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Airbag System Failure - BabySmart Sensor - Possible Cause Found?

Discussion in 'California/Portofino/Roma' started by BPPilot, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. BPPilot

    BPPilot Rookie

    Feb 15, 2020
    10
    Full Name:
    Brad Pierce
    Hello All! Had a wonderful weekend driving my 2012 California, then started getting a PASS AIR BAG OFF message when I went to start at one point. A few seconds later, I then got a PASS AIR BAG ON message. Upon driving two different times in a row, these off/on cycling would continue every few minutes - and while driving got an Airbag system failure message which apparently is triggered by actively driving while the pass air bag off/on messages cycle. It would clear itself up almost immediately within a few seconds.

    I won't be able to get into my dealer for a bit, but was able to swing by and they checked the fault code (very appreciative they took the time to squeeze me in with it being a safety issue). Looks like the BabySmart sensor is what was tripping up the system. The sensor apparently showed a baby car seat was present then not present again and again which is what was setting things off. I've tried to research to figure out how this system works in more detail but haven't found much (other than apparently it uses radio signals to ping an transponder type of chip in a compatible car seat).

    I THINK I may have figured out the issue but wanted to throw it out here for thoughts/comments in case anyone else has had this sort of issue. My son had a new Qi Wireless Charging Power Bank with him in the car at the time. He had that turned on and was actively charging his phone. I'd read that electronics devices could interference with the BabySmart system if they're set on the seat (which his power bank WAS sitting right on it). Any idea where exactly on the seat this sensor is located if I want to try putting the power bank right close to it?

    I've driven around with him again while he had the same power bank but of course didn't get any of the off/on air bag failures. Though I really feel like I'm on to something with it being that wireless Qi portable phone charger... wondering if anyone else has ever seen something like this occur?

    Appreciate any thoughts!
     
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  3. BPPilot

    BPPilot Rookie

    Feb 15, 2020
    10
    Full Name:
    Brad Pierce
    Follow-up... more drive testing tonight. With the Qi Portable Power Bank ON and charging a phone, while sitting on the seat, the passenger airbag sensor turns OFF and the system faults. Drove around with the power bank unit off and air bag baby sensor operated normally (no fault). Turned it back on, within a few minutes the air bag sensor faulted again with the passenger air bag disabled. I'm now 99% sure this is the cause. Still some more drives/testing tomorrow, but almost definitive so thought I'd share in case anyone else experiences something similar.
     

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