How to disable my airbag *gasp*


So my Mom drives a 2002 Ford Taurus that I believe has one of the Takata airbags that have been killing people. So far her car hasn't been recalled for the airbag, but I know this recall is being done piece meal as they can't do them all at once, and since the recall applies to the year right close to hers I suspect hers eventually will be recalled as well. Either way I don't want to take the chance, and here's why...

The explanation for why these things are going off is there's some defect in the manufacturing that when the air bag is exposed to humid conditions and lots of temp fluctuations, something in them weakens and there they go. Mom's Taurus has a windshield leak so, even though it's never smelled, there's always been a virtual puddle of water in driver's side floor board. So the inside of the car has always been humid, just like in the airbag explosion scenarios.

So, for the time being, until she gets into another car, I'd like to disconnect her airbag to be on the safe side. She is an amazingly vigilant driver, never even a speeding ticket, and the risk of her rear ending someone is virtually non-existent.

How would I go about disabling an airbag on a 2002 Ford Taurus?

Or, alternatively, how do I open the steering wheel column, or front of the steering wheel, which might be part of the disabling process itself, and identify if Mom's airbag is indeed one of the defective types?
I believe fixing the windshield leak would be the more prudent thing to do. :rolleyes:

I'm not sure simply disabling it would do anything. It would most likely need to be removed.

In any case, it's a 17 year old Taurus. It would probably be easier to replace the steering wheel with an aftermarket wheel from any parts store. :eek:


buy your Mom a Lincoln. :p
I followed the Takata airbag thing pretty closely for a while, and although you're right that it was determined to be a higher risk of failure in humid climates, it was still only upon a regular deployment that these "shrapnel" scenarios were occurring. The airbags weren't going off randomly. it's just that in the event of an accident, it would go off with excessive force, and send bits of the (metal) mechanism out with it. Still a supremely unfortunate scenario, and worth avoiding.

I also don't remember the Taurus being on the list, but I'll double-check that now.

Here's a link to the Ford lookup tool, which includes a list of effected vehicles. Mom's car isn't on the list. (or any full-size) so you (she) should be in the clear. Plug in the VIN to be sure.

Now then, about that windshield leak... :)