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Volkswagen Airbag Warning Light

Top Reasons for Airbag Malfunctions in Your Volkswagen

Post on April 20, 2020 by

Volkswagen is known for producing cars that are timeless, classic in their design, and dependable in their performance. As the proud owner of a VW, you expect your vehicle to drive with comfort and ease, but you also want your vehicle’s simplest and most common features to function properly. One simple yet vitally-important feature of any vehicle is the airbag.

Responsible for preventing severe injuries in the event of a car crash, an airbag saves lives. If one of your VW’s airbags malfunctions, you not only put yourself at risk but your passengers as well. In this article, we will briefly discuss how an airbag works, the top reasons for why an airbag may malfunction, signs of a faulty airbag, and what you can do about it.

How an Airbag Works

An airbag consists of three parts: the bag, the sensor, and the inflation system. When your vehicle begins to slow down as the result of a collision, the sensor registers this drastic change in speed and triggers the inflation system. The inflation system creates a chemical explosion which produces nitrogen gas. The nitrogen gas then fills the airbag itself. As soon as the person’s head hits the airbag, the airbag begins to deflate, which protects the person’s head from bouncing directly off the airbag and causing more injury to the head and neck. The entire process happens in less than a second, but it is incredibly important in reducing the amount of injury caused to the driver or passenger in the event of a car accident.

Top Reasons for Airbag Malfunction

Unfortunately, in the recent past, Volkswagen has had a couple instances where they have had to recall tens of thousands of their vehicles due to airbag malfunction issues. While these issues were largely to blame on the independent manufacturers and their defective airbag design, there are many reasons why an airbag might malfunction. Here are the top four:

Faulty Sensor

Sensors are essential to the proper functioning of an airbag. If the sensor is faulty, it may activate the airbag even when there isn’t a crash. A faulty sensor could also fail to register the car’s significant deceleration in speed and not deploy the airbag when needed.

Electrical Failure

If the sensors work correctly and send the necessary signals, it is possible that an electrical malfunction could stop the signal from reaching the inflation system. It’s also possible, as was the case with the 2019 VW vehicle recall, that the computer is faulty, which results in the airbag being unable to deploy in the event of a collision.

Damaged Clockspring

The clockspring is a very important part of your VW. Located in your car’s steering wheel, the clockspring allows you to turn the wheel while still maintaining the vital connection between the wheel and the airbag system. If the clockspring is damaged or breaks, this connection will be broken as well. This will cause the airbag system to shut down completely.


Airbags are never meant to be reused after they have already been deployed. If you were previously involved in an accident or your airbag deployed for some other reason, you must have the airbag replaced as soon as possible in order to prevent an airbag malfunction.

How to Tell if You Have a Faulty Airbag

There aren’t many signs to indicate that your VW has a faulty airbag. If you ever notice that the airbag light is illuminated on your dashboard, then this means that you either have a failed sensor, a damaged clockspring, a corroded airbag module, or some other issue related to the airbag.

We Will Help

At Ultimate European Repair, our mechanics are dedicated to giving your Volkswagen the care and attention that we know it needs. If the airbag light comes on in your VW or you need to have your airbag replaced, don’t hesitate to come to Ultimate European Repair and have the problem fixed right away.

Our highly-trained mechanics specialize Volkswagen Airbag Malfunction Fixin European vehicles, including BMW, Mini, VW, and Audi. If you’re experiencing an issue or just want some peace of mind, contact us today and set up an appointment at one of our many locations in Goodyear, Buckeye, Avondale, Phoenix, and Peoria, AZ.

Posted in Volkswagen Repair

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