Who’s Responsible?

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Last week, a huge (3.4 million vehicle) recall was announced – problems with the air bags people are forced to buy. According to news reports, a manufacturing defect involving the chemical propellant that inflates the bags could result in an affected vehicle’s air bag not deploying properly during a crash – or not deploying at all. There is also concern about the possibility of a fire being triggered. Most of the cars involved are Japanese – Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans and Mazdas. clover new lead

Toyota announced last week it would recall 1.73 million vehicles – including the popular Corolla and Camry as well as the Tundra pick-up and the Yaris compact –  built from 2000 through 2004. Honda is expected to recall 1.14 million of its cars; Nissan 480,000 and Mazda 45,500.

Luckily, no one has been killed – yet.

But if people had been killed – what then?

When Ford made Pintos prone to roadside immolation when rear-ended, it was Ford that was held responsible – civilly, if not (unfortunately) criminally. As well as socially – which is arguably the most important form of  accountability. Ford’s reputation suffered. Many consumers stopped trusting Ford – and buying Ford vehicles.

But when government actions lead to injury and death – actual as well as potential – who is held responsible? Who pays out millions to the victims? Most of all, who loses credibility?

No one.

Because government – the people who issue orders to the rest of us – are never held responsible for the consequences of their actions.

Air bags are known to be dangerous. They can – and have – hurt people. Thousands of them, many severely. They have also killed hundreds of people. More people, in fact, than auto-igniting Pintos ever killed. Yet there is no outcry – no demand that someone be held accountable. Much less any chagrin on the part of those responsible.

Government officials simply decided that the “safety” advantages of air bags outweigh the known dangers of air bags. To put a finer point on it, they decided for us. As they do routinely – micromanaging our lives as though we are little children. Or something much worse: Their chattel.

The arrogance of this is monumental.Clover 1

Whether air bags “save lives” (most of the time) is completely beside the point. When did the government become something other than a guarantor of the peace? A protector of every person’s equal rights before the law? And become the parent of us all? The farmer – to our cow?

People – most people – never read Bastiat. For good reason – from the government’s point-of-view. Like all men of genius, Bastiat was able to reduce things to their essentials – such that a seemingly complicated thing became an easy to understand thing. An obvious thing. He asked the Seinfeldian question: Who are these people? Government people, that is. He pointed out that they are just people – no better (and often much worse) than not-government people. They are not smarter, wiser, or possessed of superior judgment than we not-government people. But they believe themselves to be. And thus, these anointed presume to decide on our behalf.

To tell us what we’ll do.

This ought to make more of us angry. We’d be very angry if the guy next door told us what to do. We’d tell him to mind his own business – and to get the hell off our property. But somehow, we accept it when the guy next door does it by proxy. By voting for another guy who (along with other such guys – and gals, too ) will tell us what to do.

Even when it’s our lives in the balance.

Like the 290 lives ended by air bags since 1990 – most of them infants and small children but also elderly people whose fragile bodies could not withstand the force of the deploying bags. Thousands of others have been hurt by deploying  air bags.

This latest issue threatens millions. Perhaps nothing will come of it – but so what? How dare these clowns presume to take the decision away from us! To make cost-benefit calculations for us!

It is none of their goddamn business!  clover 3

Clovers will respond: But so many lives have been saved by air bags! Perhaps so. But Clover logic being what it is, it never applies itself consistently. We are routinely told by Clovers that “x” new law, mandate or restriction is justified if “it saves even one life.” Well, how about the obverse? What of the 290 lives lost to air bags? I guess those lives don’t matter. Because, of course, they’re not Clovers’ lives. They are merely the lives of others that Clovers like to toy with.

Think about that the next time you’re behind the wheel, staring at the explosive blob pointed at your face. It might indeed save your life. But it could also end it.

And someone else will have made the choice for you.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  60 comments for “Who’s Responsible?

