Airbag Light

Phil Rose pjrose at
Wed May 4 10:46:43 EDT 2005

At 7:18 AM -0500 5/4/05, michael wrote:
>My airbag light has been on for three years.
>Any advice? Of course, I'd like a functioning airbag but do not care 
>if a warning light is on or not.

The warning light is stated (Bentley manual) to be an indication that 
the airbag is _not_ functional.

After Audi's 1998 airbag-recall work was done, some (many?) owners 
began to experience new airbag behavior: (a) an extended period 
(extra few minutes) of "warning light on-time", or alternatively (b) 
an "infinite" warning-light interval. This behavior is presumably 
caused when the airbag controller senses a problem (perhaps just an 
excessive time-delay) while checking its power source. This situation 
did not exist before the recall modifications. Your may be seeing an 
example of case (b), although you haven't mentioned if the airbag 
recall work was ever done on your car.

I'm not sure about the "fix" for case (b), but I know that for case 
(a), the VAG (1551?) tool can be hooked up to the airbag controller 
connectors, and the controller is reset; subsequently the warning 
light produces normal behavior (which is to remain "on" for _less_ 
than 10 seconds after engine startup.) I recall being told that the 
airbag warning problem might be triggered (again) whenever the car 
battery is disconnected, but I have not had occasion to test that 
theory since my car's airbag controller was reset a few months ago.

Any dealer has this 1551 tool--as do most independent Audi specialty 
shops (the good ones). I suppose a dealer might charge for this 
service, although IMHO it ought to be done gratis by Audi inasmuch as 
it represents a defect in their airbag recall procedure. Some listers 
have acquired VAG 1551 functionality using software emulation plus 
appropriate hardware adapters, which can provides this (reset) 
function via a personal computer.


>I suspect that a dealer service as called for on the visor sticker 
>will cost money. Will I get anything for the expense?
>- michael
>200q20v mailing list


Phil Rose
Rochester, NY
mailto:pjrose at

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