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  1. #1
    Saab Fan chouston's Avatar
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    01 Feb 2014
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    Saab(s)
    900 coupe 1997
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    airbag deployed for no reason STATIC?

    Just to share for your forewarning

    I was stationary, sitting in the car with my wife and five year old daughter. She decided to wind the front seat back all the way, and slide down it over and over (leather seats, very slippery).

    We were watching the 'red moon eclipse phenomenoum.

    When I started the car to leave, the passenger airbag exploded in my wifes face (this was only 2 hours ago, please excuse my oddness) The airbag cracked the front windscreen severly.

    My daughter was distressed.

    They decided to walk home, I decided to drive the car home, I turned the ignition again, reversed about 10 foot, and the drivers side airbag deployed in my face, hitting my chin and leaving me with a strong ringing in my ears, and a slight cough.

    Having googled briefly, I can only put the deployment down to the possible static built up by my daughter sliding up and down the seat.

    Beware everyone.

    Car will now be a parts car. So sad.

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  2. #2
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Static electricity just seems like such an unlikely cause. Did you have an expert check it out and see if there could have been any other cause?

    Are you thinking of getting another Saab?

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  3. #3
    Saab Fan chouston's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    900 coupe 1997
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    I will not buy another Saab because I feel as though there is no recourse for this incident as Saab don't really exist anymore, right? And why would they care, its a 13 year old car.

    This was extremely dangerous and costly for me, and there is nobody I can hold to account.

    Apparently an Airbag has a 3 year warranty like all other car parts.

    The SRS light did not come on previous, there was no warning signs (smell, noise_)

    My family and I were so shaken by this incident that we don't want to buy another car with airbags, (back to the 80's?) W124 mercedes?

    The airbags did not even 'go off' together, but minutes apart.

    Imagine driving along and having this happen with your family in the car, it was equivalent to the 'shock' of any accident I have ever been in. If you google this, it is not that uncommon.

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  4. #4
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    My 1990 Mercedes 300TE (W124) was equipped with airbags. It actually had a label on the door jamb saying the airbags have to replaced after a certain number of years (I think it was 10 years). I am sure the cost of replacing the airbags would be higher than the value of the entire car. Not sure if they just would stop working or sudden deployment like yours. May be just a precaution.

    It's true airbags can kill or hurt someone and it does happen. But many more lives are saved and severe injuries prevented with airbags.

    Saab was (partly owned) by GM so they will still be responsible. But as you say, probably not much is going to be done about a 13 year old car. There was an airbag ecu recall for the 1995 Saab 900 but not the 1997. 1995 Saab 900 Recalls & Problems - Motor Trend Magazine

    My first reaction of never buying a Saab again probably would be the same if it would have happened to me. However, Saabs are still very safe cars, especially the newer ones like the 9-5.

    Here is a similar experience with a
    2000 9-3 http://www.saablink.net/forum/car-problems-ng900-old-9-3-only/61350.htm
    1997 900 http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=145803

    I just wonder of the improvements they made in the ecu were not good enough..

    The fault is specific to vehicles produced during 1995. Although Saab 900 models from 1995 to 1998 use a similar air bag ECU, improvements made during 1995 eliminated the defect on vehicles produced after the VIN "cut-off" point.

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  5. #5
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    There was also a recall for 1998 and appearantly static electricity was the problem.

    Recall ID # 4171 - AIR BAGS:FRONTAL
    Recall Date:
    JUL 02, 2001
    Model Affected:
    1998 Saab 900

    Summary:
    VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES. STATIC ELECTRICITY CAN BUILD UP WITHIN THE PASSENGER-SIDE AIR BAG MODULE AND CREATE ENOUGH OF A CHARGE TO CAUSE AN INADVERTENT AIR BAG DEPLOYMENT. MOST OF THESE INADVERTENT DEPLOYMENTS HAVE OCCURRED IN COOLER, DRY WEATHER, AND HAVE GENERALLY INCLUDED DUSTING OR WIPING OF THE DASHBOARD, STARTING THE CAR, OR CLOSING THE DOOR.

