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Confused about Passenger Restraint System Malfunction

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Old 05-13-2012, 05:04 PM
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*sigh* Seems like it's never more than a month or two before the car decides to take a little extra portion out of my paycheck.

So, anyways... yes - I know about the infamous "Passenger Restraint System" malfunctions. The recall, etc. Searched around quite a lot.
This may still quite be the case for me, but I'm not fully convinced yet.

This is what has happened so far:

I got in the car this morning, burn my rear off on the black leather seats that've just been in direct sunlight for a few hours... turn the car on, and I see this pleasant message:


I hooked up my laptop, fired up INPA, and start trying to get some more details on any stored errors. It looks like the Passenger occupancy sensor is still functioning as expected.. I verified by getting up and sitting down a few times, and each time the sensors picked up a correct reading. See screenshot #1 below:


Belt buckles and all are also reporting proper readings:


I did manage to get this error code reading. If someone here knows some German, a summarized translation could be quite helpful Otherwise I'm just going to retype it into Google Translate and go from there.


Though probably the most telling of the screens I got was this....




What is "Ignition Circuit 0"? Below that it says... Airbag Driver Position 1. Is that... my steering wheel's airbag? I sure freaking hope not.
I'd like to get some ideas/suggestions/etc before I start taking things apart.

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Old 05-13-2012, 05:58 PM
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I have the same error, so I'm interested in what you find out!
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by saltdog View Post
I have the same error, so I'm interested in what you find out!
Same error - or same diag information?

If you search around, there is a lot of information about the Passenger Restraint System failing. BMW even has a recall (US only) for it. However... That's for the passenger seat mat. But from what I saw on INPA, the passenger mat is still reporting just fine.

Have you pulled any diag info from INPA for your situation?

I'd like to see what other people have seen as well.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:31 PM
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Here's the text of the screenshot of the error code readout.

Code:
       	E R R O R   M E M O R Y
---------------------------------------
Date:  	13.05.2012 20:23:13 ECU:   	ACSM60 
JobStatus: OKAY 
Variant:   ACSM60
-------------------------------------------------------------
RESULT:	1 error in error memory !
-------------------------------------------------------------

93A8  ZK0 / Airbag Fahrer 1.Stufe
Error counter:	4 Logistic counter: 40
Mileage                              	91888 	km
Power On - Zaehler                       	5.00  zyklus
Systemzeit Fehler - Beginn           	9311779.00  Sek
Systemzeit Fehler - Ende                	-1.00  Sek
Absolutzeit Fehler - Beginn - Stunden   	13.00  Std
Absolutzeit Fehler - Beginn - Minuten   	30.00  Min
Absolutzeit Fehler - Beginn - Sekunden  	17.00  Sek
Absolutzeit Fehler - Beginn - Tag       	13.00  Tag
Absolutzeit Fehler - Beginn - Monat                      	Mai  0-n   
Absolutzeit Fehler - Beginn - Wochentag              	unplausibel  0-n	
Absolutzeit Fehler - Beginn - Jahr High Byte 	7.00  Jahr	
Absolutzeit Fehler - Beginn - Jahr Low Byte   220.00  Jahr	
Absolutzeit Fehler - Beginn - Sommer/Winterzeit               	Sommerzeit  0-n

kein passendes Fehlersymptom	
Testbedingungen erfuellt	
Fehler momentan vorhanden und bereits gespeichert	
Fehler wuerde das Aufleuchten einer Warnlampe verursachen   
Widerstand zu gross (ZK)


Error code: 93 A8 E0 01 04 28 2C DE 00 05 00 8E 16 23 FF FF         	
FF FF 0D 1E 11 0D 5F 07 DC FF 
=============================================================
Figured if anyone on Google comes across this in the future, it'll make discovery easier.

And an English translation via Google Translate:

Code:
E R R O R M E M O R Y
 ---------------------------------------
 Date: 13/05/2012 20:23:13 ECU: ACSM60
 Job status: OK
 Variant: ACSM60
 -------------------------------------------------- -----------
 RESULT: 1 error in error memory!
 -------------------------------------------------- -----------

 93A8 ZK0 / driver airbag stage 1
 Error counter: 4 Logistic counter: 40
 Mileage 91888 km
 Power On - 5:00 Cycle Counter
 System time error - beginning 9311779.00 sec
 System time error - end of -1.00 sec
 Absolute time error - start - hours 13.00 hours
 Absolute time error - start - minutes 30.00 min
 Absolute time error - start - Seconds 17:00 sec
 Absolute time error - start - day 13.00 days
 Absolute time error - start - the month of May 0-n
 Absolute time error - start - Weekday implausible 0-n
 Absolute time error - start - year high byte 7:00 years
 Absolute time error - start - year low byte years 220.00
 Absolute time error - start - summer / winter time DST 0-n

 no suitable error symptom
 Test conditions are met
 Error currently exists and has already saved
 Error would cause the illumination of a warning light
 Resistance to large (CC)


 Error code: 93 A8 E0 01 2C 04 28 DE 00 05 00 8E 16 23 FF FF
 FF FF 11 0D 0D 1E 5F 07 DC FF
 ================================================== ===========
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:32 PM
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Dude, if you find out a coding solution to turn off this whole system plz let me know!

