VW Tiguan Manuals

Volkswagen Tiguan Owners Manual: Side airbags

Fig. 71 On the driver side: Deployment zone of the side airbags (A). In the padding on the outboard side of the front seat backrests: location and deployment zone of the side airbags (B).

Read and follow the introductory information and safety information firstIntroduction to the subject 

The side airbags are in the backrest padding of the driver and passenger seats ⇒ Fig. 71 . The general location is shown by the word AIRBAG. The area marked in red (dotted lines) ⇒ Fig. 71  indicates the deployment zone of the side airbag.

In a side collision, the side airbag in the seat backrest can deploy and help reduce the risk of injury to the driver or the front seat passenger.

The side airbags installed for the front seating positions have been designed and certified to help reduce the risk of injury that can be caused by airbags when they inflate, particularly when the occupant sitting next to it is not seated properly.

The side airbag for the front passenger seat can be used with properly installed child restraints. Always read and heed all important information and warnings whenever using a child restraint in a vehicle: Always read and heed all WARNINGS whenever using a child restraint in the vehicle: ⇒ Safety belts Safety belts , ⇒ Airbag system Airbag system , ⇒ Child safety and child restraints Child safety and child restraints , ⇒ .

The side airbag system includes:

  • An electronic control module and side impact sensors.
  • Side airbags in the front seat backrests.
  • An airbag system monitoring and indicator light in the instrument cluster ⇒ PASSENGER AIR BAG light .

When a side airbag deploys in a collision, a gas generator fills the side airbag between the vehicle occupant and the door. The side airbag system supplements the safety belts and can help to reduce the risk of injury to the occupants' upper torso.

In order to help provide this additional protection, the side airbag must inflate within the blink of an eye at very high speed and with great force. The supplemental side airbag could injure you if your seating position is not proper or upright or if items are in the area where the supplemental side airbag inflates. This applies especially to children ⇒ Child safety and child restraints .

The airbag system is monitored electronically to make sure it is working properly at all times. Every time you turn on the ignition, the airbag system indicator light will come on for a few seconds (function check).

The airbag system is not a substitute for your safety belt. Rather, it is part of the overall occupant restraint system in your vehicle ⇒ Adjusting the seating position , ⇒ Safety belts .

It is important to remember that the side airbag system is designed to help reduce the likelihood of serious injury. However, it is important to remember that a deploying airbag may also cause other injuries, such as swelling, bruising, friction burns, and abrasions. Also remember that side airbags will deploy only once and only in certain kinds of accidents. After the side airbag inflates, the system must be replaced. Your safety belts are always there to offer protection in those accidents in which side airbags are not supposed to deploy or when they have already deployed.

The side airbag system will not inflate:

  • if the ignition is switched off when a crash occurs,
  • in side collisions when the acceleration measured by the sensor is too low,
  • in front-end collisions,
  • in rear-end collisions,
  • in rollovers, unless the deployment threshold for deployment stored in the control unit is met.

In some types of accidents the front airbags, Side Curtain Protection® airbags and side airbags may be triggered together.


An inflating side airbag can cause serious or even fatal injury. Improperly wearing safety belts and improper seating positions increase the risk of serious personal injury and death whenever a vehicle is being used.
  • To help reduce the risk of injury when the supplemental side airbag inflates,
    • Always sit in an upright position and do not lean against the area where the side airbag is located.
    • Never let a child or anyone else rest their head against the side trim panel in the area where the side airbag inflates.
    • Always make sure that safety belts are worn correctly.
    • Never let anyone sitting in the front seat put their hand out of the window.
  • Objects between you and the airbag can increase the risk of injury in a collision by interfering with the way the airbag unfolds or by being pushed into you as the airbag inflates.
  • Never place or attach accessories or other objects (such as cup holders, telephone brackets, or even large, bulky objects) on the doors or over or near the area marked AIRBAG on the seat backrests ⇒ Fig. 71 .
  • Accessories or other objects can fly dangerously through the passenger compartment and cause serious injury if the supplemental side airbag inflates.
  • Never position or hold any objects or pets in the area where an airbag inflates or allow any children or other passengers to ride in that space.
  • Never use the built-in coat hooks for anything but lightweight clothing. Never leave any heavy or sharp-edged objects in the pockets. Such objects may interfere with side airbag deployment and cause serious personal injury in a collision.


Improper use, repair, or disassembly of the driver and front passenger seats can prevent side airbags from working properly and result in severe injuries.
  • Always make sure that the side airbag can inflate without interference:
    • Never install seat covers or replacement upholstery over the front seat backs that have not been specifically approved by Volkswagen. Otherwise, the side airbag may not be able to deploy properly.
    • Never put seat cushions, blankets, or other coverings over the areas where the side airbags inflate.
    • Damage to the original seat covers or to the seam in the area of the side airbag module must always be repaired immediately by an authorized Volkswagen dealer or authorized Volkswagen Service Facility.
  • Always prevent the side airbags from being damaged by heavy objects hitting the sides of the seatbacks or force being put on the seatbacks, especially in the area where the side airbag module is located.
  • The airbag system can only be triggered once. If the airbag has been triggered, the system must be replaced.
  • Always have work involving the side airbag system, including removal, replacement, and installation of airbag components, or other repairs performed by an authorized Volkswagen dealer or authorized Volkswagen Service Facility. Otherwise, the airbag system may not work correctly.
  • Never remove the front seats from the vehicle or modify parts of the front seats.
  • Never attempt to modify any components of the airbag system in any way.
  • If too much force is exerted on the seat backrest bolsters, the side airbags may deploy improperly, not at all, or when they should not.
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