Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation


I bought my 17 year old a 2002 Hyundai Sonata last year and the airbag light came on recently. It was due for an inspection and we took it to the dealership. They said the code “B1383” says the passenger side seat back needs to be replaced. $1600 plus they found a few other things that we can fix ourselves. It seems replaceing the whole seat is a bit overkill. What if it’s just a loose wire or faulty sensor. Is there any way to check on these things. The dealership wouldn’t answer my questions. Thanks.

Now you know why we seldom recommend taking a car that is not covered under a new car warranty to the dealer.

Find a local independent mechanic. BTW could that be a P1383 rather than a B1383?

I don’t have easy access to a code book, but someone here likely will be able to provide an exact definition of the error code.

It could be a P1383. I called the dealership again this morning on the phone because I noticed the code wasn’t on the paperwork she handed me. I might have misunderstood her. I took it to one local mechanic and called another and both said to take it to the dealer because it is an airbag sensor. There are a lot of mechanics in the area so I will keep calling around. Thanks

You may have trouble finding anyone other than a dealer willing to work on the airbag system.

I didn’t know there were sensors in the seat back. I thought they were just in the cushion. This seems a very high price for a seat, even if it’s the whole seat. Why can’t they just replace the bad sensor?

Most sensors can be tested, and they should test to be sure before replacing anything.

Can’t you find a used passenger seat in a junk yard?

B1383 sounds like the right code, it is an air-bag code. Why would he get a P-code? That would be an engine problem type code. (“B” is for body, this is the system the airbags are classified under.)

There aren’t a lot of mechanics who are knowledgeable in the air bag and seat belt systems. They are complex electrical/electronic systems; AND, who pays for an inadvertently deployed air bag, is a worry?
When mechanics don’t know how to troubleshoot, and repair, a system, some will perform a “repair” by changing a major component. In your case, this is the entire seat back. Why are they going for the seat?. Who is wrong? My source shows that B1383 is for the Passenger side AIRBAG!
We have google, now. With it, you can find purt-near anything! I found this air bag and seat belt troubleshooting manual: Technical references can be difficult to find; so, give a mechanic the above url for this one.
The trouble code is, probably, B1383 (with B, as in Bobby). B1383 = “Passenger side airbag [electrical] resistance too low”. Codes can “just happen”. So, first, I would erase the code and wait for it to come back on. If it came back on, I would seek a professional in airbag systems. I’ve heard that, in some places, there are shops which specialize in “SENSOR TROUBLESHOOTING AND REPAIR”, or something similar. Check the Yellow Pages, ask mechanics. You may find a mechanic who has the training, or self-teaching, to handle your problem for much less than the dealer.

Thank you for your responses. I will start in the morning calling around to different garages and also salvage yards to see what I can find. It is just the seat back that the dealer wants to replace for $1600. I said seat just because if I can find one to replace at a salvage yard, I figured it would be just as cheap to get the entire seat.

Another option would be to go to & signup for a free account.

Login & pull up the 2002
Sonata shop manual. Check out the air bag section on pages RT-7&12 & most importantly, your mechanic will need the trouble shooting flow chart for code B1383 on page RT-49&50.

To clarify, theres a PAB/passenger air bag in the dash.

Theres also a PSAB/passenger side air bag in the seat.

And from the ETM, the 2 wire connector under the seat is black/orange stripe & light green.

Good luck with it.

OOPS make that one s not 2

Why would you want to get a seat BEFORE you got a credible diagnosis?

We’ve been talking to a couple different mechanics and they said that particular code is a dealer code and is usually best fixed by replacing the seat. I was checking into that through salvage yards just to get an idea on price and to see if I could find one at all. There are 2 seats that they have found. One is $75 and one is $250. I just wanted that info while I am still searching for a credible diagnosis. I am going to print what you all have written and take it to another mechanic tomorrow and make sure the problem isn’t somewhere else before ordering a seat. Thanks so much for your time.

Thanks so much. I’m going to give this info to a mechanic tomorrow.

I know that this model has a recurring issue with the sensor in the seat belt attachment place in the center consule. Look into that too, and also check all the wiring under the seat. It should be a cheap fix.