Crash Sensor replacement on VW New Beetle

My airbag light has been glowing for a few weeks so I took it to the dealer. I was told it would cost $699 to install a new chip for the driver’s side, and that I might have to also upgrade the passenger side to make it compatible. This is a 2001 New Beetle. Seems pretty high to me. Is there an alternative, or do you have any advice.

Get another estimate. One alternative is to use the seat belt and forget the airbag. Also check the warranty information in your owner’s documentation. There may be a longer warranty on the airbag than on the rest of the car.

In the mean time, you should realize that if the airbag light is on the airbags are deactivated and will NOT inflate in a crash.

Buckle up!

Wow, I wasn’t expecting such a quick response. I am supposed to go back to the dealer tomorrow so the mechianic can run a diagnostic, but I’ll go armed with info on my warranty and with another estimate as well. Thanks!

See if VW has a TSB technical service bullitin. I heard VW has a problem with supplemental restraint systems.

Was there any further update on this problem? I seem to have the same issue with my 2001 New Beetle but my local mechanic was able to reset the indicator. He said that sometimes a very low battery can cause the sensor to trigger and it may be able to be reset. He also said that he recently had to refer one of his customers to the dealer for a harness replacement (maybe “chip” replacement too?) at a cost of about $1500. Everything seems to be back to normal now, but I’d be very interested to hear about the outcome of your problem and whether or not there was a warranty TSB. THANKS!