Last post on Sep 20, 2011 at 3:33 PM
You are in the Audi A4
What is this discussion about?
Audi A4, Sedan
#2853 of 6042 BlueTrane
Dec 24, 2001 (6:21 am)
Unless Audi has a different rear side airbag setup than other manufacturers, the reason most folks do not order said rear side airbags is that they are at best dangerous to small children and at worst deadly. When I ordered my 328i back in 1998, I researched the issue and found that by default, BMW de-activates them at the factory, and then, for activation, you must sign a release for the dealer before they will enable them.
Given that the A4 and virtually every other car in its class has a small rear seat that is not terribly well suited for adults, most rear seat occupants of such cars (mine included) are children.
So, in my case, the reason why I DID NOT order the airbags, was to better protect my children, however, if the “bullet proof Kevlar armor plating” was available, I might well be inclined to order it.
#2854 of 6042 Rear side airbags/Festivus
Dec 24, 2001 (6:22 am)
Gymshoe - by all means if no one is ever in your back seat then skip the rear airbags. In no way was I commenting on YOUR situation and I apologize if I have given offense. But if I am correct in assuming that a) my dealer is correct in saying that not many people get the rear bags, b) most people at least occasionally have passengers in the rear, and c) for those with children the rear seat passengers are likely to be their own kids, then the $350 rear air bags seem like the first thing I would check off on the options list. Of course you won't use them "every day" as ideally they stay safe and sound in their housings, but like a parachute I would rather have them and not need them than need them and not have them. That's just me, and as with all things, your mileage may vary.
'Rocco - Your memory is still functioning properly; Festivus is indeed the Seinfeld holiday featuring the annual Airing of Grievances, the Feats of Strength, and of course the Pole.
#2855 of 6042 Bluetrane / nobee
Dec 24, 2001 (7:21 am)
Well I looked at the stickers of most 02 A4's in my dealership when I brought it in for service and I haven't seen any of them equipped with rear seat airbags. I can think of this when your salesguy said it's uncommon for people to order rear seat airbags: the dealership wants to get rid of the A4's in their lot BEFORE they will take your factory order. According to a salesguy in another dealership, dealers pay Audi a "rent" to have the cars in their lots. Now of course they want to get rid of their cars in their lots first. That also explains why they won't give in on the MSRP as much as if you pick one out from their lot. I think he's just BSing you. If you desire to have rear seat airbags, order one from the factory or make the salesguy locates one that already got to an US port but hasn't been assigned to a particular dealership.
Nobee, I agree with what you said about RWD pair up with snow tires may not strand all the cars in Germany. But again, here in US, I don't think many people are aware that their RWD car won't do well with regular tires in the snow. Heck, a lot of people don't even know their low profile performance tires (FWD, RWD, AWD, etc) don't survive in the snow. I know the new 02 Toyota Camry SE actually comes with summer ultra high performance tires (like their owners will drive THAT fast) and the only time when Toyota warned of the high perf tires not doing good in the snow is in the brochure with little words at the bottom. I am willing to bet that people get the SE package cuz it "looks good" and yeah it may handle better, but again, what do you expect from a Camry. Do most SE buyers know they need to get snow tires in the winter? Probably not. Drivers here don't understand what their vehicle can do and how they should equip. They ride in big SUVs thinking they got 4WD and can blast down the highway at speed limit when snow and ice showed upon the ground. Sure, a majority of the cars ended up in ditches are SUVs, cuz they don't even know what "center of gravity" and "traction" is. They thought SUVs handle better than cars. Ignorant drivers.
Sorry about the rant. I almost got rammed by an SUV yesterday when the first daytime snow hit Chicago. That thing skidded all over the place and it ended up a couple of feet in front of me. I braked a little but there's black ice and ABS activated and I managed to switch lanes to avoid the Exploder.
Dec 24, 2001 (8:46 am)
I mentioned in a post earlier that my dealer who is my friend says that it is amazing how many people will opt for expensive non-safety related items. His example was sunroofs vs ABS (obviously he is talking about several years ago).
As we have been discussing, to each his/her own. But I think the main reason the dealer said "not too many people buy -- fill in the blank" -- had a lot more to do with what was in stock than anything else.
I suspect that not too many people would want the Bose system or heated seats or Xenons, if the lot was full of cars without them.
I guess Audi is trying to actually become like other car dealers -- i.e., you test drive and buy off the lot.
