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I've done some asking around and as far as I can tell it is not illegal in Texas for a car owner to DIY his own airbag repair.

Additionally, although it is no longer relevant now since I wound up not needing shipping, and in case anyone missed it from post #15, here below is a link about how to ship airbags:

Only certified persons/businesses are allowed to install airbags and do the mandatory function testing required after installation.
Unauthorized persons (persons without certified training) who do so are guilty of airbag fraud and subject to both criminal and civil penalties.

Tex. Transportation Code §547.614. RESTRICTIONS ON AIRBAGS.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly:
(1) installs or purports to install an airbag in a vehicle; and
(2) does not install an airbag that meets all applicable federal safety regulations for an
airbag installed in a vehicle of that make, model, and year.
(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Also, a vehicle must not be certified as inspected with an active airbag warning code or light on.

Any questions?
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Interesting, but from what I'm reading there, a1 and a2 have to be both performed, not just either or. I see the word "and" at the end of a1, so if I'm using an airbag that is OE and is in pefect condition how does that violate what is listed there?

The airbag codes would be reset after the repair, so there won't be any codes. I send the SRS module in to a place that does that. They charge about $45.
 

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Only certified persons/businesses are allowed to install airbags and do the mandatory function testing required after installation.
Unauthorized persons (persons without certified training) who do so are guilty of airbag fraud and subject to both criminal and civil penalties.

Tex. Transportation Code §547.614. RESTRICTIONS ON AIRBAGS.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly:
(1) installs or purports to install an airbag in a vehicle; and
(2) does not install an airbag that meets all applicable federal safety regulations for an
airbag installed in a vehicle of that make, model, and year.
(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Also, a vehicle must not be certified as inspected with an active airbag warning code or light on.

Any questions?
Looks like the statement in the copied code is number 2. That is proceeded with the word AND at the end of number one. So (a) committing an offense must include both (1) and (2) that follow (a) . Unless elsewhere no mention of being authorized (certified as you say) as being required to do such install. Only says a 'person'. OP you said you found something yourself? different from what is posted here?
This TX code is to prevent installation of possibly a knockoff substandard bag or one from a different vehicle.

How do you do a 'mandatory function test' on an airbag other than built in function testing the vehicle has? Wreck the vehicle to see if it deploys? :oops:
Air bags are still even today considered and called SRS. Maybe to protect the manufacture from civil suits as airbags don't always deploy in a crash. They are supplemental.
There are seatbelt laws in pretty much every state , but no mandatory airbag laws (yet at least) . States making it part of passing their inspection seem to be going that route in a roundabout way.
 

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Interesting, but from what I'm reading there, a1 and a2 have to be both performed, not just either or. I see the word "and" at the end of a1, so if I'm using an airbag that is OE and is in pefect condition how does that violate what is listed there?

The airbag codes would be reset after the repair, so there won't be any codes. I send the SRS module in to a place that does that. They charge about $45.
Was does the place do for $45 ?

Did you find something different about airbag laws then Kloker did ? I agree with you as both 1 and 2 are required (as well as knowledge to such) . Must have been typing as you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Was does the place do for $45 ?
So, when there is an accident with airbags deployed, the SRS module or "computer" will have codes inside of it showing which airbags were deployed. This can not be erased with a scanner that has SRS function. I do have a scanner with SRS function, but it doesn't have the capability to erase deployment info. So, unless one has the know-how or correct computer programs, or an expensive scanner, these codes will remain permanent. There are companies that will take the SRS module and reset it after you have made all repairs. So, when all the faulty and/or deployed SRS components have been replaced, the module gets reset or "reflashed" or "reinitialized" (whatever the terminology is). I reinstall the reset module and at that point all should be fully functional.

Kloker may have some additional information that I'm sure he will share on this thread, so this is quite the interesting topic of discussion.
 

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Looks like the statement in the copied code is number 2. That is proceeded with the word AND at the end of number one. So (a) committing an offense must include both (1) and (2) that follow (a) . Unless elsewhere no mention of being authorized (certified as you say) as being required to do such install. Only says a 'person'. OP you said you found something yourself? different from what is posted here?
This TX code is to prevent installation of possibly a knockoff substandard bag or one from a different vehicle.

How do you do a 'mandatory function test' on an airbag other than built in function testing the vehicle has? Wreck the vehicle to see if it deploys? :oops:
Air bags are still even today considered and called SRS. Maybe to protect the manufacture from civil suits as airbags don't always deploy in a crash. They are supplemental.
There are seatbelt laws in pretty much every state , but no mandatory airbag laws (yet at least) . States making it part of passing their inspection seem to be going that route in a roundabout way.

