One of the most important safety features in your modern Volkswagen is the airbag. If you are a Volkswagen driver, you may have to deal with the illumination of the airbag light on your dashboard.
The airbag light normally comes on when you start your car. This indicates that it is detecting the weight of a person in the passenger seat. If it detects weight, it will turn on the airbag function. Once this process has completed, the airbag light will turn off. If it doesn’t, you shouldn’t ignore the airbag light on your Volkswagen’s dashboard. This light can remain on for a number of reasons. Let’s take a closer look.
Airbag Safety for Your Protection
Airbags are designed to keep the occupants in the front seat of a car safe in the event of a crash. When an accident occurs, a car usually goes from a significant speed to a sudden stop. Unfortunately for the car’s participants, this instant deceleration wreaks havoc on the body.
Seat belts are designed to lock in place during this immediate stop or rapid deceleration. This keeps a person in the seat and prevents your body from hitting the dashboard and windshield. The impact to a person from hitting the dashboard can cause extensive injuries and fatalities.
The airbag was designed to help cushion this impact and even prevent things like whiplash, which occurs when your head continues to move forward but the seat belt keeps your torso in place. Your head can be whipped forward and backward, hitting the head rest. However, the airbag is designed to inflate to prevent your head from jerking forward, preventing this type of whiplash injury.
With airbags, the accelerometers in your Volkswagen are able to detect any signs of sudden deceleration that point to a potential impact. In a matter of milliseconds, these sensors trigger a tiny explosive device that releases nitrogen gas upon ignition. Nitrogen gas fills up in the airbag, thereby inflating it to create a cushion between the dashboard and the occupants of the car.
While you may still feel discomfort after the airbag deploys and stops you from hitting the dashboard, it is minimal compared to the injuries that may occur without this type of proactive device.
If you notice your airbag light stays on, bring your car in for a quick inspection so we can diagnose the problem. We want to keep all safety features working properly on your car.
Clock Spring Malfunction
The clock spring is an electrical component found in your Volkswagen’s steering wheel that is responsible for allowing the steering wheel to turn freely while still retaining its connection to the other vehicle functions, which include the airbag. Clock spring malfunction was the reason for the Volkswagen recall of 2015 because it stopped the airbags from deploying, causing fatal accidents. This malfunction also affects the other functions that are linked to the steering wheel.
Corrosion from Water Damage
Driving in excessive water from flooding can cause damage to your Volkswagen’s internal computer. This computer is responsible for computing all your car’s vitals and sending warning signs in case of a problem. So when the vehicle’s computer is water damaged, it may fail to read the status of the airbags correctly, causing the airbag light to remain illuminated as a warning.
There are occasions where your car may get into a minor accident that doesn’t trigger the airbags to deploy, such as a low-speed fender bender or slowly backing into a pole by accident. While the airbags may not have deployed from the collision, it may have triggered the car’s crash sensors. This may cause the airbags light to illuminate, indicating that you need a reset to the system so that it can deploy properly in the event of a major accident.
Heynneman European: For Your Safety in Your VW
Your safety should be the #1 priority every time you get into your car. Take heed if you see the airbag light illuminating on your dashboard and seek the help of our certified mechanics.
Heynneman European is your go-to partner when it comes to caring for your European model car. Visit our shop if you’re in and around Larkspur, Kentfield, Corte, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Fairfax, and San Rafael, CA. Our team of mechanics will inspect and diagnose your airbag problem and make any necessary repairs or reset it, so you can feel confident on the road again.