What is the airbag control module?

If you haven’t yet heard about the airbag control module in your vehicle, there is a lot for you to learn. This unit—though small compared to other parts of your vehicle—serves a crucial role in preserving your safety and operating your vehicle.

Wondering what the airbag control module is?


Basically put, the entire airbag system runs through and operates by the airbag control module. Without the module, the airbags in your vehicle would not work, or would deploy, during a sudden stop or collision. As a result, driving without a properly operating airbag control module can serve as a giant safety hazard. During a collision, airbags are what prevent occupants of a vehicle from colliding into other objects or people inside the vehicle or from completely projecting through the windshield. Without an airbag control module present, both drivers and passengers alike would not have such protection.


What is also important about the airbag control module is that it stores crash data and hard codes. This information is what courts sometimes retrieve and use to decipher the events leading up to and during a crash. The unit can store vehicle and engine speed, throttle position, brake light switch position, seat belt use, impact speed change, and airbag and pre-tensioner deployments. This is quite a bit of useful information stored in one simple module.


Heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses are equipped with something similar to an airbag control module—an engine control module, or ECU. ECUs actually record a lot more information than airbag control modules do—they can store information up to 60 seconds before a crash!


After airbags deploy, nothing but a reset or getting a brand new unit will allow you to get rid of the codes. The first option is much more practical and affordable. A company that can do an airbag control module reset for you is Safety Restore.

Video – What is the airbag control module?