You should check to see if your car is under the current Takata Air Bag recall
Does an Airbag Expire?
While some automakers have set time limits on when to replace an airbag, the actual components are extremely durable. The key difference is the type of seal used to house the airbag igniter, also known as the squib.
"Almost all squibs since Day One have used what is called 'glass-to-metal' sealing, which is the best for moisture protection," says Douglas Campbell, who is president of the Automotive Safety Council and has worked in the airbag industry for more than 25 years.
"Some earlier non-North American models may have used 'plastic-to-metal' seals, which would have passed the vehicle life tests, but are considered to be potentially not as robust in extreme testing," Campbell says.
Leo Knowlden, a field performance assessment engineer for General Motors, said that GM has used glass-to-metal seals on all its airbags since the very beginning. A plastic-to-metal seal is more likely to accumulate moisture over the years, Knowlden says. This can lead to corrosion of the electrical pins in the igniter and potentially lead to a less responsive airbag.
As proof of the lifetime durability of GM airbags, Knowlden pointed to a 1992 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study, where a rusty 1972 Chevrolet Impala was crash-tested and both the driver's airbag and passenger airbag successfully deployed. That Impala was one of the first 1,000 airbag-equipped cars made by GM.
And similarly, "airbags from 1990s vehicles are operating correctly in today's accidents," says Campbell.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) knows of successful deployments of airbags more than 30 years after production, says Jose Ucles, a NHTSA spokesperson.