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Flashing Airbag light on 1993 Mazda Miata

I’m considering purchasing a 1993 Miata. The airbag light is flashing. Current owner says that once the battery went completely dead (lights were left on). They replaced the battery & the airbag light bagan flashing…??? He says he looked at the airbag & it was fine. He thinks it just needs to be “reset” due to the battery going dead & being replaced. Is this bogus? Or could it be true? Thanks for any help anyone can give me!


I’ve never heard of a dead battery causing the airbag light to illuminate or flash. People disconnect batteries all the time and have no issues with the airbag light.

If the light is on or flashing there is a problem with the airbag system. The seller knows this and does not want to spend the money to fix it. Airbag repair can be very expensive.

Looking at the airbag means nothing. How do you look at an airbag? You should be aware that if the light is blinking the airbag is deactivated and will not function in a crash.

Walk away from this Miata. If the owner didn’t fix this who knows what else he didn’t fix. Find a car with no known problems.

It could have been in some kind of accident. buy it if you want for a good price airbags won’t work

Hi - thanks for both of these replies. The price is $3,399 with a new top that he’ll put on. Is that a good price? I’m going to take a look at it on Sunday.

Now we have a flashing airbag and a it needs a new top. What’s the mileage on this beast? Why didn’t the seller install the new top before advertising the car?

Can’t you find a nicer car? Unless you know EXACTLY what’s wrong with the airbag you’re taking a HUGE chance.

Get an estimate to fix before purchasing this car.

You cannot look at an air bag and make any judgement. The only indication that something is amiss is the air bag light which means it will not deploy.

My guess is that he knows why the light is flashing…and what it’ll take to fix it…and that’s why he’s selling the car.

I’d keep looking.

Installing a new top is no walk in the park…It’s a job for a pro. This car is 16 years old. Try $1500…

Ouch! Imagine how much a new airbag will cost…

If you were concerned about safety, you wouldn’t be buying a Miata. Not that the Miata isn’t well built, but it’s a small, two seat, convertible on a road system dominated by SUVs, Minivans and trucks. If there is a collision, the Miata is going to lose.

You might want to try to find out which airbag is causing trouble. If any passengers are likely to be small framed – children or shorter women, you might want the passenger side first generation airbag disabled anyway. Same for the driver side airbag if you are small framed. You’ll have to read up on airbags and make your own decision.

If your state has safety inspections, you probably want to know what you are going to do about that flashing light before you go off to get an inspection.

If he says all it needs is to be reset, fine, tell him to get it reset, and tell him to prove to you it’s OK. If he fumbles on this, then you should assume it does not work, that it will not get fixed, and that you will not have an airbag. $1,500 sounds right. There are lots of Miatas to buy, so if this bit of BS bothers you, move on to another car.