  1. Comrade Kulak
    April 21, 2013 at 3:39 am

    That is an interesting demotivational poster take on the nanny state. There is another one with various inanimate object items in a banned sign and it says the nanny state because utopia is just one more rule away.

  2. Tor Munkov
    April 17, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    NHTSA says airbags save only 500 lives per year. A University statistician says airbags actually increase deaths. Unbelted passengers are 400% more likely to die in a low speed crash if the car has airbags.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050602011343.htm

    Canadian mundanes detained by American Stasi
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i5sDOdoFqg

    – Most Americans are debt slaves. Nearly all are moral slaves living under an imposed social structure they would never agree to if not threatened with death and imprisonment.

    How can you discern which words written by American slaves are not lies, when concealing our true beliefs and actions is necessary for our very survival?

    – – –

    A “Review” of Road Hogs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIrLXItbkGQ

  3. Chris
    April 17, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Hi Eric,

    I do no less than two of these recalls a day working at a Honda dealership. Most of the time they are just quick visual inspecions, that do not require airbag inflator replacement. For instance, the newest Honda airbag recall has us inspecting the rivets that hold the bag in. Only a very small number of airbags are actually affected; less that 1%. The older recalls require removing the airbag, and checking the serial number. If it falls in the affected range it must be replaced. Which again, is only a very small number. Still an even older recall require direct replacement of the airbag inflator, no inspection required; just a straight replacement.

    Not only are these things potentially dangerous, but it’s a complete waste of the driver’s time. A person now has to set aside appropriate time to go in and have a government mandated system inspected for proper function. Don’t even get me started on TPMS systems!

    To your deeper point; yes, how dare the government mandate what ought to be market driven safety features. If the individual doesn’t want a certain feature, they should be able to opt out. However, opting out is not something a coercive government understands. It’s nothing more than automotive fascism, and I see it day after day after day. Here’s one for you. Here in Virginia, I’m reqiured to be re-certified in emissions every three years. As if the combustion gasses have somehow changed in the last 120 years or so. It’s nothing more than a way to part people with their money at the barrel of a gun.

    • Chris
      April 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      Haha! See told ya! I just got my first repair order of the day, and guess what it is? Wait for it…..an airbag inspection!

  4. BrentP
    April 16, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    An airbag tangent are those hideous looking warning labels. It’s as if it’s some sort of piece of industrial equipment trying to comply with OSHA standards. I’ve seen more attractive labels on industrial equipment.

    My first car with them is the ’97. The warning is pad printed on the doors to the vanity mirrors in the visors. It’s not this blazing yellow thing like they are now. It looks like someone tried their best to style it. Since I am too tall to use visors I never see them except when cleaning the interior or the half dozen times I’ve used the mirror in 16.33 years. The 2000 they are pad printed to the visible side of the visors in full yellow ugliness. But that car has a very tall windshield so I don’t notice them much. Pad printed so not much I can do. On my ’12 the driver’s side decal was so in my face every time I was in the car I removed it. The passenger side one will be removed when I get around to it. Thank Thor they are removable with some effort to then pull off the residue.

  5. April 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    A government at bottom is nothing more than a group of men, and as a practical matter most of them are inferior men. … Yet these nonentities, by the intellectual laziness of men in general…are generally obeyed as a matter of duty (and) assumed to have a kind of wisdom that is superior to ordinary wisdom. — H.L. Mencken

    Dawson’s Law from the Book of Common Misery: It is impossible for a good man to understand evil for evil is not in his nature. He may be appalled by evil but he cannot understand it. Only politicians and killers can understand evil, although both are lax in defining it within themselves.

