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Understanding Crash Codes and Airbag Module Replacement

When it comes to car accidents, the safety of the occupants is of utmost importance. Modern vehicles are equipped with airbag systems designed to protect the driver and passengers in the event of a collision. However, after an accident, the airbag module may store crash codes that require attention and potentially the replacement of the module.

Common Crash Codes

Some car models, like Toyota, may not display any trouble codes, but a crash code is stored in the airbag module. Unfortunately, these crash codes cannot be cleared using a scanner. Instead, the module may need to be reflashed to restore it to its factory pre-crash condition.

Here are some common crash codes that typically indicate the need for airbag module replacement:

  • B1231 – Event Threshold Exceeded: This code indicates that the event threshold for airbag deployment has been exceeded.
  • B1239 – Airbag Diagnosis Sensor Unit Malfunctioning: This code points to a malfunction in the airbag diagnosis sensor unit.
  • B1209/B1210 – Collision Detection: These codes indicate that a collision has been detected.
  • B1499 – SRS-ECU Airbag Condition Monitor Detects Deployed Airbag: This code suggests that the SRS-ECU airbag condition monitor has detected a deployed airbag.
  • 65535 – Internal Control Module Memory Error-Intermittent: This code indicates an intermittent error in the internal control module memory.
  • B1620 – Internal Fault-Replace SRSCM: This code suggests an internal fault, requiring the replacement of the Supplemental Restraint System Control Module (SRSCM).

In addition to these codes, there are other fault codes related to airbag system issues:

  • Code 01: Faulty Internal ECM: This code is caused by a fault in the internal electronic control module (ECM).
  • Code 02: Faulty Firing Circuit in the Driver’s Airbag: This code is often the result of issues with the firing circuit or a faulty airbag warning lamp.
  • Code 03: Low Voltage Supply: This code affects the firing circuit and belt tensioner on the driver’s side and is caused by a low voltage supply.

Airbag Module Replacement and Reprogramming

If the airbags have deployed during an accident, the SRS airbag control module will typically need to be reprogrammed to remove crash data and hard codes. In some cases, the impact sensors and clock spring may also need replacement if they were damaged or melted during the accident.

For certain vehicle makes, such as VW and Audi, the crash data is stored in the airbag controller and cannot be cleared. In these situations, the only solution is to replace the airbag controller to restore the car to proper operation.

When replacing the airbag control module, it is important to match the part number of the replacement module with the vehicle’s original module. This ensures compatibility and proper functioning of the airbag system.

Accidents can also cause the airbag light to turn on and the module to store “crash codes,” both hard and soft codes. Clearing these codes is necessary to ensure the system functions correctly. However, it is essential to address the underlying issues that caused the crash codes in the first place, such as damaged sensors or wiring.

In conclusion, after a car accident, it is crucial to check for crash codes stored in the airbag module. If crash codes are present, it may be necessary to reprogram it to remove the crash data. Consulting a professional mechanic or technician is recommended to ensure the proper diagnosis and resolution of any airbag system issues.