Jeep WK Grand Cherokee Airbag System

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2005 Grand Cherokee dual front airbags

As in prior generations, the Grand Cherokee has airbags for both the driver and right front passenger as a supplement to the seat belt restraint systems. The driver’s front airbag is mounted in the steering wheel. The passenger side airbag is mounted in the instrument panel, above the glove compartment. The words SRS/AIRBAG are embossed on the airbag covers. Front airbags in the new Grand Cherokee are now certified to the new Federal regulations that allow less forceful deployment.

Side airbags are offered as an option on all models and are an important safety feature that protects the driver, front, and rear passengers sitting next to a window. If the vehicle is equipped with side airbags, they are located above the side windows. Their covers are also labeled SRS/AIRBAG. Airbag covers may not be obvious in the interior trim; but they will open to allow airbag deployment.


• Do not put anything on or around the front airbag covers or attempt to manually open them. You may damage the airbags and you could be injured because the airbags are not there to protect you. These protective covers for the airbag cushions are designed to open only when the airbags are inflating.

• If your vehicle is equipped with window bags, do not stack luggage or other cargo up high enough to block the location of the window bag. The area where the window bag is located should remain free from any obstructions.

• If your vehicle is equipped with window bags, do not have any accessory items installed which will alter the roof, including adding a sunroof to your vehicle. Do not add roof racks that require permanent attachments (bolts or screws) for installation on the vehicle roof. Do not drill into the roof of the vehicle for any reason.

• Do not cover or place items on the airbag covers. These items may cause serious injury during inflation.

The front airbags have a multi stage inflator design. This allows the airbag to have different rates of inflation that are based on collision severity. Along with the seat belts, front airbags work with the instrument panel knee bolsters to provide improved protection for the driver and front passenger. Window bags also work with seat belts to improve occupant protection.

The seat belts are designed to protect you in many types of collisions. The front airbags deploy in moderate to severe frontal collisions.

NOTE: The passenger front airbag may not deploy even when the driver front airbag has if the Occupant Classification System has determined the passenger seat is empty or is occupied by someone that is classified in the “small child” category.

If your vehicle is so equipped, the window bag on the crash side of the vehicle is triggered in moderate to severe side collisions. In certain types of collisions, both the front and side airbags may be triggered. But even in collisions where the airbags work, you need the seat belts to keep you in the right position for the airbags to protect you properly.

Here are some simple steps you can take to minimize the risk of harm from a deploying airbag:

1. Children 12 years and under should always ride buckled up in a rear seat.

Infants in rear facing child restraints should NEVER ride in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger airbag. An airbag deployment could cause severe injury or death to infants in that position.

Children that are not big enough to properly wear the vehicle seat belt should be secured in the rear seat, in a child restraint or belt-positioning booster seat. Older children who do not use child restraints or belt- I positioning booster seats should ride properly buckled up in the rear seat. Never allow children to slide the shoulder belt behind them or under their arm.

If a child from 1 to 12 years old must ride in the front passenger seat because the vehicle is crowded, move the seat as far back as possible, and use the proper child restraint. You should read the instructions provided with your child restraint to make sure that you are using it properly.

2. All occupants should use their lap and shoulder belts properly.

3. The driver and front passenger seats should be moved back as far as practical to allow the front airbags room to inflate.

4. If your vehicle has window bags, do not lean against the door or window, airbags will inflate forcefully into the space between you and the door.

5. If the airbag system in this vehicle needs to be modified to accommodate a disabled person, contact the Customer Center. Phone numbers are provided under “If You Need Assistance” in Section 9 of this manual.


• Relying on the airbags alone could lead to more severe injuries in a collision. The airbags work with your seat belt to restrain you properly. In some collisions the airbags won’t deploy at all. Always wear your seat belts even though you have airbags.

• Being too close to the steering wheel or instrument panel during airbag deployment could cause serious injury. Airbags need room to inflate. Sit back, comfortably extending your arms to reach the steering wheel or instrument panel.

• If the vehicle has left and right side curtain airbags, they also need room to inflate. Do not lean against the door or window. Sit upright in the center of the seat.

Airbag System Components

The airbag system consists of the following:

• Occupant Restraint Control Module
• Airbag Warning Light
• Driver Airbag
• Passenger Airbag
• Side Curtain Airbags above Side Windows (If Equipped)
• Side Remote Acceleration Sensors (If Equipped)
• Steering Wheel and Column
• Instrument Panel
• Interconnecting Wiring
• Knee Impact Bolsters
• Front Acceleration Sensors
• Driver and Front Passenger Seat Belt Pretensioner
• Occupant Classification System (OCS) – Front Passenger Seat Only
• Occupant Classification Module
• Passenger Airbag Disable (PAD) Indicator Light
• Weight Sensors

How The Airbag System Works

The Occupant Restraint Control (ORC) Module determines if a frontal collision is severe enough to require the airbags to inflate. The front airbag inflators are designed to provide different rates of airbag inflation from direction provided by the ORC. The ORC may also modify the rate of inflation based on the occupant size provided by the Occupant Classification Module. The ORC will not detect roll over, or rear impacts.

