In Reply to: airbags posted by S.Wilson on June 11, 1999 at 22:57:32:
I've got 3 and 6 year olds. I had this very same concern. Thru my research I've discovered two "facts" which comfort me (& the kids).
First, BMW airbag system is complex, not just a simple singular huge bag. Apparently BMW engineered their system with 2 stages dependent on speed of impact and whether the passenger has the seat belt on. If the passenger has the seat belt on, then only one of the 2 stages deploys. Also if the speed is under 30 mph, only one stage deploys. Thus indicating to me, less threatening.
Second data point, someone (adult male) on the net was a passenger in an M3 (not Z3) had a high speed impact/collision. He had the seat belt on with the seat as far back as possible. He witnessed the airbag deploying and did NOT even touched him. Which again I deduced BMW's airbag system to be more controlled deployment.
I also recall hearing (on one of those 20-20 TV news programs) that 3 manufacturers (BMW, Mercedes and Honda) has had the better airbag systems that aren't so explosive beyond what is necessary.
So, I'm convinced that my kids are ok with the seat belt on and with the seat all the way back. For the 3-year old, I've got a booster seat without the seat back (thus not placing the kid any closer to the airbag).