Q: What is making the airbag light come on over and over?

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I have 70,000 miles driven so far in my 2006 Hyundai Sonata. It sounds like a lot but I have been VERY diligent with the servicing and repairs of this vehicle in hopes of retaining the resale value. The only big problem I have had is with the airbag warning light. I have had it serviced three times (!) and on the third service they just reset the light. It’s not that I don’t believe my mechanic, but how will I know if something really does go wrong with the airbags? I don’t want to find out if they work during an accident!

If your airbag light is on then your airbag system is disabled and would not deploy if in an accident. The airbag light coming on needs a technician to scan for codes and diagnosis of the code or codes received. Sometimes the diagnostics they have to follow does not verify the return of problem and tells technician to clear codes and retest then release vehicle if light does not come on again. I know this may sound like a blow off to you, but the technician cannot guess on repairs to safety sensitive items like airbags, brakes or steering issues. If the technician guesses and is wrong and your airbags do not deploy then he would be liable. There may be one recall pertaining to your vehicle that would include reprogramming the passenger airbag seat sensor. The recall number is 08V161000 dated 4/10/2008 to reset passenger seat for smaller passengers. I recommend having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, check and verify the next time the light comes on and see if the recall pertains to your vehicle. It may be wise to contact your dealer for active new recalls pertaining to the airbags in your car.

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