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The 2002 has the side airbags mounted in the side bolsters. If you felt around in the side bolster area, you can feel a rectangular box (containing the airbag, I assume)that is inset into the foam area of the side bolster. This box is covered over with the seat fabric.

I was wondering how the side airbags inflated through the seat fabric. Does the "box" cut through the fabric somehow when tha airbag inflates? Is the force of the airbag inflating enough to rip the fabric? Is the stitching "weak" on the airbag side of the seat to allow for inflation?

For those who own leather seats (which I assume is stronger than fabric and will have to be cut before the airbag inflates), do you notice some sort of flap that will allow airbag inflation?

I'm just one of those perpetually curious types.

Thanks ---- Odyman
 

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It looks to me like they would come out of the seam. Page 55 of the owners manual has an overhead diagram of how they deploy (although it doesn't confirm my suspicion).

Also on page 240 it explains "covering the outside edge of a front-seat back, with a non-Honda seat cover for example, could prevent the airbag from inflating properly"
 
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