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Airbags - Have you, Will you, Replace them when they expire?

kwistof Jun 11, 2013

  1. kwistof

    kwistof South East Events Moderator Regional Rep

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    Hi guys,

    So my mate and I were pretty bored the other day and were looking through the Audi A3 manuals that are available through the stickies (thanks Welly). We were pretty interested into how to remove an airbag unit without it going off in your face :)

    Now in this browsing, we discovered something slightly alarming; in that the air bags have an expiry date...okay not to bad - HOWEVER the expiry according to the Audi service manual is around 14 years. I shouldn't need to remind everyone that S3s were made from 1999 and A3's before hand.....

    Had a quick search and couldn't see anyone replacing the airbags on 8L A3's due to them expiring....

    So is anyone else aware of this and has anyone changed or going to be changing them? I hope it doesn't throw up a light if/when they expire.

    Does not sounds cheap from a thread I saw on the A4 forum discussing this issue.

    Information was acquired from here -

    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/a3-s3-forum-8l-chassis/110856-audi-a3-s3-workshop-manuals.html

    Under the A3 interior section....the section on the pdf is 69-50 and has the locations on where to check when the airbags are out of date.

    Chris
     
  2. s3mad_dude

    s3mad_dude Noggies ruuuule!

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    Yeah I remember reading that in my manual and no I will not be getting them replaced!
     
  3. @udi A3

    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    Surely not replacing them would invalidate insurance?
     
  4. kwistof

    kwistof South East Events Moderator Regional Rep

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    On what grounds could they invalidate your insurance out of interest?

    As long as the car has a valid MOT and is roadworthy, then I can't see them voiding the policy in the event of an accident.
     
  5. @udi A3

    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    knowing your car airbags are past expirery and effectively defective, would be enough to void your insurance.
     
  6. kwistof

    kwistof South East Events Moderator Regional Rep

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    What part of your insurance policy would relate to it out of interest?

    The car would still pass through the MOT as long as the light's not on the dash; if VOSA was to stop my car and check it over I'm pretty sure they wouldn't take the vehicle off the road for an expired air bag...and that's if they knew where to find out it's best before date. Plus I don't even think in the UK, that is compulsory for a car manufacturer to make a car with air bags fitted as standard?

    Think about it logically....if you was to crash in a 15 year old car and the airbags did not go off - but they should off. Do you think your insurance company will turn round and say they're not paying out as the cars air bag did not go off as it's out of date?
     
  7. @udi A3

    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    IIRC the only way you can knowing drive a car that has defects is on trade plates or to or from an mot to place of rectification work.
     
  8. Conor.demo7

    Conor.demo7 New Member

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    kwistof, I think it's a case of... Insurance companies will insure you as you have the correct documentation, and police will not hassle you because of this documentation (MOT and such)....
    But.... In the event of an accident, if your airbag failed to deploy and left you in a critical condition, lets say... Un-able to work...?
    Your insurance company could do an investigation into your car records, seeing that the airbag was in a known 'expired condition', therefore they could reject a claim made against them for compensation.

    It's a similar story with say... Insuring a modifed car as standard.. Yes people do it... But should you be unfortunate and have an accident, if the insurance company then have a mechanic look at your car and see that it is not as the insurance company agreed with.. They can invalidate the policy, therefore leaving you in an un-insured state which then brings the law into the investigation....

    But.. I am not experienced with these sort of things, just my thoughts.
     
  9. @udi A3

    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    conor explained a little better. :D
     
  10. S3quatt

    S3quatt Flat Oot like a ducks Foot VCDS Map User

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    Interesting thread this, but as I recall, replacing the airbag is a recommendation, not compulsory, otherwise it would likely fail an MOT or flash a light on the dash.

    I think an insurer would be hard pushed to prove that any injuries severe enough to permanently disable someone were a direct result of an airbag failure.
    Fifth gear have proven that regardless of airbags, a 10yo Range rover vs new Megan (I think) even with working airbags, the RR driver would likely be killed & the Megane driver would walk away!
    Surprising stuff!
     
    Conor.demo7 likes this.

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