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Re: Airbags...now your call (always was, but its _only_ yours)
In a message dated 97-09-18 23:40:51 EDT, email@example.com writes:
[Sorry to all and sundry about the earlier, incomplete, version of this post.
It prematurely escaped my grasp.]
<< I'm not sure if this is common knowledge, but I believe there has been a
recent amendment to the airbag laws. I believe it is now legal to change an
airbag equiped steering wheel with a non equipt one for no reason. ...
Anyone out there made use of this
law yet? Was it DYI or did a shop do it for you? >>
As of now, there has been no change in the law. It still is not permitted
for a repair facility or dealer (or any other third party) to disconnect,
disable, or otherwise defeat an air bag. The only exceptions are for people
who obtain a pemit from the DOT as a result of special hardship, medical
problems and other narrowly defined criteria. Broad revisions are under
consideration, but the law remains unaltered.
However (and as always has been the case), the vehicle's owner may do the
deed on his or her own. It just requires a little knowledge about the car in
question (always a dangerous thing), and the supreme conviiction that you
won't be needing the air bag any time soon
You may place little value in the injury reduction capability of an air bag,
or you may view the risks of its deployment as too great. You may even find
someone who would be willing to give you a few bucks for the unexploded
take-off steering wheel. But my view is that I'd sure want to buy it back
quickly in a moment of need. These things tend to have an almost infinite
"instantaneous value." [End of pontificating]
If you really want to replace the wheel, why not consider one of the air
bag-equipped contemporary Audi parts? Or be a bit patient. Momo was
recently bought out by Breed Technologies, one of the larger air bag
suppliers. What do you bet that Momo/Breed will enter the aftermarket with
some good-looking air bag steering wheels? Have your cake and eat it, too.