Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

SRS Airbag light on in GM vehicle

Why is the SRS airbag light on in my GM vehicle?

The Supplemental Restraint System SRS airbag light indicates a fault SRS airbag lightsomewhere in the airbag system. When you turn the key to the start position the SRS airbag computer conducts a test of each SRS airbag, as well as the passenger presence system (PPS) sensor in the passenger seat, along with a test of the crash sensor in the sensing diagnostic module (SDM). GM has issued a technical service bulletin for the vehicles listed below to address an SRS airbag light on condition and trouble codes 5045 or B0074 0F set in the PPS module.

GM technical service bulletin #08-09-41-007I dated Dec 2012 applies to the following vehicles:

2009-2012 Buick Enclave

2010-2012 Buick LaCrosse

2009-2012 Cadillac CTS

2009-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt (except SS model)

2009-2011 Chevrolet HHR (except SS model)

2009-2013 Chevrolet Impala

2009-2012 Chevrolet Traverse

2010-2012 Chevrolet Equinox

2011-2012 Chevrolet Volt

2012 Chevrolet Sonic

2009-2012 GMC Acadia

2010-2012 GMC Terrain

2009-2010 Saturn OUTLOOK

Symptoms of SRS airbag light on

GM advises that in addition to the an SRS airbag light you may also notice abnormal chime activity. In this case, the door open or key in ignition chime may sound five slow chimes for no apparent reason. At the same time, the passenger seat belt indicator will be lit to alert you that the passenger has not connected their seat belt. However, if these conditions appear and there’s no passenger in the seat, this technical service bulletin may provide the answer to the strange behavior and SRS airbag light.

First, GM warns that the bulletin does NOT apply if trouble code B0074 0F is set AND the passenger seat is wet.

What causes SRS airbag light on?

GM has determined that certain conductive electronic devices placed on the passenger seat may cause the SRS airbag light to illuminate. The devices do NOT have to be turned on to cause this problem.

These vehicles are equipped with low risk passenger airbags. The system is designed to detect whether the passenger is an adult or child and turn off the airbag if a child is in the seat. The PPS system works by detecting the CAPACITANCE of the object or person in the seat, NOT the object’s weight. Because the system works by detecting capacitance, some conductive electronic objects can trick the system into thinking a computer, tablet, charging or audio cable, cell phone, scan tool or even groceries or a large container of liquid is a passenger. The PPS system will then activate the passenger seat belt reminder light and operate the passenger seat belt chime.

airbag light on

A large electronic device can also set a 5045 or B0074 0F trouble code.


Fix SRS airbag light

Remove all electronic devices, packages and liquid containers from the passenger seat. If the chime stops and the passenger seat belt light goes out, you have solved the problem. Unfortunately, the trouble code(S) will remain in the computer as a history code. If the SRS airbag light or trouble codes reappear in the future and there are no objects on the passenger seat, follow the shop manual tests for these codes.

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