Robo did a great job on this, and will help a lot of people who have spent a lot of money on fixing their cars. But it will have an affect on those of us in California. I just checked with DMV, any car with an open Safety Recall, can not be registered in the state of California. Meaning if you sell your car to a California resident and he tries to register it, it will not be allowed until they receive a (Orange clearance Card) from the dealership, stating the recall has been done. If GM drags their feet on developing a repair/replacement for a year or so, could be a problem for some.
I plan on selling my Mallett this spring/summer, so it eliminates residents of California somewhat.
I am not sure if reregistering is affected, as I just got my Skpel stuff back, before the letter hit. I have to register the Mallett in the next month. If they reject it, I will let you know.
I can't find any info on the CA DMV site that supports this for a "safety" recall. For "emissions" recalls yes, but not safety.
However, I did find some proposed bills and some "expert" opinions and basically they all said the same thing, if there is a reasonable excuse for why it hasn't been done...specifically a lack of parts availability...you can get a temporary registration from the DMV. It is a Federal law that car dealers cannot sell a car with an incomplete recall but again, there are provisions I'm sure. When I bought my car it was sold without the ignition switch recall being completed. At the time, it would take 2 months to get the parts. Thus my dealer was allowed to sell it, I could register it, and no one said boo about it. There was a Mercedes dealership that had a Sky and wouldn't sell it to ME without the recall being fixed and when they found out it would take two months, they decided to sell it at auction rather than to me...which I found odd since they would still be "selling" it.
Contact your local DMV office but I have a feeling you can still sell and register your cars with incomplete recalls so long as there is a reasonable excuse for it.
I really do not think either are accurate, too many wrecked cars with no deployment of the passenger air bag. I would guess now I have looked at 2000 wrecked Skys and Solstice. Only two had passenger air bag deployed, possibly 3. Numbers just do not jive in my opinion. Hoosier has looked at far more than me. He has seen 2 or 3 deployed, and most likely the same vehicle. I have said many times and will continue to say it. Do not trust it, drive like it is not there. GM is not going to admit to it not working, ever.
Like I mentioned on the phone, the absence of data is not justify the speculation of data.
Questions like "How many of those wrecked cars had passengers?" and "Was the Passenger Sensing System (PSS) mat functioning?" play a role because THOSE accidents can't be included. The first shouldn't have a passenger airbag deployed and the second is attributed to a known fault that is FINALLY being addressed.
In the few reports I could find on accidents involving a fatality and a Kappa, there were 8 total and of those 2 had passengers. In those 2 accidents, 1 was a roll over and the other was the Kappa striking a pedestrian (who was the fatality) and no occupants of the Kappa were injured. In both cases, there was no airbag deployment nor should there have been.
The fact is, you should never drive your car with the expectation of the air bag saving you. That's just foolish and I don't believe anyone does unless it is an excuse for not wearing a seatbelt...which, in turn, is even more foolish considering the data we now have on the overall odds of surviving a crash with a seatbelt and without. You should drive a car with the mindset of avoiding accidents at all costs and hoping that if you fail that, that the car's safety devices...ALL of it's safety devices, keep you from being injured or killed. Even with an airbag system that is fully functional, there can be accidents that find that one set of circumstances (roll over comes to mind) that just won't trigger the system.
If the airbag telltale has indicated that the airbag was active when it really wasn't, changing the sensor will not fix the problem. I have done a lot of experimenting with the sensor and how it affects airbag operation, and can tell you absolutely that the sensor does not determine whether the telltale indicates ON or OFF. The airbag SDM (Sensing and Diagnostics Module) does that, and it is not part of the seat sensor. The seat sensor does have the outputs that actually operate the lights, but they do it strictly based on what the SDM commands.
The only way that a failed seat sensor would result in a failure to deploy the airbag without prior warning would be if it happened to fail moments before the impact that would have triggered an airbag deployment.
My research into the matter dovetails with your technical observations JohnWR. I believe though what you are saying is the SDM has the final word as to whether the passenger airbag is armed or not and while the seat sensor doesn't do that directly, it is one of the variables that sends info to the SDM to make that decision. Thus what you're saying above when you state "If the airbag telltale has indicated that the airbag was active when it really wasn't, changing the sensor will not fix the problem" is that if the sensor was the issue, the SDM would accurately say yes or no and the system would be functioning based on that SDM decision but if the light was showing "On" yet the system wouldn't deploy the airbag in the case of an accident, then there is a problem somewhere else in the system, correct? The reasoning here being if the seat sensor was at fault, the SDM would report correctly the condition of the airbag system where in the above scenario, the SDM is reporting an operating system when, in fact, the system is not operating as reported.