Yellow "Passenger Air Bag Light" - what to do?

Yellow light on dash, says passenger air bag. Must take this in to mechanic for check? Any way to try resetting this with the little under-dash port?

An airbag scanner needs to be connected to see if any SRS codes are stored.


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Thanks. I have an OBD2 Scanner. Will that help?

I believe that depends on the level of scanner you have. Most likely not, unless you have a dealership level scanner or the equivalent. You can plug it in and see if it’ll read airbag codes, though. I don’t think the ones at autozone, oreilly’s, etc will read srs codes.

Can it read airbag codes?

If not, you need a scanner that can.


I was in a similar situation when I bought my last truck. I bought it used and the airbag light was on. I had the code read by a shop for a diagnostic fee of around 100 bucks or so. I then bought and replaced a crash sensor that the diagnostic had pointed to being the problem.

Before doing that, I made sure the wiring to the passenger seat occupancy sensor hadn’t gotten unplugged or broken. You might check that first, maybe you’ll get lucky.

That is an indicator light, it should display “Pass airbag on” or “Pass airbag off”. It does not necessarily indicate a failure.

If there is a failure with the passive restraints, the airbag warning light in the instrument cluster will illuminate.


Thanks all for the inputs. I’m on the Carvana post-purchase warranty. Some complications because of the location of the nearest in-network facility (gag), however, Carvana seems to want to make it work. We’ll see!


See page 47 of the owners manual;

Don’t cars have the ability to turn passenger air bags off for Baby seats?

Yes, that is the purpose of the indicator light, to show the passenger airbag status.

OK, that kind of ties everything together. Rather than somewhat annoyingly reporting a default condition (Airbag On), the light is providing information of a condition that might be a risk (if there is a baby chair in the passenger seat)…
So the “Airbag On” light In that position on the dash) being illuminated (which mine is) is NOT a problem. Did I get that right?

if you place something on the passenger seat that is not the weight of a human it will come on.

Than that not ok, because I’m sitting in the passenger set and the light comes on. So the car seat weight sensor must be malfunctioning which means it IS an issue. But perhaps less serious than the SRS itself being malf’ed.

actually it should say air bag is off if you have something on the seat that is not the weight of a human.

When an adult is sitting in the passenger seat the airbag should be on. If something less than ~ 90 lbs is on the seat, the airbag should be off.

Place something that weighs 25 lbs on the seat and check the indicator light.

Pages 48 to 50 explain the airbag classification conditions.

Thanks! Different pages, however, clear explanation:

I consider this resolved. The light SHOULD be on, there is no malfunction.

Unless anyone has yet another extension on this untangling little drama… :slight_smile:

Big help, CarTalk!

Is this another case where the least read book in the world ( the vehicle owners manual ) could have saved the owner time and provided an answer ?


Probably. However, the owner would have to be smart enough (and patient enough) to understand the (602 page) owner’s manual to an extent of developing a high confidence in the situation. Which was not the case in this instance.

Would it spoil your day if I told you what grade level reader the owners manuals are written to?

You didn’t need to read all 602 pages, just the couple with the SRS light on them.