Front Seat Belt Pretensioner and Load Limiting Systems

For optimum protection, the driver and front passenger seat belts are equipped with pretensioner and load limiting systems. For both these systems to work properly you must wear the seat belt properly.

Pretensioners:

In moderate or severe frontal or nearfrontal accidents, the front air bag and pretensioner systems deploy simultaneously. The front seat belt retractors remove slack quickly as the air bags are expanding.

In addition, the pretensioner system for the front passenger, like the front passenger air bag, is designed to only deploy in accordance with the total seated weight on the front passenger seat. Any time the air bags and seat belt pretensioners have fired they must be replaced. For details, refer to the front passenger seat weight sensors.

Load limiter:

The load limiting system releases belt webbing in a controlled manner to reduce belt force on the occupant's chest. While the most severe load on a seat belt occurs in frontal collisions, the load limiter has an automatic mechanical function and can activate in any accident mode with sufficient occupant movement.

Even if the pretensioners have not fired, the load limiting function must be checked by an Authorized Mazda Dealer after any collision.

WARNING.

Wear seat belts only as recommended in this owner's manual:
Incorrect positioning of the driver and front passenger seat belts is dangerous. Without proper positioning, the pretensioner and load limiting systems cannot provide adequate protection in an accident and this could result in serious injury.

For more details about wearing seat belts, refer to “Fastening the seat belts”.

Have your seat belts changed immediately if the pretensioner or load limiter has been expended: One or both front air bags may deploy, and the corresponding pretensioner(s) may also deploy at the same time. Like the air bags, the seat belt pretensioners will only function once. While it is safer to use a post-crash (a seat belt that was used in an accident) than no seat belt at all, using a seat belt with an expended pretensioner or load limiter loaded reduces the safety available to you. If the seat belt pretensioners are not replaced, the risk of injury in a collision will increase. Expended seat belt pretensioners and air bags must be replaced after any collision which caused them to deploy. Additionally, the load limiter will only limit loads on the chest once in a collision and this is another reason to have the front seat belts inspected. Always have an Authorized Mazda Dealer inspect the seat belt pretensioners and air bags after any collision.

Do not modify the components or wiring, or use electronic testing devices on the pretensioner system: Modifying the components or wiring of the pretensioner system, including the use of electronic testing devices is dangerous. You could accidentally activate it or make it inoperable which would prevent it from activating in an accident. The occupants or repairers could be seriously injured.

Properly dispose of the pretensioner system:
Improper disposal of the pretensioner system or a vehicle with nondeactivated pretensioners is
dangerous. Unless all safety procedures are followed, injury could result. Ask an Authorized Mazda Dealer how to safely dispose of the pretensioner system or how to scrap a pretensioner-equipped vehicle.

NOTE.

- The pretensioner system will activate in a moderate or greater frontal or near-frontal collision. The pretensioner system for the front passenger is designed to only deploy in accordance with the total seated weight on the front passenger seat. It will not activate in most rollovers, side or rear impacts.

- Some smoke (non-toxic gas) will be released when the air bags and pretensioners deploy. This does not indicate a fire. This gas normally has no effect on occupants, however, those with sensitive skin may experience light skin irritation. If residue from the deployment of the air bags or the front pretensioner system gets on the skin or in the eyes, wash it off as soon as possible.

Air Bag/Front Seat Belt Pretensioner System Warning Light

If the air bag/front seat belt pretensioner


If the air bag/front seat belt pretensioner system is working properly, the warning light illuminates when the ignition switch is turned to the ON position or after the engine is cranked. The warning light turns off after a specified period of time.

A system malfunction is indicated if the warning light constantly flashes, constantly illuminates or does not illuminate at all when the ignition switch is turned to the ON position. If any of these occur, consult an Authorized Mazda Dealer as soon as possible. The system may not work in an accident.

WARNING.

Never tamper with the air bag/ pretensioner systems and always have an Authorized Mazda Dealer perform all servicing and repairs: Self-servicing or tampering with the systems is dangerous. An air bag/ pretensioner could accidentally activate or become disabled causing serious injury or death.

    See also:

    Storage Compartments
    WARNING: Keep storage boxes closed when driving: Driving with the storage boxes open is dangerous. To reduce the possibility of injury in an accident or a sudden stop, keep the storage boxes cl ...

    Floor Mat
    WARNING: Make sure the floor mats are hooked on the retention pins to prevent them from bunching up under the foot pedals: Using a floor mat that is not secured is dangerous as it will interfere ...

    Mazda5 2009 Review
    Editor's note: This review was written in April 2008 about the 2008 Mazda5. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2009, click here, or check out a side-by-s ...