The ORC also monitors the readiness of the electronic parts of the system whenever the ignition switch is in the START or ON positions. These include all of the items listed above except the knee bolster, the instrument panel, and the steering wheel and column. If the key is in the LOCK position, in the ACC position, or not in the ignition, the airbags are not on and will not inflate.

Also, the ORC turns on the “Airbag Warning Light” and “PAD Indicator Light” for 6 to 8 seconds for a self-check when the ignition is first turned on. After the self-check, the “Airbag Warning Light” will turn off. The “PAD Indicator Light” will function normally. If the ORC detects a malfunction in any part of the system, it turns on the “Airbag Warning Light” either momentarily or continuously. A single chime will sound if the light comes on again after initial start up.


Ignoring the “Airbag Warning Light” in your instrument panel could mean you won’t have the airbags to protect you in a collision. If the light does not come on, stays on after you start the vehicle, or if it comes on as you drive, have the airbag system rhPrked right away.

Passenger Airbag Disable feature

The Passenger Airbag Disable (PAD) Indicator Light (an amber light located in the center of the instrument panel) tells the driver and front passenger when the front passenger airbag is turned off. The “PAD Indicator Light” illuminates the words “PASS AIR BAG OFF” to show that the passenger airbag will not inflate during a collision requiring airbags. When the right front passenger seat is empty or when very light objects are placed on the seat, the passenger airbag will not inflate even though the “PAD Indicator Light” is not illuminated.

The “PAD Indicator Light” should not be illuminated when teenagers, most children in a forward-facing child restraint or booster seats, most children that can properly wear the vehicle’s seat belt, and when an adult passenger is properly seated in the front passenger seat. In this case, the airbag is ready to be inflated if a collision requiring an airbag occurs.

For almost all properly installed rear facing child restraints, the “PAD Indicator Light” will be illuminated indicating that the front passenger airbag is turned off and will not inflate. If the “PAD Indicator Light” is not illuminated, DO NOT assume the airbag is turned off and move the child restraint to the rear seat. A deploying passenger airbag can cause death or serious injury to a child in a rear facing infant seat.

NOTE: Even though this vehicle is equipped with an Occupant Classification System, children 12 years and under should always ride buckled up in a rear seat in an appropriate child restraint.

Front Passenger Seat Occupant Passenger Airbag Disable (PAD) indicator light Airbag status
Adult OFF ON
Grocery Bags, Heavy Briefcases and Other Relatively Light Objects ON OFF
Empty or Very Small Objects OFF OFF

Occupant Classification System (OCS)

The Occupant Classification System is part of a Federally regulated safety system required for this vehicle. It is designed to turn off the front passenger airbag in the unlikely event that a rear-facing infant seat is in the front passenger seat.

NOTE: Children 12 years and under should always ride buckled up in a rear seat in an appropriate child restraint.

The OCS classifies an occupant using weight sensors mounted in the base of the front passenger seat. Any weight on the seat will be sensed by the system. Objects hanging on the seat or other passengers pushing down on the seat will also be sensed. The weight of an adult will cause the system to turn the airbag on. In this case, the OCS has classified the occupant of the seat as an adult. An adult occupant needs to sit in a normal position (with their feet on or near the floor) in order to be properly classified. Reclining the seat back too far may change how an occupant is classified by the OCS.

Drivers and adult passengers should verify that the “PAD Indicator Light” is not illuminated when an adult is riding in the front passenger seat. If an adult occupant’s weight is transferred to another part of the vehicle (like the door or instrument panel), the weight sensors in the seat may not properly classify the occupant. Objects lodged under the seat or between the seat and the center console can prevent the occupant’s weight from being measured properly and may result in the occupant being improperly classified. Ensure that the front passenger seat back does not touch anything placed on the back seat because this can also affect occupant classification. Also, if you fold down the rear seat check to be sure it doesn’t touch the front passenger seat.

If the front passenger seat is damaged in any way, it should only be serviced by an authorized dealer. If the seat is removed (or even if the seat attachment bolts are loosened or tightened in any way), take the vehicle to an authorized dealer.

