Can you always tell if airbag deployed?

2001 Bettle, I have been told two things, you can and maybe not! I see the area above the glove box seems to have been punched several times, but that cannot be an indication of deployement can it? I would hate to drive thinking I have airbags,and actually don’t. Can someone help me with this.

Have a mechanic disconnect and inspect the air bags. He should be able to tell and then reconnect them. Don’t try to tamper with them yourself.

Also, your car should do a self diagnostic of the air bag system. If the SRS light doesn’t stay on, everything should be OK.

All you are worried about is whether you have a working SRS system. You don’t care if it had been ever deployed, as long as it is functional now. A simple check is to note the SRS light in the instrument panel. It should come on whenever you start the car, the shut off in a few seconds. If so, you’re good. A mechanic can also take things apart and give you a more satisfactory answer.

Steve’s answer is good…The airbag system has an expensive “control module” that is separate from other electronics in the car. Every time you turn the key on, it monitors the entire system for faults. If all is well, the light goes out. If all is NOT well, the module self destructs, blows a non replaceable internal fuse which dis-arms the system and causes the dash light to stay on. If someone REMOVES the control module to cover up a non-functioning system, the light will NEVER come on, tipping you off there is a problem.

To repair a bad SRS system, first a special scanner is used to locate the fault in the system. That fault is then repaired. When the system gets a clean scan, a NEW control module is installed and system function is restored. I hopes this information helps you…