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Discussion Starter #1
For those of you who bought the Pilot for its safety, how bothered are you by the lack of side curtain airbags? The only thing separating a child's head from the side-crash impact of another SUV is the window. Not much protection for a kid, as that Dateline special showed.

I'm at a loss to understand why Honda didn't put in the curtain airbags in the '04--especially since the Pilot is marketed as a "family" vehicle. As for cost, the '04 Accord got them and a whole lot of other upgrades for just $200 more. Plus, most of the competition has them, including the Highlander. What's Honda thinking? They can afford to skip this because its a hot vehicle?
 

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Pilacious said:
I'm at a loss to understand why Honda didn't put in the curtain airbags in the '04--especially since the Pilot is marketed as a "family" vehicle. As for cost, the '04 Accord got them and a whole lot of other upgrades for just $200 more. Plus, most of the competition has them, including the Highlander. What's Honda thinking? They can afford to skip this because its a hot vehicle?
I agree with you completely that it would have been smarter for Honda to leverage the great saftey ratings of the Pilot with at least the option of adding the side curtain airbags.

But Honda is also stuck with trying to justify the increased cost of the MDX, which is basically a poor man's luxury SUV in today's market. Honda has been struggling to differentiate the MDX from the Pilot and they've been adding incremental upgrades to entice some buyers toward the slightly upscale MDX. The MDX only got side curtains this year and Honda probably didn't anticipate that Toyota would add this option on the '04 Highlander. Still, the Honda does have marginally better safety ratings than both the Highlander and the MDX, but it would have been better to have the side curtain airbags as well.
 

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Pilacious said:
For those of you who bought the Pilot for its safety, how bothered are you by the lack of side curtain airbags? The only thing separating a child's head from the side-crash impact of another SUV is the window. Not much protection for a kid, as that Dateline special showed.

I'm at a loss to understand why Honda didn't put in the curtain airbags in the '04--especially since the Pilot is marketed as a "family" vehicle. As for cost, the '04 Accord got them and a whole lot of other upgrades for just $200 more. Plus, most of the competition has them, including the Highlander. What's Honda thinking? They can afford to skip this because its a hot vehicle?
I had the same concern about the lack of side curtain airbags in the Pilot. As a parent of 2 young boys (3 yrs old and 1 month old), safety is always on the top of the list. As a matter of fact, I was seriously considering the MDX because of this additional feature in the 2004. However, I have now decided to buy a Pilot instead. Because even if I have side curtain airbags in the 2nd and 3rd rows, I would have to request the dealer the turn them off anyway. Why? Because experts have indicated that side airbags are hazardous for kids. I have read that the force of the airbags when deploy can be deadly to young children. Thus, there is really no point for me to purchase a car with side curtain airbags when my kids are still very young. Of course, if your children are older, then maybe it will make sense to have this safety feature.
 

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Re: Re: Why no side curtain airbags?

poorboy1 said:
. . Because experts have indicated that side airbags are hazardous for kids. I have read that the force of the airbags when deploy can be deadly to young children. . .
Can you point to a reference for this?

It took several years of data to show front airbags could, in some situations, cause more harm than good.

Since side airbags have been out such a short time in so few vehicles, I am hard pressed to believe this is more than speculation.
 

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Re: Re: Re: Why no side curtain airbags?

N_Jay said:
Can you point to a reference for this?

It took several years of data to show front airbags could, in some situations, cause more harm than good.

Since side airbags have been out such a short time in so few vehicles, I am hard pressed to believe this is more than speculation.
That was discussed in other threads here a couple of times. The side airbags in the Pilot even turn off if sensors detect someone leaning to one side, right.
 

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Why no side curtain airbags?

jay said:
That was discussed in other threads here a couple of times. The side airbags in the Pilot even turn off if sensors detect someone leaning to one side, right.
Yes, but I believe that "side curtain" and "side airbags" are different, and the sensor is there to address any safety issue.

I would not use its existance as 'expert indication' nor would I shut off a safety feature based on it.
 

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why no side curtain airbags?

N_Jay said:
Yes, but I believe that "side curtain" and "side airbags" are different, and the sensor is there to address any safety issue.

