You probably heard about the recent alert that was sent out by the government, warning about counterfeit air bags possibly being used instead of real ones. But the air bag itself is not the only part that needs to be replaced when an air bag deploys, so it’s important that the shop that repairs your vehicle uses all of the right type of air bag parts to make your vehicle safe again.
The only foolproof source for air bag system parts are brand new ones from the automaker. Here are some of the other parts that might need to be replaced when the air bags deploy.
There are seat belt pre-tensioners on many vehicles and they deploy to tighten your seat belt in milliseconds after the crash. This snugs up your seat belt right before the air bag deploys.
The main air bag control module might also need to be replaced after a collision and it is the “brain box" for the entire system. You can imagine the importance of it working correctly the next time you are in a crash.
There are also other air bag system parts such as impact sensors and clock springs in the steering column. And almost all of these air bag system parts can be purchased online from recycling companies and re-manufacturers.
So how do you know if your air bag system is set up and working like it should after it is repaired? One way is to watch the air bag light when you turn on your vehicle. It should come on when you start the vehicle, which means that it’s running a test on the system. If there is a problem, the air bag light will stay on. If the air bag light doesn’t come on at all when you turn on the vehicle, that also means that there is some sort of problem with the system and you need to get it checked out.
If you are worried that you won’t get real air bag parts when your vehicle is repaired, let me give you a little more information. First of all, when a vehicle is in an accident and the insurance company is paying the bill, that insurance company is going to pay for brand new air bag parts from the dealership and any legitimate shop is going to use them. There is simply too much liability for them and the shop to use anything else. So rest assured, if your vehicle is being repaired by a legitimate shop, the chances that they will not use brand new dealer parts on a job that was paid for by an insurance company are very slim.
But if you want proof, the shop that repairs your vehicle should be able to give you a copy of the invoice from the dealership showing that they purchased a brand new air bag part for repairs on your vehicle.