  6. April 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I suspect not all the deaths from air bags are reported as such. One issue in rural areas that had many investigators asking questions off the record (questioning air bags on the record will cost such guvmt people their jobs) was remote area vehicles on straight road, good weather, vehicle in a ditch rolled, bags deployed, no sign of impact other than the rolling, no phone texting, etc. In MS we had about a dozen of these last year. An issue the investigator shared over a beer was that smacking a bird darting across the freeway with the bumper would many times deploy the bags knocking the driver’s hands off the wheel. At 70+ this can be a real issue and certainly cause flipping of the vehicle. If the vehicle is unable to sustain flipping or smacks a large tree fatalities of driver and passengers becomes a real issue. If there are no survivors, there is no one to tell the tale.

    • DownshiftFast5to1
      April 16, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      I never once thought about this before: “a bird darting across the freeway [hitting] the bumper would many times deploy the bags knocking the driver’s hands off the wheel. At 70+ this can be a real issue and certainly cause flipping of the vehicle. If the vehicle is unable to sustain flipping or smacks a large tree fatalities of driver and passengers becomes a real issue. If there are no survivors, there is no one to tell the tale.”

      As if the first reason wasn’t enough, Thank You for providing reason number, what? 12? to disconnect the dangerous thing.

      (Hmm, if there was alcohol involved in the least bit, the law enforcers wouldn’t keep looking for feathers, no doubt about that.)

      You could easily substitute a deer’s hind end for a bird here. I’ve had many surprise hits from both deer and birds,… and other varmints.
      Would a rock from an oncoming semi truck do the same if it hit the right spot?
      I’m guessing, yes.
      Yikes!

      Note to self: Stay the heck OUT of vehicles with air bags!

    • Jacob
      April 16, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      I never thought about random things like birds or debris hitting the ultra sensitive (“super safe!”) bumpers and deploying the airbags while people are driving otherwise safely. That is an excellent point.

  7. joeallen
    April 16, 2013 at 7:54 am

    My sister has been a nurse 33 years. She tells me she sees lots of elderly people hurt by airbags more than by not having the bags to start with. Then there’s the loss of hearing by so many bags exploding in a confined space, something that would not be allowed in any workplace. Then there’s the poisonous gases used to inflate the damn bags. Then when the bag explodes in front of you, comes the loss of vision, particularly if the car is still moving and can be steered.

    People work for government when they can’t find work elsewhere. And they have lower levels of education, drive, discipline, and thinking ability than the population from which they come from. That’s what really pesses me off about gubbernment!!!

  8. Gil
    April 16, 2013 at 6:35 am

    So? Libertarians argue guns saves more lives than they take.

    • April 16, 2013 at 9:45 am

      No, Clover – Libertarians never make the utilitarian argument. We make the moral argument. Right is right and wrong is wrong – period.

      Forcing automakers to build cars with air bags is wrong. Forcing people to buy air bags is wrong.

      What you constantly miss – or deliberately choose to ignore – is the ownership issue. I own myself. You own yourself. Neither of us owns even a partial share of the other. You should be free to do with your life as you wish, without any interference from anyone – unless what you do can be shown to cause a real harm to someone else’s person or property. And I am entitled to the same – and so is every other person in the world.

      Whether something is “good for me” – or not – is no one else’s business. You’re free to make whatever decision you believe to be right for yourself – but not for anyone else.

      • Preacher
        April 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm

        I really REALLY enjoy your articles, I hope you will continue posting as often as possible, even if you feel like you are repeating yourself.

        Your above response argument is so simple, and so correct, I have trouble understanding how more people won’t open up to it. I believe they are scared that they can’t take care of themselves and want to force other people to :/

        Have you ever considered posting material and advice about debating with clovers, conservatives, and others that might be willing to move closer to libertarians? Those that ignore the hypocrisy of supporting the gov’t when it does something you like, and then screaming about the constitution when it does things you don’t like? I have been able to open the minds of several people so far, but generally, it’s a tough road to try and bring people down.

        • April 16, 2013 at 5:58 pm

          Thanks, Preacher – it’s always nice to get a pat on the back… especially lately, with the problems we’ve been having!

  9. Rich
    April 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Air bags were rushed into legislation before the idiots in government realized the bags would literally take the heads off of children. Ooooops!