If there is a fault present in the OCS, the “Airbag Warning Light” (a red light located in the center of the instrument cluster directly in front of the driver) will be turned on. This indicates that you should take the vehicle to an authorized dealer. The “Airbag Warning Light” is turned on whenever there is fault that can affect the operation of the airbag system. If there is a fault present in the OCS, both the “PAD Indicator Light” and the “Airbag Warning Light” are illuminated to show that the passenger airbag is turned off until the fault is cleared. If an object is lodged under the seat and interferes with operation of the weight sensors, a fault will occur which turns on both the “PAD Indicator Light” and the “Airbag Warning Light.” Once the lodged object is removed, the fault will be automatically cleared after a short period of time.

The Driver and Passenger Airbag/Inflator Units are located in the center of the steering wheel and the right side of the instrument panel. When the ORC detects a collision requiring the airbags, it signals the inflator units. A large quantity of nontoxic gas is generated to inflate the front airbags. Different airbag inflation rates are possible, based on collision severity and occupant size. The steering wheel hub trim cover and the upper right side of the instrument panel separate and fold out of the way as the bags inflate to their full size. The bags fully inflate in about 50-70 milliseconds. This is about half of the time it takes to blink your eyes. The bags then quickly deflate while helping to restrain the driver and front passenger.

The driver front airbag gas is vented through the vent holes in the sides of the airbag. The passenger front airbag gas is vented through the vent holes in the sides of the airbag. In this way, the airbags do not interfere with your control of the vehicle.

The Occupant Classification Module (OCM) is located beneath the front passenger seat. The OCM classifies the occupant into categories based on the measurements made by the seat weight sensors. The OCM communicates with the Occupant Restraint Control (ORC) Module. The ORC uses the occupant category to determine whether the front passenger airbag should be turned off. It also determines the rate of airbag inflation during a collision.

The new 2005 Grand Cherokee has four Weight Sensors located between the seat and the floor pan. The weight sensors measure applied weight and transfers that information to the OCM.

he Side Impact SRS Side Curtain Airbags are designed to activate only in certain side collisions. When the ORC (with side impact option) detects a collision requiring the side curtain airbag to inflate, it signals the inflators on the crash side of the vehicle. A quantity of nontoxic gas is generated to inflate the side curtain airbag. The inflating side curtain airbag pushes the outside edge of the headliner out of the way and covers the window. The airbag inflates in about 30 milliseconds (about one quarter of the time it takes to blink your eyes) with enough force to injure you if you are not belted and seated properly, or if items are positioned in the area where the side curtain airbag inflates. This especially applies to children. The side curtain airbag is only about 3-1/2 inches (9 cm) thick when it is inflated.

The Knee Impact Bolsters help protect the knees of the driver and the front passenger, and position everyone for the best interaction with the front airbag.

The front passenger seat assembly contains critical components that affect the front passenger airbag deployment. Correctly functioning front passenger seat components are critical for the Occupant Classification System (OCS) to properly classify the front passenger and calculate the proper airbag deployment. Do not make any modifications to the front passenger seat components, assembly, or to the seat cover.

The following requirements must be strictly adhered to:

• Do not modify the front passenger seat assembly or components in any way.
• Do not modify the front seat center console or center position seat in any way.
• Do not use prior or future model year seat covers not designated for the specific model being repaired. Always use the correct seat cover specified for the vehicle.
• Do not replace the seat cover with an aftermarket seat cover.
• Do not add a secondary seat cover other than those approved by DaimlerChrysler/Mopar.
• At no time should any supplemental restraint system (SRS) component or SRS related component or fastener be modified or replaced with any part except those which are approved by DaimlerChrysler/ Mopar.


Unapproved modifications or service procedures to the front passenger seat assembly, its related components, or seat cover may inadvertently change the airbag deployment in case of a frontal crash. This could result in death or serious injury to the front seat passenger if the vehicle is involved in an accident. A modified vehicle may not comply with required Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS).

If A Deployment Occurs

The airbag system is designed to deploy when the Occupant Restraint Control (ORC) Module detects a moderate-to-severe frontal collision, to help restrain the driver and front passenger, and then to immediately deflate.

NOTE: A frontal collision that is not severe enough to need airbag protection will not activate the system. This does not mean something is wrong with the airbag system.

If you do have a collision which deploys the airbags, any or all of the following may occur:

• The nylon airbag material may sometimes cause abrasions and/or skin reddening to the driver and front passenger as the airbags deploy and unfold. The abrasions are similar to friction rope burns or those you might get sliding along a carpet or gymnasium floor. They are not caused by contact with chemicals. They are not permanent and normally heal quickly. However, if you haven’t healed significantly within a few days, or if you have any blistering, see your doctor immediately.

• As the airbags deflate you may see some smoke-like particles. The particles are a normal by-product of the process that generates the nontoxic gas used for airbag inflation. These airborne particles may irritate the skin, eyes, nose, or throat. If you have skin or eye irritation, rinse the area with cool water. For nose or throat irritation, move to fresh air. If the irritation continues, see your doctor. If these particles settle on your clothing, follow the garment manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.