Actually, That testing is for front airbags only and is done by computer at certified installers' shops. It isn't for side or other airbags. State law does say you must be certified and equipped to offer installation as a service. It also says an authorized service provider must be used for front airbags, and after an accident where airbags deployed paperwork to that effect must be supplied for inspection after repairs, or you cannot get license plates. The code is there to prevent sidestepping safe installation, and to certify proper installation, for safety. If you sidestep these regulations, and someone is later injured, the owner of the car is liable. So, for front airbags, it is mandatory. For side or other ones, it is still mandatory, just not enforceable. The thing about airbags is, if they come on the car from the factory, they must work properly. It's just like the fact that if your car or truck came with a light on it, that light must work in order for you to get it inspected. The fact that it is common or that you can work around it does not make it legal, or safe, or the right thing to do.

Of course, this kind of thing doesn't come up often on cars, but it does on big trucks. It's why, in any major truck accident, a forensic mechanical examination is done on the truck. These do sometimes uncover grossly negligent shop practices in truck repairs and maintenance, and big bucks are at stake, as well as long prison terms. The reason why I'm sensitive to it is that, by Federal law, the final responsibility for these things always falls on the driver, and I was a driver. Back in the old days, if you liked your job, you drover what the company gave you and kept your mouth shut. There are companies out there who still try to push this kind of thing, to save money on maintenance and repairs, by forcing drivers to run in a vehicle with known issues. As a driver, the law says if I do that I will be held responsible, so I'd better not. This was a lifelong struggle for me, even working for outwardly respectable companies.Many's the time I had to say, you fix it, or you drive it. I'm not driving it like that. They don't care, so you have to make them care.

What does all this have to do with airbags? It's fairly obvious, although, to be precise, big trucks do not have airbags as they are unsafe. Think about that one for a minute, and get back to me. If you doubt the danger of airbags, I can refer you to a couple of friends of mine who can show you hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills for facial reconstruction from airbag injuries. They both won lawsuits, but that didn't save them from years of pain.

The point here is this: you can probably get away with a lot of things on a car. But unless your crystal ball works a lot better than mine does, there is no guarantee, so be safe, both legally and physically. If you don't, you get what karma brings.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
That's a lot of info, so it's difficult to address each issue. Sorry you had to work for a company that made you drive a truck with problems. Seems like you have a personal situation because of that, though. This is my car (well, my daughter's car) and I'm not forcing anyone to drive it. It's not a business and there's no counterfeit or dummy parts and we're not selling it to someone and being dishonest about anything.

Yes, I understand the danger aspect, but my current focus is: "Is it illegal to DIY airbags on your own car?". I see no reason why the side curtain and seat airbags I'm installing wouldn't work. They are the exact same airbags from the exact same make/model car. They aren't damaged or compromised and haven't been deployed, of course. They are and will be installed the same way they were in there and I will use the proper safety precautions. When it comes time to have the annual inspection, the car is just taken to the regular inspection station. I don't see how if the SRS is fixed properly that it would be a problem with inspection. Plug in the computer, it shows everything online in the SRS module with no codes, then it should be fine. I'm not being negligent in how I'm installing them. I'm not skipping any hardware or bolts/screws or changing/modifying the function of them. If there's a problem, the SRS module will throw a new code.

I contacted the Texas State Law Library, and this was the response I received (all the bold text). The way I interpret this is that no, it's not illegal to DIY:

"Thank you for your question. Please note that as a librarian I can provide information on a legal topic, but I cannot provide legal advice or determine how the law applies to your situation.

Like you, I was not able to find a Texas law that regulates the installation of airbags aside from the law that prohibits "counterfeit airbags" or airbags that have been modified so that they do not meet all applicable safety standards. If you’d like to read it, that law can be found here:
TRANSPORTATION CODE CHAPTER 547. VEHICLE EQUIPMENT

I also checked to see if the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) issues licenses for mechanics who replace airbags, but it does not appear that they do.
Programs Licensed and Regulated by TDLR

On the NHTSA’s website they recommend getting airbags replaced “at an authorized repair center.” However, I was not able to find any information to indicate that the NHTSA or any other federal agency issues licenses or certifications for this type of procedure.
Air Bags

In my research I did find several websites for organizations that offer certifications in airbag replacement, but as I said, I was not able to find any evidence to suggest that such a certification is required by law.

If you would like to get an opinion from an attorney about your situation, you could write in to FreeLegalAnswers.org. This website allows you to e-mail your question to a volunteer attorney who will write back to you with advice. If you need to, you can even upload documents for an attorney to review.
Texas

I hope this information is helpful to you. Please let us know if you need anything else!"