    • April 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Rich,

      It’s worse than that. They knew.

      Air bags have been around since the late 1960s and were available optionally in the early 1970s on several GM and Chrysler models. There was data.

      The assholes who rule us decided, in effect, “you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”

      • Rich
        April 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm

        Wow, that’s infuriating. You know, I never did get comfortable with having a claymore mine pointed at my head while I was driving.

        • April 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm

          It is.

          Pisses me off to no end.

          I have no objection to air bags (and so on) being offered as a choice – as something people can buy if they wish to, having weighed the pros and cons for themselves.

          But who the hell are these people to tell us we will have air bags – whether we want them or not?

          The fact is, air bags failed. The market voted. Few people wanted them, for a variety of reasons – among them the safety issue as well as the cost issue.

          So what happened? The thugs in government colluded with the thugs within the auto industry to force them on us; to make us buy them – and accept the cost as well as the risks.

        • methylamine
          April 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm

          Rich–“…having a claymore mine pointed at my head…”

          Excellent!

          It’s a constant reminder of the State’s guns pointed at your head, too.

          • Alacrity
            April 16, 2013 at 11:50 pm

            And it doesn’t say front toward enemy

      • BrentP
        April 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

        When the airbag mandate was being pushed it was pushed as the usual:

        Government wants to keep you safe. Evil automakers won’t spend three cents to make cars safer, they want you to die. (instead of living and buying a new replacement car from the same manufacturer supposedly)

        Because it was pushed this way, the data that showed airbags at the level the Claybrookians demanded was tossed aside as lies. The mandate went in. People died. Of course government admitted no fault. The automakers had no liability because government dictated the airbag standard. Automakers knew the airbags would kill as specified but had no choice. The government did not allow for mitigation of damage their standard would cause.

        So what happened? Government cannot admit fault. So we have the overly complex systems we have today…. is the person in the seat too small? Let’s have a sensor to figure it out. In other words government only allowed the workarounds, the stopping of an unbelted 50th percentile male remained. Politically admitting error is not acceptable.

        The ECE airbag standard is to stop a belted passenger. Because of this they are less likely to injure anyone.

        The arrogant politicians know everything in the USA and can’t learn from others.

        Anyway the automakers fought against the airbag mandate and lost. Just like with OBD2 they wanted the car to provide more info than ‘check engine’ but political types wanted to scare people and disallowed it. Of course this was back in days long gone.

  10. BrentP
    April 15, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Thing was, the Ford Pinto was really alright for a car of that era. The whole bashing of the Pinto and Ford was a myth the media pushed.

    http://www.pointoflaw.com/articles/archives/000023.php

    • April 15, 2013 at 9:21 am

      I agree – just used it to make the point for purposes of the article.

      • Douglas
        April 16, 2013 at 8:55 pm

        Correct-a-mundo about the flammable Ford Pinto and how it’s dangers were blown way out of proportion by Naderites and like-minded “useful idiots”, in the pay of the trial lawyers looking to shake loose some corporate big bucks. Still, I could see at the tender age of eleven that the Pinto, or the Chevy Vega, or the Gremlin, all had similar vulnerabilities in event of being rear-ended, especially by the then behemoths prowling the highways! It’s a matter of the typical restrictions of automotive engineering…size, build cost, operating cost, fuel economy, and CRASHWORTHINESS. Just as if in “Dubya, Dubya Two, da big one”, you’d pick a tank based on the likely mission. If you’re “da Giomans”, and need something in a defensive role where protection and firepower are more important than mobility, then the 70-ton King Tiger with that 88mm KwK 43 that can shoot up anything the enemy can throw your way long before they’re in range is your choice. OTOH, if you need mobility and sheer numbers (e.g., a producible design), then the Soviet T-34 or the Sherman is your pick and you live with their deficiencies in tank vs tank combat…even though you’re sacrificing a lot of tanks and ‘tankists’.
        The point is that we private motorists are perfectly capable of deciding our choice of ride(s) with their respective features and live with the consequences thereof. Getting the Government involved in what ought to be purely the consumer’s choice ultimately reduces choices, increases costs, and has never proven to provide tangible benefits that would otherwise not have happened

