Why Does the Airbag Malfunction Illuminate in Volkswagens?

December 26, 2018 - 5 minutes read

Volkswagen Airbag Light on Dashboard

When you start your Volkswagen, the airbag light should illuminate briefly, then go off. If your airbag light stays illuminated, it is warning you of a malfunction. When you have an airbag malfunction you should take your vehicle in to a qualified auto repair facility right away for proper inspection and diagnosis of the problem.

There could be different reasons for the light illuminating, so your auto repair technician will first diagnose the problem to determine if there is a problem with the airbag or determine if the light is malfunctioning. Most airbag problems can be fixed within two or three hours and the replacement parts are reasonable, so the entire repair process can be done rather quickly and affordably.

Volkswagen Recall for Airbags

In the past, there have been recalls regarding airbag issues. In 2015, Volkswagen recalled 416,000 vehicles because of an airbag defect. The airbag defect was because of the failure of the clockspring, which is an electrical component in the steering system. This faulty part would deactivate the driver’s side airbag as well as controls on the steering wheel, including the horn.

Takata Corporation was a major Japanese-based corporation that manufactured auto parts. There were multiple deaths and injuries blamed on Takata airbag inflators that were made by the company’s Mexican subsidiary. It resulted in the largest automotive recall in U.S. history with 42 million vehicles recalled for the airbag inflators to be replaced. Takata filed bankruptcy in June 2017.

Some Common Problems With Airbags That Cause The Airbag Light To Illuminate

There are many common causes for an air bag light to illuminate. Any of these reasons will need immediate attention. When the light is on, it means your airbag may not deploy in the event of an accident. Here are some common causes for the light to illuminate.

  • Something is interfering with the seat belt switch. A sensor detects that the seat belt is properly fastened. This can lead to a false or inaccurate reading. Something in the buckle, such as a coin, receipt, or something else can trigger a false warning light.
  • Sometimes a damaged clockspring can keep the airbag from deploying. If the airbag is broken, it will cause the warning light to illuminate.
  • Sometimes a car has been in a crash that triggered the crash sensors, but it wasn’t at the point of making the airbags deploy. These situations will illuminate the light. You will need to have your airbag reset so that it can deploy if necessary.

There are other problems that can cause an airbag warning light to illuminate. The warning light could illuminate after the car has been in a flood, or if there is corrosion in the car’s computer, so the airbag isn’t read properly. A water leak or something similar could cause the computer to corrode.

What Should I Do If The Airbag Light Illuminates On Your Volkswagen?

If your airbag or SRS light illuminates Volkswagen Airbag on the dash, you will need to take it to your auto repair facility right away, so it can be properly diagnosed by attaching a scanning device to a portal under the dash. The scan machine will reveal some codes that the mechanic will use to determine what the problem is with your vehicle. Newer vehicles can have as many as 500 codes, so you need someone who is experienced in handling Volkswagen repairs and who can do the research to verify which problem is associated with the code and how to properly address your problem.

Your vehicle’s airbag is an important part of your vehicle’s safety system. If you are involved in a crash, you want to make sure your airbag deploys. If an airbag doesn’t deploy properly, your injuries can be much worse. Also, defective airbags could lead to worse injuries. While you might be concerned about the cost of repairs, you can’t afford to not have your airbag deployed. Your life or the lives of your passengers might depend on your airbag working properly. If your airbag light is illuminated, call Escondido German Auto Shop, convenient to Escondido, Rancho Bernardo, and Valley Center, CA today to have your Volkswagen serviced by a knowledgeable technician. We specialize in German vehicles and are happy to service your Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Porsche, Sprinter, or Volkswagen.

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