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Hi there. I traded in my beloved Mercedes SLK230 3 years ago to buy a sedan when my son was about to be born. I can*t seem to recover from the trauma of surrendering my convertible, and I am considering buying an SLK again when my son and sole child has grown out of his convertible child seat. My understanding is that he will be able to have a simple booster seat at that point without even a back on it. I*ve heard that the front airbags in Mercedes cars will automatically deactivate if a Mercedes car seat is installed. Do you know whether the airbag in at 2005-2007 model SLK will deactivate if any other type of car seat is installed? Or would I simply have to "cut the wires" so that the front airbag never works no matter whether there is a booster seat on the seat or not? Are there any other reasons why I would need to be cautious using a booster seat in an SLK (other than the fact that children are always safer in a back seat)? Thanks so much for your help...I*d like to quit daydreaming if my dreams are unrealistic!

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Kim Walker, Marketing Director at Peak Automotive Karen, I can completely understand your passion for the SLK. Mercedes is primarily the vehicle we work on most in our shop and we are very much Mercedes enthusiasts as well. It is safe to drive your SLK with your child if you have the proper Mercedes Benz carseat which will shut off the passenger air bag automatically when the seat is installed in the car. I know of no car seats , other than the Mercedes seat, which have the "babysmart" feature. Without the MB car seat with the BabySmart feature, there is no way of turning off the passenger airbag in the SLK. I'm sorry - I know that is not the answer you'd like to hear but it's the honest one. At the point that your child does not need the booster/car seat then you shouldn't have an issue. However, check the booster/car seat laws in your state since they vary from state to state. Sincerely, Kim Walker Peak Automotive P.S. I found more info for you! The BabySmart automatic child seat recognition system, standard on every Mercedes-Benz model, deactivates the passenger-side front air bag in the presence of a BabySmart-compatible infant, toddler or child booster seat (available from Mercedes-Benz retailers). The BabySmart system uses a small resonator built into the child seat, similar to the security tags sometimes attached to merchandise in retail clothing stores. A low-power signal from the car prompts a return signal from the resonator in a BabySmart-equipped infant seat, allowing the system to sense the presence of the seat and automatically turn off the passenger's front air bag. Since the car's signal is essentially "reflected" back by the resonator in the child seat, the seat itself needs no battery or power hookup. When activated, an "air bag off" light on the center console confirms whenever the BabySmart seat is installed. In the event of a collision, the child is protected by the restraining abilities of the child seat and the seatbelt system. A BabySmart booster seat is also available.

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Hi Karen, Please NEVER "cut the wires" to deactivate the airbag in a car. They are there for your safety! There are mountains of studies and statistics that prove that children are safer riding in the back seat. This is true whether they are in a car seat, booster seat or using the seatbelt. My advice is to either put your dream on hold, or have two cars (one for you and one for driving with your child). All My Best, Amy Mattinat

Patty Streeter,  at AskPatty.com Here is some great information from our experts!

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