Recently, our 2005 Toyota Camry popped up an air bag warning light: one of those serious-looking red icons on the dashboard. Oh oh!!!
We took it to a dealer and the computer gave error code B1821 which is, apparently, an open circuit warning for the sensor for the driver Side-Air-Bag. The mechanics reset the error code and said “If this happens again you’ll need to replace the whole drivers seat.”
According to the dealer, this sensor is “integrated” into the seat so you just can’t drop in a new sensor. Nope… you need a whole new seat!
A new seat costs about $2700 and that’s nearly a third of the car’s value. Why the heck would Toyota fully integrate some little sensor into an expensive seat?
So far, the red warning light hasn’t come on again but we’re very worried. What if it some on again during a long trip and the warning light comes back on?
- Is there any way to actively check this sensor to make sure it works. I mean, other than running into a wall.
- Is the deal correct? Bad sensor = new seat?