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Re: Aftermarket Steering Wheel?

>Does anyone know the status of the Federal law prohibiting tampering with a
>passive restraint (namely an air bag). For some time the government was so
>determined to force them upon us they made it a federal crime to disconnect
>In light of recent statistics that elderly and infants have been injured by
>the devices, I think they have made certain exceptions to the law.
>Anyone knowledgeable in this field?

Nope, not lay anymore.  It may have been at one time, but then again, so is
removing those silly tags from a matress!  I don't think anyone would
enforce something like that and a LOT of people remove them!

Today... just about all new cars are sold with switches or easy disconnect
procedures for turning off the airbag to do exactly what you said... prevent
incidents with infants and children.  See most airbags are made to deploy
with a force strong enough to stop a 200lb male, but that same force is
strong enough to kill a child!  They have something called "smart airbags"
now where it sences the weight of the occupant and will deploy at an
appropriate speed.  But, the cost of this technology has kept them from
widepread use.  They also need them to deploy at a speed relative to the
speed of the imact.  If it is an under 30 mph impact, it doesn't need to
deploy as fast.  A lot of people every year are injured by airbags, but very
few are serious.  And, they do save lives.  My dad totalled a Ford Explorer
with my sister in it (rolled it twice and landed in a cement drainage
ditch).  Was not a straight panel on the car and both escaped without any
injury with the help of airbags.  The Explorer is also a very strong car
wich brings me to my other point.... and it was a Volvo ad slogan for a
while... "An airbag is only as safe as the car you put it in".  Volvo was
saying that back in the early 90's when everyone was just slapping airbags
in a Geo Metro.  Just because it has an airbag doesn't make it a safe car,
but it is a feature that can help.

Sorry for the long banter.  I am keeping the airbag in my '89 200TQ, but I
am a little concerned and interested to find out how these things hold up
over time!  And, how many people are honestly going to spend $800 on a new
airbag wheel from the dealer on a car that is 12-15 years old.  I think we
will be seing a lot more airbag injuries as these cars get older.  I think
when my car gets to the age where it is a realistic concern I will simply
disconnect mine.