Do seat covers obstruct side airbags?

I just bought a 2007 Honda Accord VP that has side-impact airbags. I also bought some generic seat covers that come with a warning not to use them with cars that have side airbags. Is it true that the seat covers would probably interfere with deployment of the side airbags? Does the Accord come with both side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags?

Ed S., Fresno, Calif.

It would be a good idea to follow the directions and not use the aftermarket seat covers on a car with side-impact airbags. We contacted a Honda spokesperson and he confirmed that a seat cover could restrict side-impact airbag deployment in a serious accident, which is the kind of accident in which these types of airbags are most effective. Meaning: Don’t use a seat cover if your car has side-impact airbags!

Most side-impact airbags deploy from the seat’s side, like in the Accord, while side-curtain airbags deploy from the headliner or top of the roof and drape over the windows. All 2007 Honda Accords, including those with the Value Package (VP), have side-impact airbags as well as side-curtain airbags.

Honda doesn’t offer a specialized seat cover for cars with side-impact airbags, so there doesn’t seem to be much you can do to protect your seats, except not eating or drinking in your car, keeping it out of sunlight for extended times and cleaning the seat often, but where’s the fun in that?

To see if your car has side-impact airbags, consult the owner’s manual or contact your dealership or manufacturer.

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Answered by Joe Bruzek on June 1, 2007 in How Does That Work? | Permalink

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