Katherine Hoffman
Reference and Collection Development Librarian
Texas State Law Library
(512) 463-1722
Toll-free: 1-844-829-2843

https://www.sll.texas.gov/


So, I think this is a murky situation where you have a particular understanding of the law and I have a different one. Like the US Constitution, two people can read the exact same sentence or section/article and come up with two seemingly valid but opposite/different interpretations. I'm no law expert, but I just find it hard to believe that I can't legally fix my own car. I still have not seen any actual proof of that. Perhaps after finishing the car, it could be evaluated by an SRS professional and they could give it a clean bill of health if they find nothing wrong. Maybe that wouldn't cost too much, but I'm thinking it's not even necessary if I don't get any SRS trouble codes when I'm done.
 

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That is nice the library did all that research for you! So NO certification or licensing for airbags!! Makes sense to me as here in FL it is usually non-issues. Not even a state inspection anymore.
Local LKQs won't sell bags, but it is confusing that their corporate will sell to you ?? I guess they make more $$ that way.
So if your car came with a radio and speakers that radio and speakers are needed for inspection ?? Think not ?? But that creates a slippery slop requiring some factory installed stuff for inspection and not all!!

The 2005 has the same color your 2006 has. I took a picture under the passenger seat of the wiring mess.. Still need to see the SRS code being thrown for the passenger seat. I worked on a 2001 KIa Optima that had SRS and engine light on for over 15 years for a friend of mine. Found some TSBs on wiring needing to be tie wrapped better under the passenger seat. Tied up cables, reseated connectors (battery disconnected) and clode cleared and hasn't been back. The Engine light was multiple codes requiring EGR work and valve , Carbon canister replacement from salvage yard (carbon pellets came out and were clogging breather tube for gas tank. She had to always fill the tank slowly and only could fill like halfway and the third issue was a recall done back in the early 2000s the 'technician' installed a check valve to gas tank purge backwards !! Nice .........
 

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Discussion Starter #49
That is nice the library did all that research for you! So NO certification or licensing for airbags!! Makes sense to me as here in FL it is usually non-issues. Not even a state inspection anymore.
Local LKQs won't sell bags, but it is confusing that their corporate will sell to you ?? I guess they make more $$ that way.
So if your car came with a radio and speakers that radio and speakers are needed for inspection ?? Think not ?? But that creates a slippery slop requiring some factory installed stuff for inspection and not all!!

The 2005 has the same color your 2006 has. I took a picture under the passenger seat of the wiring mess.. Still need to see the SRS code being thrown for the passenger seat. I worked on a 2001 KIa Optima that had SRS and engine light on for over 15 years for a friend of mine. Found some TSBs on wiring needing to be tie wrapped better under the passenger seat. Tied up cables, reseated connectors (battery disconnected) and clode cleared and hasn't been back. The Engine light was multiple codes requiring EGR work and valve , Carbon canister replacement from salvage yard (carbon pellets came out and were clogging breather tube for gas tank. She had to always fill the tank slowly and only could fill like halfway and the third issue was a recall done back in the early 2000s the 'technician' installed a check valve to gas tank purge backwards !! Nice .........
It seems so, but on the other hand just because the state law librarian didn't find anything, that doesn't necessarily mean it isn't there. Perhaps Kloker has access to some other piece of information that we can consider. He was personally involved in a situation, so he knows a thing or two about how things go down with airbag inspections. I don't care to be right; I care to know the truth even if it means I'm wrong. So far I see no evidence showing that what I'm doing is illegal. Risky, yes, but that's not the issue. It may very well be risky for me to do this, as he has pointed out. That's my choice though, in weighing the pros and cons. A problem with the law is that it can be so cloudy or full of loopholes.

I understand the radio/speakers comparison, but those are not safety features, so probably an apples/oranges thing. It does seem odd that there might be requirements that a car equipped with airbags that aren't currently working won't be legally allowed to be operated (or to pass inspection?) but my '87 mini-pickup which never had airbags is totally fine to drive and pass inspection. Of course with the case of my pickup, since there never were airbags there's no danger of an airbag deploying when it's not supposed to because some yahoo (not me?!) installed it incorrectly. So, I try to appreciate both sides of the coin.

I can go to an LKQ self-pick yard and purchase just an airbag if I want, so I'm not sure why they have a discrepancy other than the LKQ self-pick yards are a different divsion of LKQ and therefore have different protocols.

How odd that simply tying the cables would resolved the problem you had. I would never have thought that it could do anything other than keep the wires from rubbing against something. Were any of those wires functioning as a type of antenna or signal receiver/transmitter? Shielded wires?

Sometimes when technicians make mistakes, it may be because of the pressure they are under by the pezzonovante of the dealership or shop to make the repairs quickly. They simply don't have the luxury to spend time doing research and so repairs can sometimes be performed incorrectly even by a pro. I had to replace a noisy wheel bearing on this CR-V and noticed that it was installed backwards by the shop.
 