    • April 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      My first car was a Pinto–a 72 wagon with a fourspeed manual. God, I loved that car! the only serious flaw it had on it was that it had no gauges, and only one “idiot light” on the dash that lit up whenever anything at all went wrong with it. I wonder if I can find another one somewhere?
      (NO, that was just a day dream. I am NOT in the market for a classic Pinto wagon!!)

  11. babydriver
    April 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    The proof is in the pudding.

    These same folks justify murdering the innocent unborn.

    Enough said.

    • methylamine
      April 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Agreed, babydriver. Karma is a bitch–and we are going to pay dearly for that one.

  12. Jacob
    April 14, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Word on the street is that the leading cause of death in car accidents is brain trauma… I’m trying to think of something clever to add to that but I can’t except the bullshit fact that the government will require motorcycle drivers to wear helmets but not car drivers when EVERYONE would be safer if they were always wearing a helmet (DOT approved, of course). Just like everyone in a car would be safer if the car’s seats were set up like a Nascar race car, complete with “don’t snap your neck like Jeff Gordon” thingies and harness style seat belts.

    But oh yeah, it’s not really about safety it’s about generating revenue…

    • Jacob
      April 14, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      The government just stimulated the economy, now these businesses get to repair millions of faulty air bags…think of the “air bag mechanic” job creation!

      • liberranter
        April 15, 2013 at 5:11 pm

        Hmm, maybe we can update/modernize the “Broken Window Fallacy” by renaming it the “Automobile Recall Fallacy.” :)

    • Ernie
      April 16, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Dont forget the Nomex suit. And the neck collar. After all if speed kills (I’m gonna slow down my Cessna and see how that works out…) and seat belts save (except for those folks who I’ve personally seen burned to death or drowned after being trapped by them).. after all there is nothing more important than safety.

      • Jacob
        April 16, 2013 at 11:36 pm

        The only thing more important than safety is obeying the government. Sieg heil!

  13. MoT
    April 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I say that all politicians should be required to carry “political insurance” for their constant fuck ups. Pass a law that steals from my children and further erodes my freedoms “Ding!”… And we’re not talking about simple cash payouts I’m talking about loss of physical assets and salary. Create more war and bloodshed? “Ding!” Now one of your own flesh and blood has to be on the front lines in payment. Selling out your country to foreign special interests? “Ding!” Firing squad. What?! You didn’t see that little rider next to the asterix on page 297 subsection Z? Too bad. Kablam! So, dear citizens, if you want to call yourself a “public servant” then you’d best be ready to serve or find another line of work. Better yet get ready to be fertilizer.

    • BrentP
      April 15, 2013 at 5:19 am

      This is a good idea.
      The boards of condo associations carry insurance in case they screw up. I forget what it is called… officers liability or something like that. Although that insurance is paid out of the association’s funds because board of managers are unpaid. Of course politicians are paid quite well so they should be able to afford to pay their own way.

    • joeallen
      April 16, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Mot the pollies could not afford the insurance!!! Heh heh.. Besides, what capitalistic insurance company would want to insure idiots?

  14. April 14, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Very good post, Eric. And yes indeed, we most certainly should be free to use the airbag, seatbelt, etc. as we see fit. AND bear the consequences of our choices, of course.

    I’m a five foot tall older lady, and I’ve always been terrified of the horrible “airbag.” I know it would probably kill me if deployed.

    Is there some possible way to deactivate the thing? My 2001 Saturn is too old to worry about warranties.

    • Qwibqwib
      April 14, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      This is NOT advice. The following is for entertainment only! Lol! Just pop the airbag out of the wheel with a screwdriver and snip the wires. Next, remove the guts, and save the center section. Re-install the center section of the wheel, minus airbag. Now you have a secret compartment where the bag used to be!

