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In contrast to common airbag warning light problems, the airbag warning light (dashboard panel) of my 997-1 Carrera S is not lighting up when the ignition key is inserted. It remains 'off' when the engine is running. (All other warning lights are normal--they go out once the engine is running.)

I then performed the process of calling warning messages on the dashboard using the operating lever. No 'airbag system fault' message was displayed.

According to the Driver's Manual, this has to be checked out by the workshop. The one and only one authorized Porsche workshop here is too busy to deal with it and I have to wait for 3 weeks! Meanwhile, I can't help worrying whether the airbags still work while I'm on the road.

A search of this forum failed to reveal similar problems reported.

Could it be a simple warning light bulb problem? If so, can it be replaced?

Any advice would be appreciated, please.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Any luck so far? My Carrera S has exactly the same, seemingly rare, problem...the phenomenon is being examined by the local dealer but obviously hard to solve (yep, the bulb is just fine) and might have something to do with the data bus and information transfer between the airbag units, associated computers and the instrument cluster instead.

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Glad to hear from you Sakke and to share with you information on this subject. Unfortunately in my case it didn't go as expected...

I did try to remove the cluster by pulling out the plastic trim to expose the two screws. Despite pulling really hard, the plastic trim just didn't budge. I gave up on realizing that the scheduled minor servicing was already due. So I decided to leave it to the dealer as they presumably have the necessary tools (e.g. PIWIS) to trace the fault if it is not just a blown light bulb in the cluster.

It took them more than two long weeks to complete the minor servicing and guess what...... the warning light issue is still unresolved!

I was told that--

Their computer did not detect any faults in the airbag system. So it could reasonably be presumed that the system is working.

Despite having removed one of the airbags (presumably the one on the steering wheel) no fault message was displayed on the cluster.

Based on the above, they suspected that there was fault in the cluster and therefore the whole instrument cluster should be replaced. They don't do light bulb changes. The total cost (parts + labor) for replacement would be about USD3200.

When I questioned them for not testing it with a new cluster, they claimed that a new one had to be ordered.

So it remains baffling to me whether the airbag system is in fact ok. If it is only a case of blown light bulb, why is it that no error message is being displayed on the instrument cluster when one of the airbags has been removed.?

I would appreciate any advice on how to deal with this problem.

Looking forward to hearing from you Sakke. Is your Carrera S RHD or LHD?

It may sound absurd but I've heard from a source that some models of 997 Carrera S is not equipped with airbag warning light on the instrument cluster.

Edited by Gaang
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Gaang, very familiar sounding story! My car is LHD with x51 kit. The problem is really getting on my nerves as I cannot legally drive the car here on public roads as long as it remains open (the car does not simply pass the annual inspection...maybe I have to give up and tow it to a junkyard;).

The dealer has already updated the related software, changed some sort of a "data bus router" communicating with the airbags, checked the airbags etc. ... to no avail. Also a replacement cluster has been tested without success...but pls note even the original cluster may indeed be forced to activate the airbag light using a tester! So at least I advice you not to invest in a new cluster as it probably solves nothing. I'll keep you updated if anything useful pops up.

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Sakke, thanks a lot for your adivce. I'll certainly think twice before spending $3200, particularly without knowing if it could be fixed.

Have you dealer tried replacing the airbag sensor? Please see the diagram at the link below. It is item # 10.


I recalled that last year I did replace a brake light sensor when an ABS warning light came on. It was a DIY job but due to the limited space below the steering column, it was no joy at all.

I'm sorry that such a nice car of yours is now grounded and I hope that the problem could be resolved in no time.

Please keep me posted of the development.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

Hi, more than a year later reverting to this topic...and in case anybody is still interested/could in best case provide some new tips, the problem is still there. Meanwhile, the local dealer has changed several parts, re-coded them, etc. etc. but the **** light remains dead unless it is forced to activate using a tester. There are no fault codes whatsoever in the system. The dealer thinks it has to be a coding problem of some sort instead of hardware failure...I don't know. I wonder if there's a parameter value somewhere hidden (and obviously set wrong) that adjusts the lights including airbag led that are lit upon ignition. Just cannot understand nobody at the manufacturer knows about this problem or how to solve it.

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