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Ford airbag broken - what now?

sixsigmamansixsigmaman Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Ford
The check airbag light is flashing on my '93 Ford E-150 conversion van. The dealer tells me that it will cost $750 to replace the air bag assembly, and that by law I have to do it. The van has never been in an accident, and the only explanation for it's failure is that it's "bad". I suppose it's hoping too much to think Ford would pay for the repair, but it is highly disappointing to have to sink big bucks into this thing, when I don't think I caused it to fail and I wouldn't have expected it to "wear out". Has anybody experienced this failure? Any alternatives? In this area only the Ford dealers will touch an air bag system. Has anybody had success complaining through the usual channels (Ford, NHTSA, Attny. General, etc.)? Any input is appreciated.

Comments

  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    Has anything else quit working? Do you have cruise on your van? If so, are the controls on the steering wheel? Does the cruise and the horn still work? If those have quit as well, I'd bet it's your clock spring. I have a '99 F-350 that did the same. The dealer fixed it for $75.
  • Everything else works fine on the steering wheel. Thanks.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Check with larger local body shops. Most have lots of experience with airbag systems.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    Get another opinion!
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    Do some states or provinces have laws that compel a vehicle owner to repair a defective airbag system? Such a rule would seem to be incompatible with that fact that older vehicles which do not have airbags can legally be operated on public roads.
  • Hello, I have a friend with the same problem. He fixed it with a piece of black tape. He just placed it over the lighted abs decal on the dash. The thing went out by itself some time later. It sounds like a scam to me. The dealers are really fleecing us with all these lights. If you need the air bag, how come all these older cars that don't have any are passing safety inspections? Sometimes it's just a bad connection at the crash sensor. Before 96 you could buy one of those 29 dollar code scanners. I know, I have a 96 Ford van, they have the obd 2 system. My luck I get the first year you need a special computer to read your codes.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Not sure about other areas, but currently in Ontario a car will pass a safety inspection if the airbag light is on, or if the bag is missing. Ditto for the ABS. As long as the base brake system's working, the car will pass inspection with the ABS light on.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    spokane,
    Some state inspections require that all factory equipped safety equpment be present and functional or they fail the inspection.
    Some states do have certain requiremnets on the sale of vehicles. In Washington, you cannot sell a vehicle with a cracked windshield, it must be reppaired before the vehicle can be sold.
    On the flip side, in Oregon, you are not required to have any windshield, but are required to have operational windshield wipers.

    Also, you have to look at the liability issues. If you sell a vehicle that the airbag has been removed, you must have a disclosure in writing (keeeping a signed copy) or they can come back on you and make you pay for the installation of the airbag.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    airbags are a federal safety requirement. don't think it's legal to sell a car with a known safety failure, waiver in your back pocket or no.

    if you want to gamble a little, potentially not a lot, there is a booming market in second-hand airbags. safest to get one at a pull-it-yourself junkyard if they haven't yanked 'em all and lined 'em up on a table inside.

    if you do pull it yourself, get the "clock spring" wiring harness as well. somebody has already mentioned that as a likely failure, and I'd frankly change it first. that is a moving part subject to wear as the coils scrape each other, and I'd suspect it first.
  • If you pull it yourself, Make sure the battery has been disconnected. If it isn't you will have to disconnect it and wait a half hour. The system has a capacitor that holds enough of a charge to engage the bag for about a half hour. What will you do if after all that, the lights
    still on?
This discussion has been closed.