A reader asked me about dealing with the known-to-be-dangerous – the defective – air bag in her vehicle. Since there are more than 40 million vehicles “affected,” her questions – and my answer – may be of general interest:
Pris asks: There’s an airbag recall for my 2005 Corolla. A truck I bought in the late ’90s was easy to “fix” – open the Fuse panel; AIRBAG was fuse #18; pull it out; done. When I bought the Corolla the fuse box wasn’t obvious, so disabling the airbags was forgotten until Toyota started sending notices about the recall. Last week I found both fuse boxes, but AIRBAG isn’t one of the labels; ABS is as close as it gets, but those are for the brake system, yes? Is there a fuse for the airbags? If it is relatively quick I prefer to remove the things completely, or at least the inflater part. Whatever, apparently these airbags are dangerous well beyond the usual damage they cause to your face and neck; I need to disable them one way or another, and I don’t think Toyota will do that for me.
My reply: I agree with you about the bags, as you probably already know!
These “safety” devices can in fact (not opinion) be very dangerous. Lethal, even. And not just the “defective” ones. The ones that work perfectly can break bones, detach retinas and worse. More people have been badly hurt – and killed – by exploding air bags than by exploding Pintos much less VW diesels – which haven’t harmed anyone. But the government crucified VW and the company had to stop selling the “affected” cars entirely.
And as the car ages, the chances of something going wrong increase because air bags and all the associated components age (and wear) over time, too. The bag might not work at all. Or it might “work” when it shouldn’t – like when you’re driving down the road at 70 and it just goes off. This has actually happened and more than once.
With pre air-bag-equipped cars, you never had to worry about any of the above – even if the car was 20 or more years old.
Granted, air bags can and do “save lives.” But given that they can also take them, given that there are other costs associated with them – including replacement costs so high as to make an otherwise sound older car economically unrepairable in the event of a crash – I think it’s outrageous that we’re forced to buy them and not allowed to disable them. I italicize that word to emphasize the point. Who are these people – in government, I mean – to force on us potentially (and often actually) dangerous anything?
I would have no issue with air bags if they were simply made available to people who freely chose to buy them – like lawn darts (for those who remember). But the mandates sticks in my craw for the same reason that forcing people to buy lawn darts would.
Okay, back to your question!
First thing: While I am all for disabling the bag – it’s your vehicle and it’s certainly your life to “risk” (as Clovers style it) be aware that it’s illegal – yes, really – and that if you do so and they notice you’ve done so (via the “SRS” or “air bag” light coming on and staying on or not coming on at all) when you take your car in for saaaaaaaaaaafety inspection – they’ll fail it.
Doesn’t matter that the car is safe.
In the sense that there is nothing mechanically unsound that would increase the chances your losing control and wrecking – such as bad brakes or bald tires.
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This post first appeared on FREEDOM BUNKER: The Best Libertarian News And Chat, please read the originial post: here