      • April 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm

        Ok… sounds great, but maybe you skipped the part where the old lady said she was TERRIFIED of the darn thing. :) The “cut wire” part I could handle, but the prying it open part leaves me huddled in a fetal position.

        No suggestions involving superglue or?? :)

        • Rich
          April 15, 2013 at 11:59 am

          Do you cut the red wire, or the blue wire? :)

        • April 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm

          Hi Mama,

          One option – a possibility – is to just remove the fuse to the SRS circuit. This should disable the bags. But, don’t forget to put the fuse back in before you take the car in for state “safety” inspection (if you have to deal with that). Because they’ll see the “SRS” light on the dash (or won’t see it flash at start-up) and they’ll fail you for that.

          • April 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm

            Ok, thanks! I’ll ask my mechanic about that. Great idea. We don’t have any kind of “state inspection” here, so it won’t matter to anyone that I can think of.

          • Qwibqwib
            April 15, 2013 at 2:24 pm

            Oops! I forgot about the srs light. That’s why you are the expert Eric! Lol! Luckily, I don’t have to worry about that in my gulag of residence. I would just cut the wire/trace that powered the light. As long as it starts and drives, I could care less about the bells and whistles. To wit, I have disabled my antilock brakes and cut the wire to the warning light. The car has over 200k and will never leave my possession so no worries.

          • Qwibqwib
            April 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm

            Sorry Mama, my comment was kind of tongue in cheek and would require some assembly specific to the model of car you have. I am kind of a neandrethal with my “modifications”, and I suppose I shouldn’t reccomend others do the same! :) I like the article “Hulk smash”, I usually “smash” things that beep at me or tell me to do stuff in MY CAR.

          • joeallen
            April 16, 2013 at 8:01 am

            Problem with that is that there may be other vital circuits on that fuse, like may be headlights or wipers? Look out for that.

            • April 16, 2013 at 12:48 pm

              Hi Joe,

              Yup –

              The good news is this is something you can piddle with easily – and without causing any harm. Pull the fuse – and see what happens. If the SRS circuit is all that’s affected, you’re good to go (other than the issue discussed earlier about the SRS light on the dash – and the “safety” inspection issue). If, on the other hand, the SRS fuse also controls other things you don’t want turned off, then you’ll have to tackle this problem another way. Back in the ’90s, there companies that sold switch kits that allowed the bags to be turned off. Even if those no longer exist, I doubt it’d be very difficult to rig one up.

          • anarchyst
            April 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm

            The SRS light can be extinguished permanently by installing a resistor with the proper value in place of the airbag. IMPORTANT WARNING!!!DO NOT MEASURE THE RESISTANCE OF THE AIRBAG WITH A VOLT-OHMMETER!!!
            You will need to purchase a potentiometer. Connect that to the wires coming out of the steering wheel–NOT the airbag! Rotate the shaft on the potentiometer until the SRS light goes out. Measure the resistance of the potentiometer without turning the shaft. Obtain the proper value resistor and connect to the steering wheel airbag circuit wires. Reassemble and you are done.

        • Chris
          April 17, 2013 at 11:44 am

          Hi Mama, It’s Chris from ZeroGov forums. The fuse is the easist way to disable the SRS system. Or, simply unplugging a SRS component, like a seatbelt connector, or an airbag should disable the entire system. Once the SRS, or airbag light is illuminated the system is usually disabled. Pulling the fuse will certainly disable it.

          SRS circuits usually have a dedicated fuse, and rarely are other electrical loads ran off of an airbag circuit, so you shouldn’t have a problem with other circuits not functioning when pulling the SRS fuse.

          • April 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm

            Hey, Chris! I meet the nicest people here. :)

            I’ll be going out to look at the fuse box just as soon as the snow melts out there. The snow drift in front of my car is nearly to the hood latch!

