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Old 02-23-2009, 09:30 PM   #1
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Default Need help with an airbag law, NJ or federal...

I need some type of proof in writing that it's illegal in NJ to drive a vehicle with deployed air bags. To make a long story short I know someone that popped both bags in their car and they're driving it around. They said it's perfectly legal and he supposedly talked to cops and they said it's fine. I no longer have access to different state laws regarding this so I can't get any proof.

Can someone help?
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:43 PM   #2
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No one?
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:48 PM   #3
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http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...0191307AAmhyq8

and

"Since 1972, manufacturers, distributors, dealers and motor vehicle repair businesses have been prohibited from knowingly "making inoperative" any part of a device or element of design that has been installed on or in a motor vehicle in compliance with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS). Examples of such modifications include removing airbags, modifying door latches or reducing available crush space." from http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/adap...e_ask_Ques.htm
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Y2KFirehawk View Post
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...0191307AAmhyq8

and

"Since 1972, manufacturers, distributors, dealers and motor vehicle repair businesses have been prohibited from knowingly "making inoperative" any part of a device or element of design that has been installed on or in a motor vehicle in compliance with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS). Examples of such modifications include removing airbags, modifying door latches or reducing available crush space." from http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/adap...e_ask_Ques.htm
Thanks. I'm too tired to read all of that legal crap lol. So basically it's illegal to drive with popped air bags yes?
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:32 PM   #5
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No it's not illegal, you want to drive around with teh airbag removed from your car go for it, get in an accident get ready for your insurance company to have a fit though, and if a passenger gets hurt because you took the airbag out get ready to get your ***** sued off.
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:38 PM   #6
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Ok, I thought I read something different when I had access to state laws when I was an appraiser.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Y2KFirehawk View Post
From the government article above, it is my understanding that deployed airbags would essentially the same as removed airbags...
That pertains to businesses removing or making inoperable, the safety systems. As a car owner, I'm sure it's not illegal, but as stated, most likely would be an insurance disaster waiting to happen.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:49 AM   #8
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Federal laws are so rarely enforced.. All trailers over 3500lbs gross (IIRC) are required to have brakes on both axles... how many have you seen with one or even no braking axles?

But on the airbag thing, did he cut it out, or is it there, getting in the way? A cop would probably find some sort of obscure "obstruction of controls" law to write him up for that..
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:11 PM   #9
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On a related note, there are people that are legally entitled to disable their airbags due to medical conditions (pacemaker etc.) but that of course requires a doctor's note and is 'case specific'.
Child's seats/children riding up front in a vehicle with no back seats (and no airbag 'on/off' switch) is another potential area for exemption.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eskimo View Post
But on the airbag thing, did he cut it out, or is it there, getting in the way? A cop would probably find some sort of obscure "obstruction of controls" law to write him up for that..
As far as I know he just left them popped, didn't cut them or anything.

So even if cut the bags out is the car technically still illegal? I don't care if he's safe or not, I was just want to prove a point.

I can't see him being exempt in any way.
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:01 PM   #11
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as long as he did it himself to his own car it's not illegal.
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:16 PM   #12
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How would this be any different than driving a car that doesn't have airbags installed from the factory? It's not illegal to disable the airbags in your own car, but it is illegal to sell a car with the bags disabled and not tell the purchaser.

A friend of mine was dating a petite girl quite a few years ago. She purchased a brand new 99 firebird and the dealership disabled the airbags because she was under a certain height. I don't remember how tall she was, but the dealer said they had to disable the airbags because she could be injured by them.
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.3LJimmy View Post
How would this be any different than driving a car that doesn't have airbags installed from the factory?
I figured it would be since cars that don't have airbags by the manufacturer aren't subject to any laws. Airbags are mandatory on vehicles now aren't they?
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
Thanks. I'm too tired to read all of that legal crap lol. So basically it's illegal to drive with popped air bags yes?
apparently you didn't read this paragraph from the thing y2kfirehawk posted


The make inoperative prohibition (and so the exemptions) do not apply to individuals modifying their own vehicles, as long as they do not intend to make the changes for the purpose of resale. If you are making a modification to your own vehicle, Federal law does not apply, so you can do whatever you want (subject to any restrictions your state may impose). However, NHTSA urges individuals making such modifications to avoid unnecessary elimination of safety features.

so it is up to your state whether or not he is legally allowed to drive around like that
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Old 03-01-2009, 04:40 PM   #15
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HA sued off *****, thats great lol
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:43 PM   #16
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It would also be interesting to see if he would pass inspection, not that NJ state inspection agencies would even notice the missing airbag, but it would still be interesting.

Here's a link that speaks to third party removal or deacitvation or modification of saftey devices. In there the clearly state this does not apply to the vehicle owner, only third parties (dealer, upfitters, conversion shops etc.):

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/portal/site...67a1090008a0c/

I would bet that if he removed them himself and made no attempt to hide this fact in the event of a resale or trade in, he would satisfy the federal regs. I think the trickier issue would be his insurance company, if they are offering a discount for airbags/ABS etc and he removed the airbags, but made no mention of such that would be grounds for them to deny a claim. Basically fraud on his part for failing disclose info.

If he tells his insurance company of the mods I bet they run away as fast as they can and would not offer coverage, unless a compelling argument is made on his behalf. Its lose lose no matter how you slice it.

I'd love to take the airbags out of my firechicken just for the weight savings and so I could put a real steering wheel in the car, but this exact issue stops me from doing it.
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