My wife's Pontiac Vibe is affected by the deadly passenger-side airbag recall. We received a letter months ago advising us that there are no replacement parts available. Until there are, we're supposed to avoid sitting in the front passenger seat.

The vehicle also has an extremely sensitive passenger seat switch. Something as light as a purse can activate the fasten seat belt alarm. The alarm goes off after driving for a few minutes, which creates a dangerous distraction.

For both of these reasons, I'm considering disconnecting the seat switch. Would this disable the airbag? Is there any reason not to do this?

  • A friend who is a mechanic told me that in some vehicles disconnecting any airbag system component disables the entire airbag system - which you do not want to do. I'm not sure if yours is one of those though.
    – Moshe Katz
    Dec 23, 2015 at 20:21
  • Agree with Moshe. Not sure if it's a good idea, but I think you would have to remove the switch from the seat but leave it connected, if that's even possible.
    – JPhi1618
    Dec 23, 2015 at 20:46
  • Any airbag question completely freaks me out. Dec 23, 2015 at 21:30
  • OP, I wouldn't disconnect anything. You risk more by doing so. Including not being covered by insurance in case of any accidents.
    – race fever
    Dec 24, 2015 at 3:45
  • Can't you just leave the seat belt fastened so that the alarm doesn't sound?
    – HandyHowie
    Dec 24, 2015 at 7:14

2 Answers 2


If anything is done to the Airbag system that causes the light to come on, will cause the entire system to shut down. The only way to properly disable the passenger airbag is to unplug it and replace it with a SQUIB simulator. The simulator is a diagnostic tool that fools the Airbag computer into thinking that a functional SQUIB is still plugged in.

  • Assuming it's a normally-open switch, how would it know the difference? Dec 23, 2015 at 22:16
  • 3
    Important switches like this will also have some type of resistance or other measurable electrical quantity so the system knows if there was a short or broken wire/connection. It's not just a simple on/off switch with two wires going to it. There's more to it so it can be sensed.
    – JPhi1618
    Dec 23, 2015 at 22:30

Disabling an air bag component doesn't seem like a good idea.

I think on some systems if you disable a piece of it, it can disable the whole system.

I'm not any kind of an expert but messing with an airbag system seems like it could be very dangerous to you or your passengers.

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