Saturday, January 8, 2011

Airbags

A "heads up" about the airbag warning light:

During our late spring trip south in our '02 RB we had the airbag warning light come on, although not consistently or with any discernable pattern. We also noted a small anomoly with the seatbelt chime working at times it wasn't supposed to. The Ford owners' manual warns to have a Ford technician service the vehicle immediately when the airbag light comes on.
We took it to two Ford dealers while on the road along the Gulf Coast and were told that it's no big deal and that it happens all the time, probably due to humidity.
Fortunately, at a regional Lazy Daze GTG we found another couple who'd had the very same problem and they were kind enough to forward all the technical repair info to us so we were prepared when we were finally able to get to a Ford dealer. The service technician found the problem pretty quickly through the computer hookup.

The failure was in the sensor unit into which the driver secures his/her seatbelt. Evidently, in a crash this unit seizes the belt and retracts a bit to help keep your face from imprinting on the airbag (or something like that). If this sensor unit does not function properly, the airbag system is disabled and will not deploy for either side in the event of a crash. (pretty sobering stuff) We were told that this is not an uncommon problem for Ford. Repair is simply swapping out the seatbelt receiver unit on the inside side of the driver's seat.

So much for the "humidity" theory. Hopefully, we'll never have to test the repair, but it's comforting to know that it should work now.

Contributor: Dianne

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