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2003 Mazda Protege airbag replacement

My 2003 Mazda Protege won’t pass inspection in Virginia because the local dealership says I need a new passenger-side airbag. The dealership tells me they can’t replace it because Mazda no longer has that part. The car has approximately 112,000 miles on it and runs like a top,
but I will be ticketed if I drive it without a current inspection sticker. Local repair shops tell me they have to get replacement airbags from the dealers, so that avenue is closed. What can I do to save my car?

Here is what I would do .

Drive the vehicle to a state that does not have inspection and sell or trade .
Or start calling shops to see if one has access to used airbag that will fit . A dealer will not install a used airbag like you see on EBAY .

Edit : Apparently just putting Airbag replacement in Google will show places in Virginia that can solve this airbag problem.

1 Like

Please give us a lot more information . . .

Is the passenger airbag deployed . . . ?

Is the airbag warning light illuminated at idle . . . ?

Because if the answer is no to both questions, I don’t see why the car wouldn’t pass inspection

If in fact the airbag has been CORRECTLY diagnosed as being defective, there are other options besides the dealer. For a car this old, a good used airbag would be a viable option. You might have to get the part(s) yourself. Ebay, junkyards, etc.

Sometimes it’s not the airbag that is the problem, but rather an electrical connector. Sadly, this is a common misdiagnosis on certain vehicles

By chance, is this is a vehicle with recalled Takata airbags . . . ?

Also suggest to contact the department in your state that regulates the inspection system . They may have the power to issue exceptions to owners of cars where the needed part is simply not available. With any luck all you may have to do is fill out some forms verifying the part isn’t available, and you’ll be good to go. And remember the folks you vote in your elections for are in charge of that department, so entreaties to elected officials is an available avenue too. I had to do that one time for my truck’s registration when I couldn’t resolve problem with the Calif DMV. My State Senator’s office heard my complaint, agreed with me, and phoned up the DMV, and my truck’s registration soon arrived.