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It seems so, but on the other hand just because the state law librarian didn't find anything, that doesn't necessarily mean it isn't there. Perhaps Kloker has access to some other piece of information that we can consider. He was personally involved in a situation, so he knows a thing or two about how things go down with airbag inspections. I don't care to be right; I care to know the truth even if it means I'm wrong. So far I see no evidence showing that what I'm doing is illegal. Risky, yes, but that's not the issue. It may very well be risky for me to do this, as he has pointed out. That's my choice though, in weighing the pros and cons. A problem with the law is that it can be so cloudy or full of loopholes.

I understand the radio/speakers comparison, but those are not safety features, so probably an apples/oranges thing. It does seem odd that there might be requirements that a car equipped with airbags that aren't currently working won't be legally allowed to be operated (or to pass inspection?) but my '87 mini-pickup which never had airbags is totally fine to drive and pass inspection. Of course with the case of my pickup, since there never were airbags there's no danger of an airbag deploying when it's not supposed to because some yahoo (not me?!) installed it incorrectly. So, I try to appreciate both sides of the coin.

I can go to an LKQ self-pick yard and purchase just an airbag if I want, so I'm not sure why they have a discrepancy other than the LKQ self-pick yards are a different divsion of LKQ and therefore have different protocols.

How odd that simply tying the cables would resolved the problem you had. I would never have thought that it could do anything other than keep the wires from rubbing against something. Were any of those wires functioning as a type of antenna or signal receiver/transmitter? Shielded wires?

Sometimes when technicians make mistakes, it may be because of the pressure they are under by the pezzonovante of the dealership or shop to make the repairs quickly. They simply don't have the luxury to spend time doing research and so repairs can sometimes be performed incorrectly even by a pro. I had to replace a noisy wheel bearing on this CR-V and noticed that it was installed backwards by the shop.
The wires just flexed when seat was moved. Kia had a tsb that told tech to tie up cables an even where to attach to.

So will inoperable systems like lane departure warning, backup cameras, blind zone warning, hands-free phone or collision avoidance radar cause a vehicle to fail inspection?
 

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To be sure, there is a legal risk. To quote my attorney, you can skirt the law if you want to, but the risk you run may involve you winding up wearing a skirt. Okay, thank you sir, got it! The safety risk is serious and immediate. My son was USMC EOD in Iraq, two tours, and he won't even tolerate discussion of this. When I see the look in his eyes, that's all I need to know.

This may be a popular topic for the young, who are invisible, bulletproof, and ten feet tall, but for us older folks, we already know how hard the asphalt is, and the wall, too.

So will inoperable systems like lane departure warning, backup cameras, blind zone warning, hands-free phone or collision avoidance radar cause a vehicle to fail inspection?
In Texas, if it throws an error code or warning light on the dash, you will not pass inspection until it is cleared. So no license plates. If it does not, you should be okay. Some of the things you listed might be issues, some are definitely not. In the inspection bay, being in Texas is kind of like Kalifornia. The inspector is a god, and you are scum, best seen and not heard. They are not all like that, but some are that and so much more. Older and more experienced ones usually have some common sense. The younger, inexperienced ones - the less they know the worse they are.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Funny quote about the skirt. I don't have an attorney, so could only consult the state law library.

My son was also USMC. Did tours of the Middle-East as well, so we have something in common there. Pretty scary stuff, but I'm glad he made it out. His buddy didn't, though.

Well, we've probably kicked this can enough. I still don't see any illegality in doing this, but I certainly respect and recognize the viewpoints of others. If anyone has any more definitive info, do post here, but this is probably enough. No need to beat a dead horse.

Thanks to Theman5, kloker, and Carbuff2 for the replies.
 

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Yup, same with my son. He left too much behind, and not enough. He had severe PTSD along with injuries, and now gets 100% disability. It took him more than twice as long to recover as he spent in it, but he is doing great now. He has always been my hero, and still is.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Here's a photo of the seat I got from the junkyard and hopefully that helps you firgure out the wiring. This is without the airbag, so you don't see the wire connector for that. The connector would fit into that hole which I've circled in red. You can also see the Takata device (black box).

139045
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Honda calls the black Takata box an "SWS Unit" (Seat Weight Sensor Unit). The two wires connected to the SWS Unit each go to a "weight sensor assembly". I've circled them in yellow in this photo below:

139087


139092



You'll want to check the wiring from the SWS Unit (#6 in diagram) to the two seat weight sensor assemblies (#4 & #5 in diagram). I would just do a visual check to see if they are securely connected and if the wires look undamged and not rubbing against anything. I wouldn't disconnect/connect anything without making sure if you need or don't need to disconnect the battery to do this. See if there's a diagnostic in the repair manual.

139093
 
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