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Old 03-06-2011, 10:15 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
Older than old school
Location: Oaksterdam, Yay Area
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 4,414
Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6, '90 k75s
Originally Posted by ztom View Post
>Read that in an accident the buckle will drop down to take up slack. Read on auto parts site (Pelican?) that this assembly has compressed nitrogen. I guess that when released (maybe by a pyro charge?) it pulls the buckle down. I think the issue is the buckle has a switch that senses when the buckles in and over time the switch gets faulty?
I can confirm some of this. When I bought my car, the driver's side seatbelt wouldn't latch. You could insert the lap/shoulder belt tab in all the way, but it just wouldn't catch. This, of course, kept the seatbelt light on, and the airbag switch came on. I had to take out the seat and replace the latch, which has a lever-operated "pretensioner" in it, triggered by a little explosive detonator. It cost about $250, I think, at the dealership. Supposedly it's hard (although not necessarily impossible) to find a supplier that will ship it across state lines because of the explosive charge.

In any event, I had to take out the seat to remove the latch with the pretensioner because it's anchored to the seat. It wasn't hard, although I was surprised to find there was a little spring-loaded cable sticking out of the carpet that needed to be reattached to the seat, and it took me a while to find the attachment point. However, once I get everything back together, the seatbelt and airbag lights went out.

I was just fortunate that the failure point was so obvious, because my seatbelt simply wouldn't stay put. I don't know how common this is, and I don't know if this is the reason the OP's airbag light went on. It just now occurred to me to ask if the OP's seatbelt light was also on. If so, we might be talking about the same problem.
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