Air Bag Requirement Removed from Hawaii Safety Inspections

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Oct. 30, 2018—A change in vehicle safety check requirements has some citizens confused in Hawaii these days, as air bags are no longer required to pass.

“The purpose of the safety check was to prevent crashes and to prevent cars from stalling, and an air bag has nothing to do with the intent of the law,” said Frank Young, president of K&Y Auto Service, in an interview with KHON2-TV.

Young, who has issued safety checks for years, said the safety inspection test had dictated in the past that a vehicle be turned off and on, to see if the air bag light illuminated for two seconds and then turned off.

“We’re supposed to assume the air bag works,” Young told the TV station. “In actuality, we have no clue if the air bags work; all we know is the light went on, the light went off.”

Young said there are many factors that can trigger an air bag sensor light to stay on, such as glitches or faulty wiring. He said many auto shop customers in Hawaii were spending hundreds of dollars to learn why exactly lights were illuminated, and that was “creating an economic burden and hardship to consumers.”

Some Hawaiians are confused by the rule change, however, arguing that every element of a vehicle should be required to be proven to work correctly before a vehicle should be allowed to pass a safety check.


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