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2000 Toyota Avalon air bag icon flashing

We own a 2000 Toyota Avalon. Just recently, the air bag icon has been flashing on the dash for the past two weeks. Safety issue 1st - are the air bags still active. We plan on taking our local auto repair (equipped with shop computer). Initially took to same shop and was told to leave the car for the day.

They said it was an open circuit and that the steering column had to pulled to repair the problem. Sounds costly but is it necessary.

When an air bag light flashes, it does this to get your attention. And it means there’s a problem in the air bag circuit where air bags might not deploy in the event of an accident, or that air bags can deploy unexpectedly. Not fun!


It sounds like they diagnosed a broken connection to the air bag in the steering wheel. There is usually a ‘clock spring’ spiral of wires that passes signels from the steering column to the steering wheel. Since this ‘clock spring’ is constantly flexed when the steering wheel is turned, the wires can break or the spiral gets caught and kinks until wire(s) break.

It is not an expensive job to do. Just requires deactivation of the air bag; removal of the air bag; removal of the steering wheel; r & r of the ‘clock spring’; and then reassembling everything.

Get back to us with the actual cost so we can have feedback.