At my Cincinnati dealer (Audi's and Porches at one location) the dealer claims that the majority of the cars sold have been ordered. I bought two Audi's (out of two dozen, since 1978) off the lot. I would not have a problem buying off the lot, it is just that the inventory of so many dealers (we have two in Cincinnati, for example) does not include enough combinations and permutations (for me).
My wife and I order our Audi's -- with lead times of 3 - 5 months, because the cars we want (in our heads as we drive to the dealership) have "never" been in stock.
So, my point is -- when "all" the Audis have the rear seat air bags, the dealerships will, of course, push them.
For my $.02, I would NOT have a car without them -- just in case.
#2857 of 6042 WINTER DRIVING
Dec 24, 2001 (11:02 am)
Anyone who might be intrested Car and Driver did an article on winter driving with AWD and RWD sedans. Just go to CAR AND Driver .COM and do a search for "What Price Traction" Very intresting!
#2858 of 6042 Re: Safety and Money
Dec 24, 2001 (7:24 pm)
Good points, Mark - I hadn't thought about the "dealer incentive" part. As the saying goes, when your only tool is a hammer, all the world is a nail.
Incidentally, I'm a Cincinnati resident too. I ordered through Beechmont, as they were able to guarantee an Avant for me before my current lease runs out in May. I vastly prefer ordering, especially in a situation like a lease when you know exactly when you will need a new car and can plan ahead. There is nothing inherently wrong with taking dealer stock, but I am picky enough that it is unlikely that a small-volume dealership like our 2 Audi places here in Cincy would have what I would want. Now if I was shopping for a Camry, and there were a hundred on the lot...
#2859 of 6042 Lessons Learned
Dec 24, 2001 (7:34 pm)
Hello to all Audi A4 1.8T 2002 Quattro owners. After reading this post for nearly a year I am going for the 2002 A4 1.8T Quattro with Tip. Should pick it up this week.
From your posts it seems like the A4 is a great car so long as you get rid of it before the 4 year/50K mile warranty runs out and you have a knowledgable and honest dealer.
Is there a reliable and honest Audi dealer in NJ? Does anyone keep the car beyond 5 years?
Thanks and Happy Holidays.
#2860 of 6042 Side air bags...
Dec 24, 2001 (8:11 pm)
I just did a quick search on "rear seat side air bags" and "children". The results STRONGLY SUGGEST that if you are going to be transporting children in the back seat of your car, their risk of serious injury or death is increased if said car has side airbags. On the web page from "Havard School of Public Health", they make the statement that "...child passengers have experienced a net increase in fatal injury risk due to the installation of passenger-side airbags. If effective countermeasures are not implemented, the federal government estimates that an additional 100 children under the age of 12 will die each year in the USA."
That said, there is NO WAY I am going to allow my children in a car with side airbags.
#2861 of 6042 Re: Shipo/side airbags
Dec 25, 2001 (7:31 am)
The jury is still out on side-impact airbags and kids. Here is a summary of what we know for sure about air bags and kids:
- Kids should not ride in the front seat at all
- An air bag deploying into the front of a child or especially into the rear of a rear-facing child seat is dangerous
- Data regarding side-impact airbags and kids are lacking, however bags that are mounted in the seats (as Audi, Toyota, and I believe BMW among others do) appear to be safer than side bags mounted in the door.
- Most air bag injuries of all sorts (kids and adults) occur with unbelted or improperly secured individuals
In addition, although there have without a doubt been scores of airbag injuries, it is much easier to measure these injuries than to figure out how many injuries were PREVENTED by the bags, i.e. how do you if someone would have been hurt without a bag in place?
Unfortunately, this leaves car buyers/parents with the conundrum of making an important decision without the benefit of conclusive data. My own feeling based on reviewing what data we do have is that PROPERLY secured child + side airbag = greater safety than the alternative. That being said, I would never argue with someone like Shipo who appears to have made a similarly reasoned decision not to get the bags. The medical literature is chock full of such on one hand/on the other hand type recommendations. My original position, which I stand by, is that if finances force you to choose only certain options and not others, go with the safety first.
#2862 of 6042 Chipping 1.8 CVT: Questions
Dec 25, 2001 (7:54 am)
After the holidays I will be ordering a 1.8 CVT which I hope to chip. Concerns are: is there a chip available for this engine? If not, what are prospects? Are there chip-friendly dealers out there [ I live in NJ ]? Or as an alternative, can car be EASILY dechipped for service trips back to dealer? I have major concerns about voiding warranty. Any and all comments & advices will be appreciated.