Ford Escape Manuals
Ford Escape 2020-2022 Owners Manual / Airbags / Front Passenger Sensing System

Ford Escape: Airbags / Front Passenger Sensing System

What Is the Front Passenger Sensing System

This system detects a properly seated occupant and determines if the front passenger airbag should be enabled.

How Does the Front Passenger Sensing System Work

The system uses a passenger airbag status indicator which illuminates indicating that the front passenger frontal airbag is either enabled or disabled.

Note: When you first switch the ignition on, the passenger airbag status indicator off and on lamps illuminate for a short period to confirm they are functional.

Ford Escape. Front Passenger Sensing System

The indicator lamps are in the center stack of the instrument panel.

The front passenger sensing system is designed to disable the front passenger frontal airbag under these conditions:

  • The front passenger seat is unoccupied.
  • The system determines an infant is present in a child restraint.
  • A passenger takes their weight off of the seat for a period of time.
  • If there is a problem with the airbag system or the passenger sensing system.

Even with this technology, parents are strongly encouraged to always properly restrain children in the rear seat.

  • When the front passenger sensing system disables the front passenger frontal airbag, the passenger airbag status indicator illuminates the off lamp.
  • If you have installed the child restraint, but the passenger airbag status indicator illuminates the on lamp, switch your vehicle off, remove the child restraint from your vehicle and reinstall the restraint following the child restraint manufacturer's instructions.

The front passenger sensing system works with sensors that are part of the front passenger seat and seatbelt. The sensors are designed to detect the presence of a properly seated occupant and determine if the front passenger frontal airbag should be enabled.

  • When the front passenger sensing system enables the front passenger frontal airbag, the passenger airbag status indicator illuminates the on lamp.

If a person of adult size is sitting in the front passenger seat, but the passenger airbag status indicator off lamp is illuminated, it is possible that the person is not sitting properly in the seat. If this happens:

  • Switch your vehicle off and ask the person to place the seat backrest in an upright position.
  • Have the person sit upright in the seat, centered on the seat cushion, with the person's legs comfortably extended.
  • Restart your vehicle and have the person remain in this position for about two minutes. This allows the system to detect that person and enable the passenger frontal airbag.
  • If the indicator off lamp remains illuminated even after this, advise the person to ride in the rear seat.

After all occupants have adjusted their seats and put on seatbelts, it is very important that they continue to sit upright, leaning against the seat backrest, and centered on the seat cushion, with their feet comfortably extended on the floor.

Sitting improperly can increase the chance of injury in a crash event. For example, if an occupant slouches, lies down, turns sideways, sits forward, leans forward or sideways, or puts one or both feet up, the chance of injury during a crash greatly increases.

If you think that the state of the passenger airbag status indicator lamp is incorrect, check for the following:

  • Objects lodged underneath the seat.
  • Objects between the seat cushion and the center console.
  • Objects hanging off the seat backrest.
  • Objects stowed in the seat backrest map pocket.
  • Objects placed on the occupant's lap.
  • Cargo interference with the seat
  • Other passengers pushing or pulling on the seat.
  • Rear passenger feet and knees resting or pushing on the seat.

The listed conditions could cause the weight of a properly seated occupant to be incorrectly interpreted by the front passenger sensing system. The person in the front passenger seat could appear heavier or lighter due to the conditions listed.

Ford Escape. Front Passenger Sensing System Make sure the front passenger sensing system is operating properly.

If the airbag readiness light is on, do the following:

  • Pull your vehicle over.
  • Switch your vehicle off.
  • Check for any objects lodged underneath the front passenger seat or cargo interfering with the seat.
  • Remove the obstruction if found.
  • Restart your vehicle.
  • Wait at least two minutes and verify that the airbag readiness light in the instrument cluster is no longer illuminated.
  • If the airbag readiness light in the instrument cluster remains illuminated, there may be a problem due to the front passenger sensing system.

Do not attempt to repair or service the system. Take your vehicle in for service immediately.

If it is necessary to modify an advanced front airbag system to accommodate a person with disabilities, contact your Customer Relationship Center.

Front Passenger Sensing System Precautions

WARNING: Sitting improperly, out of position or with the seatback reclined too far can take weight off the seat cushion and affect the decision of the passenger sensing system, resulting in serious injury or death in the event of a crash. Always sit upright against your seat back, with your feet on the floor.

WARNING: Any alteration or modification to the front passenger seat may affect the performance of the front passenger sensing system. This could seriously increase the risk of injury or death.

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Ford Escape. Front Passenger Sensing System

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