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When the airbag light is on exactly what does it mean? Obviously a fault has been detected but is the airbag system totally deactivated? Will it still deploy in some non-standard mode? Does deployment depend on what fault has been detected? Or is the system totally offline after any fault has been detected?

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The system works even with the light on. My older Boxster had its light on and off for 2 years. When it came on a friend with a PST2 would turn it off. Then it would come on again. Repeated this a few times until I had a reason to take the car in for other work and the latest and greatest fix was done. I was in no hurry because I was told the system was functional even with the light on. Jeff

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My understanding is that once a fault code has occurred the light will stay on until it has been cleared with a PST2 or scan tool. This is true even if fault corrected itself during the next ignition (on). Some faults could cause the airbag not to deploy but in most cases it still should.

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That is what thought though when I was at the dealer last week to have it reset the mechanic told me that if the airbag light is on then the airbag would NOT deploy under any circumstances. When I challenged him about it he kind of backtracked and said he was not sure.

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I received the following info from pca.org/tech:

Area: Boxster

Classification: Electrical

Subject: Airbag light

Question:

When the airbag light is on exactly what does it mean? Obviously a fault has been detected but is the airbag system totally deactivated? Will it still deploy in some non-standard mode? Does deployment depend on what fault has been detected? Or is the system totally offline after any fault has been detected?

I saw the earler question and you stated that if the buckle is the only problem then the airbag will still deploy. How certain are you about this?

I ask the question as I was at the dealer last week to have the airbag light reset and the mechanic told me that if the airbag light is on then the airbag would NOT deploy under any circumstances. When I challenged him about it he kind of backtracked and said he was not sure.

Does anyone have a definitive answer as to whether or not the airbag will deploy if the airbag light is on? If it will deploy which faults are not "critical"?

Answer:

To find out exactly what does it mean, you are going to have to get the diagnostic computer plugged in to the car.

I do NOT recommend messing around with airbag safety. Having an airbag fail to go off when needed can be a disaster. Worse is if one goes off in your face while you are driving down the road because you can't see. There was a recall from a US carmaker with this problem, after a number of fatalities, some of them serious.

If the dealer's mechanic isn't sure about the airbag system in detail, find another one who is.

When Peter says the airbag can still deploy, then my advice is to not bet against it.

>From Peter:

Porsche has told me that the airbags will still deploy with the light on but at a different force. There are 2 force deployment speeds and if you have a fault in the seat buckles, the computer will assume that you have not buckled your seatbelt and deploy the bags at the higher force since you do not have seatbelts to hold you back. If you have a drivers or passenger airbags fault, that side of the car where the fault is will not operate. The same also applies for the side airbags, fault in one side or the other and the bag will be shut off...........Peter Smith

Joel Reiser /

Peter Smith - PCA WebSite - 3/12/2004

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