I have this same error...
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:05 PM
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Just check with BMW, you may be qualified for a free replacement of your passenger restraint system, my 545i was covered. There is a 10 year warranty on them.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:43 PM
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I checked at my old dealership in the Detroit area, they told me to kick rocks with no socks...
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:58 PM
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That's what my dealer said too, but I called Transport Canada who then called BMW to clarify the situation and voila, it was replaced free and with a smile.
Not sure in the US if you have a transport safety agency who take customer complaints and works with dealerships for a solution. Basically the passenger restraint system is a major safety issue, you can't be sure if you have a passenger and god forbid you get into an accident, you are ok, but your passenger isn't. Of course if your car falls under the warranty, which mine did.

I would file a complaint and get it done. BMW acknowledged the issue and extended the warranty to 10 years, just like the HPFP on the 535's.

Good luck.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Shlooky View Post
Just check with BMW, you may be qualified for a free replacement of your passenger restraint system, my 545i was covered. There is a 10 year warranty on them.
I'm trying to do as much diag before I give the BMW dealer a call. However, from what I've read, the recall is on the passenger seat mat. From what I've pulled from INPA.. the seat mat is working just fine. Reports on when sitting down, off when not. Meaning, it might not be an issue with what the recall was about.

I'm still going to give them a call and have them run my VIN to see if they'll look at it. But if they want $175 for diag fees, I'll be telling them to kick some rocks and continue searching on my own.

@umichchris: I'll probably investigate more into coding the warning away once I can know with confidence what exactly is causing it. If it is legitimately a faulty airbag or similar... that's not really something you wanna bury.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:16 PM
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Status update!

I'm putting my "solution" near the top, since you should probably try this before anything else:

While I was previously reading the codes, I tried to clear them from within the INPA screen for the specific module (Airbag ACSM, menu shown below):


When I hit clear.. It would go back, say all codes were cleared... but not really. Everything was still there, and no luck.

While poking around (and doing lots of internet searching) I went into the "Functional Jobs" menu:


From there, I was able to click the "Show EM" (EM = Error Memory) that displayed *all* of the codes stored on *all* of the car's computers. I clicked the Clear EM button, and it wiped everything. I powered off the car, turned it back on.. drove around the block back and forth... and all seems well. No codes came back, no warnings on iDrive, and no lights on the dash.

I'm had "solution" in quotes above because I'm not completely sure that this actually fixed anything. It's possible that this may have been a false positive from the seat mat (something could've been jostled, or it could've not liked being in direct sunlight for an entire morning, or whatever). But I have no way of confirming anything unless a code comes back (which I'm perfectly fine if it doesn't!). We'll see how it goes commuting back and forth to work tomorrow.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, prior to all the above, I tried some other things:

While doing a lot of researching, I've found a few possibilities for this error:
  • Passenger Seat Mat going bad - probably most common, usually resolved by BMW's recall on the mat sensor. From what I gathered online, if they say your VIN isn't in the recall list, bitch and moan, call the NHTSA and file a claim, etc until they fix you up.
  • Bad Positive Battery Cable - I saw this one a few times while researching. I noticed a pattern between this and non-OEM batteries. I also found some cases of people saying this failed, and they noticed water in their trunk/battery compartment. Check for water around your battery.
  • Bad module in the driver's door - for some reason, this threw this error for someone. I only saw one posting for this though.
  • Snapping the ribbon cable in the steering wheel slip ring - If you turn your steering wheel far beyond what it should go, there's a chance you'll snap the ribbon cable that winds and unwinds with the wheel. This cable connects the buttons on the wheel, as well airbag. Breaking it will throw the airbag light.
So, while #1 there is by far the most common... it's not always the case.

In my case... before I managed to clear codes properly through INPA, I pulled the negative plug to my battery and left it for a few mins, then plugged it back in. Errors were still there. But... I did notice something about my battery. It's not OEM! At least, I really don't think it is. It's a DieHard (american-made) battery in there. I don't have much other info on it, but it hasn't given me any issues, but I can't completely discount this as not being a partial culprit to the restraint errors.




Anyways - I rambled a little bit, but I'm trying to be descriptive as possible. Perhaps it can lead someone else in the right direction.

I'll report back either tomorrow or in a few days to at least say if the error message resurfaced itself or not.


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