Old airbags?

I have a 13-year-old car with ~130,000 miles that I’d like to hand down to my daughter when she drives (2002 Saab 95 wagon).

Do air bags need to be inspected/repaired/replaced after a period of time? The car is 12 years old, and I’m sure materials naturally degrade after a period of time. I have never gotten an air bag warning from the car’s sensors.

I saw a discussion on this from a few year’s back, but wanted to know if there was more current information, particularly in light of all the Tanaka air bag issues.

I wouldn’t worry about it, assuming they’re not part of the Takata (note spelling) problem. I’m aware of no age-related airbag replacements.

Airbags generally require service every 10 years. That said, almost no one does it. Why? Because especially in the cars that have airbags everywhere, you’ll pay a lot more than the car is worth to have the upkeep done on them.

In re: the Tanaka air bag issues, if your car is equipped with faulty Tanaka airbags it will be recalled. Otherwise, it has no bearing on your vehicle.

By ‘service’, you mean ‘check that it’s there and there are no codes’, right?

When airbags were a new technology it was thought that they’d need to be checked every ten years, but after countless checking it was determined that no degradation was happening and that philosophy changed. It is no longer considered necessary to check airbags out periodically. If it were, your owner’s manual would address it.

My wife slid on some small gravel on the highway and plowed her 15 year old Jeep Grand Cherokee into a tree and flipped it on it’s top. The airbags functioned perfectly and the seat belts held her in her seat. This was a few years ago so aging air bags and seat belts saved her life. I don’t worry about their reliability as they age but we no longer drive 15 year old vehicles anymore either.

When airbags were a new technology it was thought that they'd need to be checked every ten years, but after countless checking it was determined that no degradation was happening and that philosophy changed.

Makes you wonder if it’s retroactive, at least from a legal perspective. If I get in a wreck in a car where the owner’s manual tells me to check the airbag every 10 years, and I don’t do it, and the airbags fail to work, can my passenger come after me for negligence?

Only if you have deep pockets and he has a slick lawyer… {:smiley:

Takata is the company with several million vehicles affected by the air bag recall. You can determine if yours is on the list by going to safercar.gov and entering your VIN. My auto insurer puts the VIN on an insurance card for each car we insure if you need a convenient place to find the number. I did this a few days ago when the air bag recall was expanded. Fortunately for me, only the 2001 and 2002 model years of V6 Accords are affected.

I heard the recall was only for 10 years old and less. My car has them, no recall. Is there a preferred way to disable airbags if one wished?

I saw the thread heading and thought this was about my neighbor , Sorry could not stop my self.

Your question is pretty much moot. Airbags are essentially no longer available for a 2002 Saab. The company folded in 2009 and the parts community has not created a supply line for airbags. The only parts available are what is left on the shelf from old stock for these cars. Replacing the airbags or inflators is no longer an option.

That said, they should still be just fine as long as the car doesn’t turn on the service light. While a Saab is still a fine, safe car, I would only consider letting your daughter drive it locally. If it needs repair, it will likely take several days to several weeks to obtain repair parts.

Barky, the answer is an absolute no. They’re specifically designed to discourage disconnecting them.

You didn’t state what vehicle you’re interested in but in many cases, it is very easy to do- almost too easy. For example, disconnect battery and wait for 1/2 hour. This allows the air bag backup capacitor time to discharge. Then remove the fuse associated with the air bag(s). You could then go the extra mile and disconnect the cable but it’s essentially disabled at this point. The downside is that the airbag warning lamp will now be continuously lit.

You can search online for your specific vehicle. This is a relatively common practice for people that off-road so Jeeps and the like dominate the results but if you look, you can likely find the exact method for your particular vehicle…

Thanks @TwinTurbo a 2003 trailblazer that has takata airbags. I love memory tenders, so will check out trailvoy, and see if the capacitor will still discharge. I wonder if the insurance company cares.