Will Car Pass Inspection With Airbag Light On

Will My Car Pass Inspection with the Airbag Light On?

The airbag light is a crucial indicator that the airbag system in your vehicle is experiencing a malfunction. When this light is illuminated, it signifies that the airbags may not deploy as intended in the event of a collision, potentially putting you and your passengers at risk.

Definition of Airbag Light

The airbag light, also known as the SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) light, is a warning lamp located on the dashboard of your vehicle. It is designed to alert you to any issues or malfunctions within the airbag system.

Types of Airbag Lights

There are two main types of airbag lights:

  • Steady Airbag Light: This indicates a serious problem with the airbag system that requires immediate attention.
  • Flashing Airbag Light: This usually indicates a less severe issue that may not require immediate repair, but should still be addressed as soon as possible.

Differences Between Airbag Lights

The difference between a steady and flashing airbag light lies in the severity of the issue. A steady light indicates a critical problem that could prevent the airbags from deploying properly, while a flashing light suggests a less urgent issue that may not affect airbag deployment.

Ease of Inspection

Whether your car will pass inspection with the airbag light on depends on the state or jurisdiction in which you reside.

  • States with Strict Inspection Laws: In states with stringent inspection laws, such as California and New York, a vehicle with an illuminated airbag light will likely fail inspection.
  • States with Lenient Inspection Laws: In states with less strict inspection laws, such as Texas and Florida, an airbag light may not automatically fail your car on inspection. However, it is important to note that even in these states, having an airbag light on could raise red flags during the inspection process.

Inspection Process

During a vehicle inspection, the inspector will typically check the following:

  • Airbag Light Status: The inspector will verify if the airbag light is illuminated and determine whether it is a steady or flashing light.
  • Diagnostic Code Retrieval: The inspector may use a diagnostic tool to retrieve any fault codes stored in the airbag control module, which can provide more information about the issue.
  • Visual Inspection: The inspector may also visually inspect the airbag system for any obvious damage or loose connections.

Advantages of Addressing Airbag Light Issues

Addressing airbag light issues offers several advantages:

  • Enhanced Safety: A properly functioning airbag system is crucial for protecting you and your passengers in the event of a collision.
  • Compliance with Regulations: In many states, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with an illuminated airbag light.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your airbag system is in good working order provides peace of mind and reduces the risk of injury in the event of an accident.

Disadvantages of Ignoring Airbag Light Issues

Ignoring airbag light issues can have serious consequences:

  • Compromised Safety: A malfunctioning airbag system could fail to deploy in the event of a collision, increasing the risk of severe injury or death.
  • Legal Penalties: In some states, driving with an illuminated airbag light can result in fines or other penalties.
  • Increased Insurance Premiums: Some insurance companies may charge higher premiums for vehicles with airbag light issues.

How to Address Airbag Light Issues

To address airbag light issues, follow these steps:

  • Identify the Cause: Use a diagnostic tool or consult with a qualified mechanic to determine the underlying cause of the airbag light illumination.
  • Repair the Issue: Once the cause is identified, repair or replace the faulty component or address the issue as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Reset the Airbag Light: After the repair is complete, the airbag light may need to be reset using a diagnostic tool.

What to Do If Your Car Fails Inspection Due to Airbag Light

If your car fails inspection due to an illuminated airbag light, you will need to:

  • Address the Issue: Repair or replace the faulty component that caused the airbag light to illuminate.
  • Obtain a Repair Verification: Once the issue is resolved, obtain a repair verification form from the mechanic who performed the repair.
  • Re-inspect Your Car: Take your car back to the inspection station with the repair verification form to have it re-inspected.


The airbag light is a critical safety feature that should not be ignored. If the airbag light on your vehicle is illuminated, it is essential to address the issue promptly to ensure the safety of you and your passengers. By understanding the different types of airbag lights, the inspection process, and the consequences of ignoring these issues, you can make informed decisions regarding your vehicle’s maintenance and safety.


Q: Can I drive with the airbag light on?
A: It is not recommended to drive with the airbag light on as it indicates a malfunction in the airbag system.

Q: How much does it cost to fix an airbag light?
A: The cost of repairing an airbag light can vary depending on the underlying cause. Minor issues may cost around $100, while more serious repairs could exceed $1,000.

Q: Can I reset the airbag light myself?
A: In some cases, you may be able to reset the airbag light by disconnecting the battery for a few minutes. However, it is generally recommended to have the airbag system inspected and repaired by a qualified mechanic.

Q: What are the consequences of ignoring an airbag light?
A: Ignoring an airbag light can compromise your safety in the event of a collision. It can also lead to legal penalties and increased insurance premiums.

Closing Statement

The airbag light is a vital indicator of the health of your vehicle’s airbag system. By understanding the significance of this warning lamp and taking prompt action to address any issues, you can ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones on the road.


The information provided in this article is for general knowledge purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. It is always advisable to consult with a qualified mechanic or automotive expert for specific guidance and assistance regarding your vehicle’s airbag system.