            Sure wish I’d known about removing the fuse a long time ago. Sitting with that bomb pointed at my neck all these years has not been fun. The chance of being hit by deer or other critters is high here, and that would be a real disaster even without the stupid airbag.

            • April 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

              Lots of top drawer people here, Mama – it’s one of the things I’m most proud of.

      • April 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm

        [Note: no option to post a reply to your last reply… ]

        I really did see you were joking, but it remains true that I am too chicken to try such a thing. :) Actually, I get alone quite well with tools, but sometimes I need help putting things back together! LOL

        The fuse removal sounds doable. I have the original owner’s manual… wonder if the fuse location is indicated, and if one could get at the panel without removing the entire dashboard or the engine… And while I’m in there, I may see about disabling the stupid light and boinging sound related to the seat belts.

        What else could I disable while I’m at it? I’ll take a look. This might be FUN!

        • April 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm

          The manual that came with the vehicle tells the location & function of all the fuses. Usually, the fuse panel is located under the dashboard, near the emergency brake pedal. Use a small pair of needle nose pliers to remove the fuse. (they make a special tool for fuse removal, but a pliers works just as well). Be sure, though, that no other systems are run through that fuse though. I once had an old Pontiac with a seat-belt warning buzzer that was driving me nuts. So, I removed the fuse. but it also disabled the horn, so I was forced to yell out the window more frequently than normal. I would not recommend asking a certified mechanic to remove the airbag or disable it simply because he won’t want to expose himself to any liability. Have a “shade tree mechanic” do it for you. Alternately, you could just not run into things.

          • April 16, 2013 at 12:51 pm

            Thanks, Paul! I did look at the manual, and it says my fuses are under the hood. Didn’t look for them yet and have not finished reading the manual. Figured I’d leave it for a day or two until the blizzard clears off. LOL

            I live in a small rural town and my mechanic is well qualified, but we don’t have much bureaucratic nonsense here, so he’ll probably be happy to do whatever I need – if I can’t figure out how to do it myself.

            I used to change my own oil and filter, plugs, and even rebuilt my carburetor a few times in the early days. Was chief wrench holder and wife to a master mechanic (deceased) for 17 years and learned a lot.

            When the cars started coming out with computers and all the nutty stuff, I gave up and found a good mechanic. I’m too old to crawl under a car now anyway. :)

            As for not running into things… I’ve had just one “ticket” and one accident in a sand storm in the desert in 50 years of driving, so I’m not apt to have a problem unless someone – or a deer – runs into me. :) Sometimes, you don’t get to choose.

        • Ernie
          April 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm

          Just FYI, before messing with the factory minibomb airbags, everyone should know to disconnect the positive battery terminal and wait for several minutes. After that, then pop up the bag and snip it and or remove it.

          Messing with airbags if electrical power is present could make them go off. As could static. Or deterioration from age. Just a bit of advice from an engineer who put himself through school as a mechanic.

    • Boothe
      April 17, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      MamaLiberty, I can’t speak to the Saturn’s passenger restraint system, but here’s some really good info on airbags from Miata.net – http://www.miata.net/faq/miata_airbag_faq.html Pay special attention to the disclaimer at the top. It’s hillarious. I think my ’97 Miata would look really good with a nice aftermarket wood rimmed steering wheel in place of the center pillow design from the factory. Plus a matching wooden map case door where the passenger’s side Claymore mine was mounted would be pleasing to the eye. Doesn’t SRS stand for Simply Remove Stuff?

      • April 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm

        Love it! Especially this part:
        “the next step is to detonate it. This is a guy thing.”

        Well, probably in most cases… but I’m a lady who spends a lot of time at the local gun club range (I’m the Chief Range Safety Officer, NRA certified firearms instructor) and I LOVE to shoot. The sound of gunfire is music to my ears (properly protected, of course). I’ll get a bang (sorry for the pun) of detonating this thing somewhere safe, far away from my car.