I would not use its existance as 'expert indication' nor would I shut off a safety feature based on it.
But the part of the post you quoted and your post used the term side, not side curtain. I was just adding a data point. Besides, we all know you are the 'expert' here. You have that way of reminding us every day. ;)
 

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why no side curtain airbags?

jay said:
Besides, we all know you are the 'expert' here. You have that way of reminding us every day. ;)
No way, Man!

I am no expert, I just try to keep others from falling into the "it must be true, I read it" trap.:2: :2: :2:
 

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why no side curtain airbags?

N_Jay said:
No way, Man!

I am no expert, I just try to keep others from falling into the "it must be true, I read it" trap.:2: :2: :2:
I think I read somewhere that N_Jay was trying to keep me from falling into the "it must be true, I read it" trap, so I guess it must be true, then!!! :D :D :D
 

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why no side curtain airbags?

kemosabe said:
I think I read somewhere that N_Jay was trying to keep me from falling into the "it must be true, I read it" trap, so I guess it must be true, then!!! :D :D :D
I'm just trying to keep from falling into the "If someone posts it, take it with a grain of salt" trap.:D

Sometimes it's a struggle.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Because I'm neither as articulate nor as knowledgeable as William Quan, a fair-minded safety guru on the MDX boards, I quote him from a similar discussion there today:

The side curtain airbags deploy downward, and not with the same type of force associated with a front airbag. Thus there is no documented evidence that they present a hazard for kids. So it is safe. . . .

They primarily provide an impact cushion, so that the head does not contact the window, or, worse yet, the hood of an impacting vehicle. IIHS's recent new side impact test demonstrate this, as do the widely used, older "pole test" conducted occasionally by IIHS for demo purposes and routinely performed by Euroncap.

The fact that they may help shield the person from flying glass and slightly reduce partial ejection risk is a bonus.

This is why side curtains are so desirable, and why, given the marketplace, I will never buy another vehicle without them.

From IIHS:


quote:
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Each year more than 9,000 passenger vehicle occupants die in side impacts. Head injuries are a leading cause. The new research findings mean the toll should be reduced in the future.

"The need for head protection in side impacts has been obvious for some time," says Institute president Brian O'Neill. "Before head-protecting airbags were available there was virtually nothing to prevent people's heads from being struck by intruding vehicles or rigid objects like trees and poles in serious side impact crashes. Now we know side airbags can change this and do a good job of protecting heads."

When occupants' heads are in the window areas of vehicles they're especially vulnerable to being struck by intruding vehicles or objects. O'Neill points out that "the increasing number of high-riding vehicles on the road these days increases this risk, making it more likely that the front end of a striking vehicle in a side impact will hit the heads of occupants in the struck vehicle. This is why side airbags with head protection are so important."
 

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Honda to Make ABS, VSA, and Side Curtains Standard on All Models

It looks like Honda has seen the error of their ways! Not sure how quickly this will be phased in, though.

See this announcement.
 

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Re: Honda to Make ABS, VSA, and Side Curtains Standard on All Models

robrecht said:
Not sure how quickly this will be phased in, though.

"He says the hardware could become standard in a few years, though it's cheaper and easier to wait until models are redesigned.

The other change, a more crash-worthy front end, used now only on a minicar sold in Japan, must await full redesigns but should be in all Hondas worldwide within seven years, says Takeo Fukui, Honda president and CEO. First to get it in the USA: redesigned Honda Odyssey minivan and Acura RL sedan, both coming next fall."
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My dilemma is I'd like to buy a Pilot now but the lack of side curtain airbags is a showstopper for me. If it was just me and my wife it would be ok, but with three kids in the back I consider the curtains essential. Especially since I keep my cars 8-10 yrs, and almost all decent cars will have this feature in the next two years.

I'm not crazy about the Highlander but Toyota also has the curtains in the 4Runner and the new Sienna. Guess I'll shop them and the VW's. I just wish Honda had done the right thing for the '04 Pilot.
 

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pepper21

Same goes for me, no side curtain bags and VSC, no Pilot. Not sure I'd wait till 2005. May be forced to look at the Toyota options (minivan or SUV). Wonder if Honda would add these features mid year in 2004 especially in light of it's competition? Safety first with three kids in the back. May have to upgrade my Sienna for a newer Sienna and live in a minivan for another 4 or 5 years....:3:
 
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