Oversensitive Airbag Sensor - 2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Scion FR-S Long Term Road Test

2013 Scion FR-S: Oversensitive Airbag Sensor

February 8, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

You see that purse? Sometimes it sets off the airbag sensor in our 2013 Scion FR-S. That's not usually a big deal to me since sometimes I load it up with heavy stuff. But when this particular not-so-heavy one, combined with my smartphone, set off the sensor telling me to buckle them in, I threw the purse in the footwell and left the smartphone on the seat. Oddly enough, the car continued to tell me to buckle my phone in, and urgently, so I put it in the center storage cubby to shut it up.

Another time it was just my phone that set off the seatbelt chime. Weird! But I can't replicate this issue now if I tried. So I just gave Mike Schmidt, our keeper of keys, the heads-up, but it's not a dire problem. Anyone else have this issue?

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor


  • sharpend sharpend Posts:

    Holy &*^%! It looks like Edmunds actually listened to its readers - for a change - and went back to the blog format as on IL. Well done but there is still a long, long way to go to make it as good as the Award Winning IL site. Sigh.

  • noburgers_ noburgers_ Posts:

    I got on today, at home due to the snowstorm, and nearly fell off my chair! Why you didn't get the site ready day one like this is a "New Coke" lesson I thought every business understood. Well, congratulations. It isn't perfect, but much closer to the old usable format. Caroline, what are you carrying in that purse to activate the airbag? My car needs a pony in the passenger seat to turn on the airbag

  • noburgers_ noburgers_ Posts:

    hey, can you get a link to go back to the long-term car main page added?

  • auto_trim auto_trim Posts:

    Did you have any lead in your purse?

  • autoguy72 autoguy72 Posts:

    My guess is that your phone's signal is messing with the occupant weight sensor in the passenger seat. Try turning the phone off then see if the seat belt warning light comes on. Oh, and THANK YOU for bringing back the old format!

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Isn't that why they invented Bluetooth, and Bluetooth audio, so that while driving you could leave your phone on your person wherever you normally carry it? You are basically telling us that you are dinking around with your cell phone's apps while you're driving. I thought we had arrived at a general societal consensus that that was a bad idea - ?

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    It is not a weight sensor. It is an Electrostatic Capacitance Sensor, which your phone triggers. Some info should be in the owner's manual.

  • p1racephoto p1racephoto Posts:

    Sounds like the FR-S has capacitive seat sensors: common these days. These work by detecting an electrical current - normally from a human's skin - and not just weight, so the capacitive screen in your phone (assuming you have a touchscreen phone), which works by the same principal, may set it off. I've had it happen in my daily driver Mazda 3. That said, the fact you can't repeat it may mean something else was the cause. Did you have your phone on (i.e. screen active) when it occurred before? If so, that's your answer. Happy to be corrected if wrong.

  • p1racephoto p1racephoto Posts:

    Wow, so the website no longer displays comments when you log-in. Great. Now I've essentially repeated a day-old answer. Apologies to Quadricycle.

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