        But now I have another question… Will removing the fuse actually eliminate the danger of this bomb going off in my face, or is it still a problem unless I actually root the damned thing out of the steering wheel? As far as I know, that’s the ONLY air bag in the car, and it’s the only one I’m really concerned about.

        • Chris
          April 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm

          Mama,

          Removing the fuse will disable the airbags. There will be no power going to the airbags. The system is designed with capacitors that will store an electrical current, but the capacitors will drain after only a couple of minutes after removong the fuse. To be sure, you can disconnect the positive and negative battery clamps, and hold them together for a few minutes. This will drain the capacitors. They are dsigned this way in case the battery is taken out in an accident. The airbags will deploy on capacitor charge.

          Does Wyoming have a state mandated vehicle inspection policy? Like Eric mentioned, certain criteria for passing state inspections is that the SRS light or airbag light is not illuminated. This is why it’s not a good idea to “snip” the airbag wires, or otherwise tamper with the airbag system that would only cost you money in repair later. Pulling the fuse in sufficient.

          In areas with high deer populations, such as your area, it might be a very good idea to disable the airbag system. There are crash sensors positioned around your car, and all a deer has to do is smack one of them. This means that you, or your insurance company, will have to pay for any mechanical and structural damage as well as repairing the airbag system. Airbag system components are expensive, and usually when an airbag deploys, the computer control unit, and sometimes harnesses and other components will also have to be replaced. All for an accident that did not warrant airbag deployment such as a deer impact.

          • April 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm

            There’s no kind of “inspection” here in Wyoming. As with so many other things, we’re pretty much on our own that way… and that’s the way we like it! :)

            I only carry PL/PD on my 12 year old Saturn, so any repairs would be up to me… all the more reason to get rid of that horrid thing! Since Saturn no longer even makes cars… finding parts might be a challenge.

            So far, so good… I’m very careful and I don’t drive much anymore, so without the airbag I should be good for a long time yet.

            I’ll get out there and rip out that stupid fuse… just as soon as it stops snowing! :)

          • Shoal Creek
            April 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm

            In rural Utah, we do have safety inspections. I have lived here with a lit SRS lamp on my Explorer for 10 years. Not once has an inspector said anything about it, so even if you live in a state that requires an annual inspection, it may be a state that does not require a working airbag. Things that they do check are: exhaust leaks, good muffler, working horn, working lights (hi, lo, signals, stop lamps), working wipers, brake wear, tire wear, steering wheel play, and any obvious problems with alignment/suspension (wobbly wheels, crooked axles, leaning car, etc).

            BTW, the statistics of people who died because of airbags do not count those who died because the airbag developed a leak in the driver’s face when it deployed and suffocated the driver with all of the noxious gases that they use to inflate the bags.

            • April 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm

              Hi Shoal,

              That’s lucky … here in the People’s Republic of Virginia, all federally required safety and emissions gear must be intact and operational. The inspector is supposed to fail the vehicle if it originally came with air bags and the SRS indicator light does not illuminate – and then go out – after initial start-up (or the SRS light remains on).

  15. Eric_G
    April 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Actually, what clover will say is “but who will take care of this citizen when he has brain damage?” Well, isn’t that what insurance is for? Oh, but the insurance company finds it much more profitable to do everything in their power to avoid paying out claims (“never got rich by cutting a lot of checks”), and dumpping people into the social safety net.

    Think about that when you’re renewing your coverage and keeping the same $300,000 medical payout. A serious accident could end up costing millions, but the mandated minimum coverage is no where near that. Who makes up the shortfall? The driver? HA! He’s got no money.

    In a way it’s a better deal… in the short run. We get cheaper rates, don’t need to carry as much as we should, but we also have to deal with a government that wants to spend money on everything but its stated mission (again, if bureaucrats spend their budgets on payouts they won’t have any left for their COLAs and increased headcount). In the long run, the exception becomes the norm, and we end up where we are now.

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