Q: What do I do if the passenger airbag indicator light is not responding properly to passengers in the front seat?

asked by on December 15, 2015

What do I do if the passenger airbag indicator light is not responding properly to passengers in the front seat?

Sometimes, the sensors in the vehicle, that can tell whether the person riding in the passenger seat is an adult or an infant in a car seat, do not work properly. Sometimes these sensors can’t tell when there is anyone sitting in the passenger seat at all. If This happens, don’t worry. This is a simple problem to solve! Here’s how:

  • If a car seat meant to hold a small child is installed in the front passenger seat, the sensors in the seat should communicate this to the truck’s computer and the truck will not activate the airbags. The passenger airbag indicator light, located above the windshield, in front of the mirror, should read “Off”. If this light instead reads “On”, here’s what you can do:

  • One reason this may be happening involves the carseat itself. If the angle of the seat cushion and seatback is too narrow, the seatback will push the car seat into the cushion. Reclining the seat slightly may alleviate the problem.

  • If this doesn’t work, the vehicle should be turned off and the car seat removed. Re-install the car seat, being careful to make sure the seat isn’t wedged against the seat cushion. If the light is still in the “On” position after this, the truck may need to be serviced. It is not safe to carry a child in a car seat if the airbag is active.

  • If the passenger airbag indicator light is in the “Off” position when there is an adult seated in the passenger seat, then there are a few ways to get it to activate:

  • Make sure nothing is jammed into the seat (sweatshirt, blanket, etc.) or seat belt buckle.

  • If the light is still in the “Off” position, then turn the vehicle off and back on again with the passenger outside of the vehicle. When they once again take their seat, make sure the seatback is at a reasonable angle and that they are sitting with their feet on the floor. If this does not yield results, the truck may need servicing.

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