• It is not advisable to drive your vehicle after the airbags have deployed. If you are involved in another collision, the airbags will not be in place to protect you


Deployed airbags and seat belt pretensioners cannot protect you in another collision. Have the airbags, seat belt pretensioner, and seat belt retractor assembly, replaced by an authorized dealer as soon as possible. Also, have the Occupant Classification System serviced as well.

Enhanced Accident Response Feature

If the airbags deploy after an impact and the electrical system remains functional, vehicles equipped with power door locks will unlock automatically. In addition, approximately 5 seconds after the vehicle has stopped moving, the interior lights will illuminate to aid visibility.

NOTE: The interior lights can only be deactivated if the key is removed from the ignition switch or the vehicle is driven.


Deployed airbags and seat belt pretensioners cannot protect you in another collision. Have the airbags seat belt pretensioner, and seat belt retractor assembly, replaced by an authorized dealer as soon a possible. Also, have the Occupant Classification System serviced as well.

Maintaining Your Airbag System


• Modifications to any part of the airbag system could cause it to fail when you need it. You could be injured if the airbag system is not there to protect you. D not modify the components or wiring, including adding any kind of badges o stickers to the steering wheel hub trim cover or the upper right side of the instrument panel. Do not modify the front bumper or vehicle body structure.

• Do not attempt to modify any part of your advanced airbag system. The airbag may inflate accidentally or may not function properly if modifications are made Take your vehicle to an authorized dealer for any advanced airbag syst en service. If your seat including your trim cover and cushion needs to be service, in any way (including removal or loosening/tightening of seat attachment bolts) take the vehicle to your authorized dealer. Only manufacturer approved sea accessories may be used. If it is necessary to modify an advanced airbag system for persons with disabilities, contact your authorized dealer.

• Do not place or hang any items such as add-on video players on the right front passenger seat back. The additional weight may cause the Occupant Classification System to be unable to correctly classify the right front occupant. This could allow the passenger frontal airbag to inflate when it is not desired.

• You need proper knee impact protection in a collision. Do not mount or locate any aftermarket equipment on or behind the knee bolsters.

• It is dangerous to try to repair any part of the airbag system yourself. Be sure to tell anyone who works on your vehicle that it has an airbag system

Airbag Warning Light

You will want to have the airbag system ready to inflate for your protection in an impact. The airbag system is designed to be maintenance free. If any of the following occurs, have an authorized dealer service the system promptly:

• Does not come on during the 6 to 8 seconds after the ignition switch is first turned on.
• Remains on after the 6 to 8 second interval.
• Comes on for any period of time while driving.

Event Data Recorder (EDR)

In the event of an airbag deployment, your vehicle is designed to record up to 2-seconds of specific vehicle data parameters (see list below) in an event data recorder prior to the moment of airbag deployment. Please note that such data are ONLY recorded if an airbag deploys, and are otherwise unavailable. In conjunction with other data gathered during a complete accident investigation, the electronic data may be used by DaimlerChrysler Corporation and others to learn more about the possible causes of crashes and associated injuries in order to assess and improve vehicle performance. In addition to crash investigations initiated by DaimlerChrysler Corporation, such investigations may be requested by customers, insurance carriers, government officials, and professional crash researchers, such as those associated with universities, and with hospital and insurance organizations.

In the event that an investigation is undertaken by DaimlerChrysler Corporation (regardless of initiative), the company or its designated representative will first obtain permission of the appropriate custodial entity for the vehicle (usually the vehicle owner or lessee) before accessing the electronic data stored, unless ordered to download data by a court with legal jurisdiction (i.e., pursuant to a warrant). A copy of the data will be provided to the custodial entity upon request. General data that does not identify particular vehicles or crashes may be released for incorporation in aggregate crash databases, such as those maintained by the US government and various states. Data of a potentially sensitive nature, such as would identify a particular driver, vehicle, or crash, will be treated confidentially. Confidential data will not be disclosed by DaimlerChrysler Corporation to any third party except when:

1. Used for research purposes, such as to match data with a particular crash record in an aggregate database, provided confidentiality of personal data is thereafter preserved

2. Used in defense of litigation involving a DaimlerChrysler Corporation product

3. Requested by police under a legal warrant

4. Otherwise required by law

Data Parameters that May Be Recorded:

• Diagnostic trouble code(s) and warning lamp status for electronically-controlled safety systems, including the airbag system
• Airbag disable lamp status (if equipped)
• “Time” of airbag deployment (in terms of ignition cycles and vehicle mileage)
• Airbag deployment level (if applicable)
• Seatbelt status
• Brake status (service and parking brakes)
• Accelerator status (including vehicle speed)
• Engine control status (including engine speed)
• Cruise control status
• Traction/stability control status