Airbag and Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) Precautions

General Precautions

The Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) includes airbags, pretensioners, and other safety-related components. The SRS contains components which could be potentially hazardous to the technician if not serviced and handled correctly.

Warning: Always follow these precautions and the relevant Service Manual procedures when servicing airbags and other SRS components. Only trained professionals should service the SRS.
Warning: An undeployed airbag module or pretensioner contains sodium azide, which is poisonous and extremely flammable. Contact with water, acid or heavy metals might produce harmful or explosive compounds. Do not dismantle, incinerate or bring into contact with electricity, before the unit has been deployed.
Warning: In the event of an airbag or seatbelt pretensioner deployment, certain airbag and seatbelt components must be replaced, and other components must be inspected for damage.
Warning: Do not expose an airbag module or seatbelt pretensioner to heat exceeding 85°C.

These precautions are not restricted to operations performed when servicing the SRS; the same care must be exercised when working on other systems and components located near the SRS components:

  • Steering system: Driver airbag and knee airbag.
  • Dash: Passenger airbag and knee airbag.
  • Interior trim: Restraint Control Module (RCM), LH and RH Body Control Modules (BCM), seatbelt pretensioners, and curtain air bags.
  • Electrical system: Pyrotechnic fuse, SRS harnesses, link leads, and connectors.

Making the SRS System Safe

Before working on, or in the vicinity of, SRS components, perform the following procedures to disable the SRS system:

  • Use Toolbox to check for any stored fault Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs).

  • Perform the vehicle electrical isolation procedure. Refer to procedure 17010000, "Vehicle Electrical Isolation Procedure."

  • Wait 1 minute for the energy reserve capacitors to discharge.


Carefully inspect SRS components before installation. Do not install an SRS component if it shows evidence of being dropped or improperly handled, such as dents, cracks, or deformation.

  • Never install used SRS components from another vehicle, or attempt to repair an SRS component. Use only new, genuine Tesla replacement parts.

  • Never use SRS components that lack clear identification labels.

  • Never use a RCM that has been dropped.

  • Never apply electrical power to an SRS component unless instructed to do so as part of an approved test procedure.

  • Always use new fasteners when replacing SRS components. Make sure that the fasteners are tightened to the specified torque.

  • Make sure that SRS components are not contaminated with oil, grease, detergent, or water.

  • Make sure that the RCM is installed correctly. There must not be any gap between the RCM and the body. An incorrectly mounted RCM might cause the SRS system to malfunction.

  • Do not supply power to the RCM until all other SRS components are connected.

Note: After seatbelt pretensioner deployment, the affected seatbelts will be locked and cannot be used as conventional seatbelts. They must be replaced.

SRS Component Testing Precautions

The airbags and other SRS components are triggered using relatively low operating currents. To prevent accidental deployment, always adhere to the following precautions:

Warning: Do not use a multimeter or other general purpose test equipment on SRS components. Only use the recommended diagnostic equipment to diagnose SRS system faults.
Warning: Do not use electrical test equipment on any SRS harness unless all SRS components are disconnected.

Handling and Storage

  • The RCM, pretensioners, and airbags must be stored in a secure steel cabinet at room temperature. The storage area must comply with all legal requirements. It must be away from flammable items and have suitable fire extinguishers or other fire extinguishing equipment. Makes sure that heat, fire, water, and corrosive substances cannot contaminate the stored components.

  • Keep new SRS components in the original packaging until they are ready to be installed.

  • Never wrap your arms around an airbag module. If an airbag module has to be carried, hold it by the cover, with the cover face up and the base away from your body.

  • When handling seatbelt pretensioners with retracting spool assemblies, never point the end of the piston tube towards your body or at other people. Hold with the piston pointing towards the ground. Do not grip by the retractor reel or seatbelt. Hold the outer casing only.

  • Always keep components cool, dry, and free from contamination.

  • Never transport airbag modules or seatbelt pretensioners in the cabin of a vehicle.

  • Never attach anything to an airbag cover or any trim component covering an airbag module. Do not allow anything to rest on top of an airbag module.

  • Do not apply grease or cleaning solvents to seatbelt pretensioner units. Component failure could result.

  • Never drop an airbag or SRS component. The RCM is a particularly shock sensitive device and must be handled with extreme care.

Warning: Store the airbag module with the deployment side facing up. This will prevent it from being propelled if accidentally deployed, which might cause injury.
Warning: Improper handling or storage can internally damage airbag modules and pretensioners, making them inoperative. If you suspect a module has been damaged, install a new component and refer to the Deployment/Disposal Procedures for disposal of the damaged module.

SRS Harnesses and Connectors

Note: SRS wiring can be identified by a special yellow outer sleeve protecting the wires (black with yellow stripe protective coverings are sometimes used).
Warning: Never attempt to modify, splice, or repair SRS wiring.
Warning: Never install electronic equipment (such as a mobile telephone, two-way radio, or in-car entertainment system) in such a way that it could generate electrical interference in the SRS harnesses. Seek specialist advice when installing such equipment.
Warning: Always make sure that SRS wiring is routed correctly. Be careful to avoid trapping or pinching the cables. Do not leave the connectors hanging loose, or allow SRS components to hang from their harnesses. Look for possible points of chafing.

Warning Labels

Warning: Read and follow all warnings and cautions printed on SRS component warning labels.

SRS Component Deployment

If a vehicle is to be scrapped and contains an undeployed airbag module or pretensioner, the module or pretensioner must be manually deployed.

Always observe the following precautions:

Warning: Only personnel who have undergone the appropriate training should undertake deployment of airbag and seatbelt pretensioner modules.
Warning: A recently deployed airbag or seatbelt pretensioner is very hot. DO NOT handle a deployed module or pretensioner until at least 30 minutes after deployment.
Warning: Only use approved deployment equipment, and only deploy airbags and pretensioner components in a well-ventilated designated area. Make sure components are not damaged or ruptured before deployment.
Warning: Do not lean over airbag modules or seatbelt pretensioner units when connecting deployment equipment.
Warning: Contact with chemicals from deployed and damaged SRS components could present a health hazard. Wear protective clothing when handling and seal deployed units in a plastic bag. DO NOT eat, drink or smoke when handling SRS components.
Warning: Deployment of airbag modules and seatbelt pretensioners can cause injury to personnel in the close vicinity of the deploying unit. Make sure that all personnel are at least 15 m (50 ft) away from the deployment zone. Possible sources of injury include:
  • Impact: due to inflating airbag or pretensioner operation causing component "kick."
  • Hearing: due to noise produced by deploying airbags and seatbelt pretensioner units.
  • Burns: hot component parts and gases.
  • Irritation to eyes and lungs: from deploying gases or combustion residue.
Warning: Make sure the SRS component to be deployed is securely fastened to its mounting.
  • Only use deployment equipment approved for the intended purpose.

  • Test the deployment tool before beginning the deployment procedure.

  • Notify the relevant authorities of intention to deploy SRS components.