    Consequences:
    UNEXPECTED AIR BAG DEPLOYMENT CAN RESULT IN OCCUPANT INJURY.

    Remedy:
    DEALERS WILL INSTALL A FRONT PASSENGER-SIDE AIR BAG MODULE GROUNDING STRAP. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN SEPTEMBER 24, 2001. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT SAAB AT 1-800-955-9007.

    Potential Units Affected:
    12036

    Notes:
    SAAB CARS USA, INC.

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  6. #6
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    1999 9-3SE (2013-2015), 2005 9-3 (2005-2013), 1990 900 (1990-2003)
    Thumbs Up:   31
    So sad to see a Saab die this way. I wonder if comprehensive insurance is worthwhile? If so, one would get the value of the car, minus deductible. For my 1999, that might be $1,000-1,500, depending on what the deductible is. Maybe not worthwhile?

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  7. #7
    Saab Fan
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    08 May 2011
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    Air bags scare the hell out of me would much prefer not to have them.

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  8. #8
    Saab Fan chouston's Avatar
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    01 Feb 2014
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    Saab(s)
    900 coupe 1997
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    I decided she was too good to go, and hey, now she doesn't have airbags I have one less thing to worry about.

    Here are some photos of my 'redneck repair'.

    I will get a replacement sleeve for the steering wheel and it will look as new, the dash is much harder work. But at first few glances it looks o.k. But I am sad that she can never be the pristine example that she was.


    Name:  004.jpg
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    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Last edited by chouston; 19 April 2014 at 04:16.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    10 May 2015
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    Saab(s)
    Saab 900 hatch 1997
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Hello chouston! Have had same inadvertent air bag deployment while driving Saab 900 hatch 1997 build, in February this year; first the passenger side, and then the driver side, with both seatbelt pretensioners going off as well. As with yours, the dashboard and windscreen etc are badly damaged as a result. Acoustic trauma has damaged my hearing. There have been numerous air bag recalls for Saab and other cars, globally, with same description (eg static affecting passenger air bag; leaky capacitor in ECU (Bosch) affecting both air bags in 1995 built cars. I have owned my car since new, and never received a recall.

    The campaign plate on driver door pillar is blank. As mine is pristine very low mileage, have had it repaired using parts from a 1997 Saab 900, but a different SRS airbag ECU was installed. According to the web, Bosch part 0 285 001 089 (Saab part 4619680) was used in Saabs from 1995 to 1998, and is what came out of mine, but the replacement ECU is 0 285 001 653 (Saab part 5266564). As the solution to the 1995 problem was to replace the ECU, I am trying to find out how to determine if an ECU has been replaced. There was also a recall for a sticking throttle control plate, which applies to the 1997 build and others.

    If recalls have been applied, the campaign plate should be marked by the importer (7) or dealer (8) in the appropriate box to show it was done. Do you know the part number of your ECU (it is located beneath the brake lever). What markings are on your campaign plate? With Saab out of business, what can we do??? According to NRMA (NSW), Audi and Mercedes warrant the air bags for the life of the car; Volvo for 20 years; Saab ??? Can we communicate via email?

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  10. #10
    Saab Fan chouston's Avatar
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    01 Feb 2014
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    Saab(s)
    900 coupe 1997
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    Howdy!

    Bummer about ya car, when did it happen? (While you were driving?) Luckily I had the windows down so I think mine and my 5y/o daughters ears were not harmed.

    I'll be ditching this saab as soon as I can afford to.

    I also have the sticking throttle plate, I am great with mechanics but have not been able to solve the issue, costs a fortune in petrol.

    The weather has been appauling here in Melbourne between work, so no chance to check the numbers for you as yet (I will do).

    I would have loved to have some, any, recourse, but that would cost more in legal costs than I could ever recoup, soooo....

    My saab was also low mileage (170,000k and pristine) but I was qouated over $1200 to repair the airbags ;(

    I will post those numbers you are after a.s.ap

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