crash test airbag

Here’s Everything You Should Know About Airbags

Drivers typically ignore airbags until they deploy in an accident, but contrary to popular belief, airbags are a safety system that is not meant to last a lifetime. Like other automotive components, they may degrade over time and require maintenance and repair. 

Depending on the age and brand of your car, certain airbags must be replaced, while other vehicles require the employment of an airbag reset. So if you’re clueless if your airbags are already defective, then read on to learn more about everything you should know about airbags.

The History of the Airbag

Airbags, which are now standard equipment in all new cars, were formerly a novelty. They were considered revolutionary in the 1970s. However, manufacturers at the time could not predict the life of an airbag and advised car owners to get it tested every few years. Inevitably, improvements had to be made as a result of road accidents.

Furthermore, some foreign car manufacturers experiment with using a plastic seal around the airbag igniter. Before 2002, certain multinational automakers advised that airbags be replaced every 15 years due to the plastic material’s degradation. Because most automakers employed glass sealing technology (which keeps moisture out of the igniter) rather than plastic, this was rarely an issue.

Many car accident cases recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  (NHTSA) found that some of them used airbags that were at most 30 years old! As a result, federal authorities demanded in the late 1980s that all automotive manufacturers include airbags as standard equipment. In 1998, federal legislation required dual airbags to be installed in all new vehicles.

Airbag Inspection for Older Vehicles

While not all vehicles require airbag replacement, some vintage car models’ are recommended for routine inspections to ensure adequate airbag operation. In these situations, it is also essential to check if ignition sequences may have worn out and conduct airbag module reprogramming. 

For example, Acura and Honda manuals from the 1990s advocate getting your airbags tested and replaced every ten years. If you’re looking for a used car, keep this in mind!

Airbags of Today 

In the mid-late 1990s, automobile airbags began to receive lifetime ratings. To put it another way, they should outlast the car. This does not, however, imply that they are permanent. In current automobiles, airbags are tested using self-diagnostic systems. 

At the outset of the trip, modern airbags run a self-test, and the car’s system monitors the airbag throughout the ride. When a problem arises, the warning light is activated to alert you or the vehicle’s driver.


When airbags were first invented for the public’s use, automotive professionals relied heavily on theory and outdated science. Real-world data was not available, and they could only make informed predictions regarding the airbags’ longevity and reliability. 

Thankfully today, with the evolution of airbag technology, drivers can become more confident with new and updated information. With this new information, educate yourself on safe driving and car maintenance. All of this will be handy for you and the people around you!

Are you looking for airbag module reset solutions? SRS Restore offers complete rebuilding of car parts, airbags, and airbag lights after minor and major car accidents. Call us today and get those mechanisms looking and feeling brand new!

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