I have attended yesterday....

I don't know the reasons why you have applied for that exemption....All that I can say to you, is leave the air bags working and make sure you drive so that you'll never need the safety that the air bag provides....

I'm sorry if my reaction has upset you, but I wish your daughter and you, all the very best....

Regards Johngee10

Posted on Sep 06, 2008

  • Hi Lorraine,

    Now that I understand the problem, maybe I can help.... There are kiddie seats, which fit onto the passenger sea,t with the child facing backwards.....

    If you find one of those, make sure that you daughter's head and neck are protected by the back of the seat... These particular seats, are designed to fit so that they fit backwards onto the passenger seat....They are also designed, so that in the event of the air bag inflating, the seat will not be forced backwards, as the frame will support the child's seat in that fixed position.....

    As for the air bag, it is triggered with electrical signals.... A competent auto electrician, will be able to fit in a relay switch, which will be operated by the attachment of the kiddie seat,via the seat belt warning light switching devise, to interrupt the seat belt activation device...

    I would suggest to the person that you employ to do the job, that he or she, should fit a relay, which is activated by the seat belt....A different size belt should be fitted for the kiddie seat....This will automatically engage or disengage the air bag unit, depending on who is sitting in the passenger seat; your daughter and her seat belt will not work on the adult passenger buckle and therefore the air bag will be disengaged

    Best regards and say hi to your daughter from me




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