I have a 2003 Avalon that I love. It only has 62K miles. Just recently the airbag indicator light has begun to flash indefinitely. Any advice, short of going to the dealer on how work on this? thanks.
There is a fault in the system, and it has disabled itself. Diagnosing, repairing, and restoring the system is usually fairly expensive and is “dealer only”. In most of these systems, the fault must be located and repaired, THEN the control module must be replaced to restore the system.
I know nothing of Avalons, but on my cars, the airbag codes read out through the same plug as the engine computer codes. I would expect any well equipped independent shop to have the tool to read out the codes.
The problems usually turn out to be due to spilled liquids that get into seat belt buckle switches, seat occupancy sensors, electrical plugs in the console, etc. I would be very surprised if you needed to replace the SRS control module on a 5 year old Toyota.
If the light is lit due to something like an occupancy sensor failure, the system will probably still activate in an accident, but I would not bet my life on it, and if it is in failure mode, it might just set off ALL the airbags in an accident, which would be very expensive.