Toyota Prius Owners Manual

Front seats
OPERATION OF INSTRUMENTS ANDCONTROLS / Occupant restraint systems / Front seats

Front seat precautions

Driver seat


The SRS driver airbag deploys withconsiderable force, and can causedeath or serious injury especially ifthe driver is very close to the airbag.The National Highway Traffic SafetyAdministration (“NHTSA”) advises:

Since the risk zone for driver airbagis the first 50−75 mm (2−3 in.) ofinflation, placing yourself 250 mm (10in.) from your diver airbag providesyou with a clear margin of safety.This distance is measured from thecenter of the steering wheel to yourbreastbone. If you sit less than 250mm (10 in.) away now, you canchange your driving position in severalways:

  • Move your seat to the rear as faras you can while still reaching thepedals comfortably.
  • Slightly recline the back of theseat. Although vehicle designs vary,many drivers can achieve the 250mm (10 in.) distance, even with thedriver seat all the way forward, simplyby reclining the back of theseat somewhat. If reclining the backof your seat makes it hard to seethe road, raise yourself by using afirm, non−slippery cushion, or raisethe seat if your vehicle has thatfeature.
  • If your steering wheel is adjustable,tilt it downward. This points the airbagtoward your chest instead ofyour head and neck.

The seat should be adjusted as recommendedby NHTSA above, whilestill maintaining control of the footpedals, steering wheel, and your viewof the instrument panel controls.

Front passenger seat


The SRS front passenger airbag alsodeploys with considerable force, andcan cause death or serious injury especiallyif the front passenger is veryclose to the airbag. The front passengerseat should be as far from theairbag as possible with the seatbackadjusted, so the front passenger sitsupright.

Front seats (with SRS side airbags)


The SRS side airbags are installed inthe driver and front passenger seats.Observe the following precautions.

  • Do not lean against the front doorwhen the vehicle is in use, sincethe side airbag inflates with considerablespeed and force. Otherwise,you may be killed or seriously injured.
  • Do not use seat accessories whichcover the area where the side airbagsinflate. Such accessories mayprevent the side airbags from activatingcorrectly, causing death orserious injury.
  • Do not modify or replace the seatsor upholstery of the seats with sideairbags. Such change may preventthe side airbag system from activatingcorrectly, disable the system orcause the side airbags to inflate accidentally,resulting in death or seriousinjury.

Seat adjustment precautions


  • Do not adjust the seat while thevehicle is moving as the seat mayunexpectedly move and cause thedriver to lose control of the vehicle.
  • Be careful that the seat does nothit a passenger or luggage.
  • After adjusting the seat position, releasethe lever and try sliding theseat forward and backward to makesure it is locked in position.
  • After adjusting the seatback, pushyour body back against the seat tomake sure the seat is locked inposition.
  • Do not put objects under the seats.Otherwise, the objects may interferewith the seat−lock mechanism orunexpectedly push up the seat positionadjusting lever and the seatmay suddenly move, causing thedriver to lose control of the vehicle.
  • While adjusting the seat, do not putyour hands under the seat or nearthe moving parts. Otherwise, yourhands or fingers may be caughtand injured.

Adjusting front seats

Toyota Prius: Front seats. 1. SEAT POSITION ADJUSTING LEVER


Hold the center of the lever and pull itup. Then slide the seat to the desiredposition with slight body pressure andrelease the lever.


Lean forward and pull the lever up.Then lean back to the desired angleand release the lever.


Avoid reclining the seatback anymore than needed. The seat belts providemaximum protection in a frontalor rear collision when the driver andthe front passenger are sitting upstraight and well back in the seats. Ifyou are reclined, the lap belt mayslide past your hips and apply restraintforces directly to the abdomenor your neck may contact the shoulderbelt. In the event of a frontalcollision, the more the seat is reclined,the greater the risk of deathor serious injury.

Flattening seatbacks

Toyota Prius: Front seats. 1. Remove the head restraint. Hold thecenter of the lever and pull it up.Then slide the seat further forwardthan the front−most lock position.

1. Remove the head restraint. Hold thecenter of the lever and pull it up.Then slide the seat further forwardthan the front−most lock position.

Toyota Prius: Front seats. 2. Pull the seatback angle adjusting leverto unlock and push down theseatback.

2. Pull the seatback angle adjusting leverto unlock and push down theseatback.

When returning the seatback upright, becareful not to make yourself hit by theseatback which will bound with considerablespring force.

After returning the seat to its originalposition, be certain to replace the headrestraint.


Do not allow passengers to ride onthe flattened seat while driving; usethe seat in the normal position.

After putting back the seat, trypushing the seat and seatback forwardand rearward to make sure itis secured in place. Be certain toreplace head restraint.

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