Kia Airbag Light On Problem

Kia Airbag Light On Problem
Published by YOUCANIC Automotive Experts 
Last Updated Mar 8, 2019 

Many Kia Rio, Optima, Sedona, Forte owners have complained about the airbag light, located on the instrument cluster of their dashboard, coming on either intermittently, blinking, or illuminating and staying on while driving. Everything else in the car operates as normal in all of these cases, aside from the airbag light being on.

In this article, you will learn about Kia air bag problems that can trigger airbag / SRS light to come on and how to troubleshoot Kia airbag light yourself.

Kia airbag light can be triggered for several reasons. Connections can come loose without the driver realizing it, from adjusting the seat belt, to spilling something on the seat that ends up getting on the electronics like a sensor mat, preventing it from operating correctly.  With the ability of both front seats able to move back and forth, wiring harnesses can become stretched, frayed, or become disconnected the plugs under the seat.

This seems especially true for Kia vehicles, as many owners have complained that the connecting wires are short, and because there is so much tension when seats are moved forward, they can become accidentally disconnected. 


Common Kia Airbag Problems

Here is a list of common problems that can cause the air bag light to come on in your Kia car. The airbag / SRS module consists of multiple components, and any of them could malfunction. In reality, individual components fail more frequently than others. 

Occupant Detection System Seat Mat

Kia cars are equipped with occupant detection system. It includes a sensor in the passenger seat that can detect the presence of a passenger in the seat. The reason for this system is that if no-one is sitting in the passenger seat and you get involved in an accident, the passenger airbag will not deploy, no need for it. Often this will trigger B1448 OBS Mat Defective fault code. Other trouble codes can be triggered such as B1447 B1448 B1764 B1767 which point to a faulty seat occupant sensor mat. 

The passenger airbag should not deploy in case there is an infant or child seated in the passenger seat. Under normal operation, the PASSENGER AIR BAG "OFF" indicator light should be off when an adult is sitting in the passenger seat. The light should be ON when an infant or child is sitting on the passenger seat. 

Possible Solution

Ensure that the electrical connection under the passenger seat is not loose or disconnected. This is a common problem with Kia vehicles. Once you eliminate the connection under the passenger seat you need to inspect the passenger mat (occupant detection sensor).Kia Sorento Airbag Warning Light

If the occupant detection sensor is defective it needs to be replaced. The first thing you need to do is call your Kia dealer and check if there is a service bulletin out for this repair. In other words, the dealer may fix this problem for you free of charge if there is a recall on this issue. 

Kia Airbag Light Stays on after a dead battery or battery change 

It is possible that you may trigger the airbag / SRS warning light on:
- after you replace the battery
- if you have had a dead battery
- jump started a Kia with dead battery

In such cases the vehicle detects low voltage and the airbag control module triggers the airbag light. To avoid such problems, you should always turn off the ignition and remove the key when you replace the battery. If you have a dead battery, it is best to fully charge your battery with a trickle charger such as Black & Decker BM3B 6V and 12V Battery Charger / Maintainer, before you start the car again.  Always remove the key from ignition if you are checking fuses and especially if you remove the airbag fuse. 


Replace the battery if over five years old. If the battery is newer fully charge the battery. Next, follow the instructions below on how to read and clear the codes from the airbag control module on a Kia. 

Kia airbag light on after an accident

If your Kia has been involved in an accident, the airbag module will store crash data. If any of airbag deployed, the car was an accident crash data would be stored in Kia airbag module.

It is important to understand that the Kia's airbag system is controlled by the airbag (SRS) module, which is a computer component. This component runs a particular type of software that is written specifically for that component (in this case, the airbag system) and the software runs on a chip, called an EEPROM. The software dictates how the airbag system operates. In some cases, the EEPROM needs to be updated and reprogrammed because of an error. This problem has to be handled by the dealership, as they may send the unit off to an IT company which reprograms it and sends it back to them, at which point they can reinstall it in your vehicle.



Possible Solution

If you have the dealer diagnose the vehicle in most cases, they will recommend replacing the module. It is possible however to get your existing airbag module reset. Instead of buying a new module, which costs several hundred dollars consider having a repair center reset your existing module. You can find such service even on eBay, see Kia Airbag SRS RCM SDM ACM Module Reset Service.

These services will clear both hard and soft codes from the airbag module. Once you receive your unit back, you will not need to do any additional programming or go back to the dealer for programming. 

Kia rio: any way to reset airbag light


How to diagnose Kia airbag light

Watch a video on how to diagnose Kia airbag light using Launch Creader OBD-II scanner.


Important: Don't ignore an air bag warning light for too long. If the SRS or Airbag light stay on it doesn't necessarily mean the car was involved in an accident, even though that is also a possibility. Depending on what the problem is, it might mean that one or all of your airbags will not deploy in the event of an accident.

In certain cases, there may not be anything wrong with the airbag system. The light may stay on after a battery change or a dead battery. 


List of Kia Airbag Problems

  • Clock Spring Defective. 
  • Seat Belt Buckle DefectiveAir Bag Warning Light. - Kia Soul Owners
  • PretensioerKia Optima: Driver's and passenger's front air bag
  • seat belt retractor defectiveSOLVED: The airbag light just came on and won't go off
  • Defective side impact or front impact sensor. kia optima soul rio amanti sedona airbag srs light
  • Loose connectors 
  • Seat belt bucklekia airbag light how to reset
  • Side airbag problem
  • B1329 defective airbag modulekia airbag light on
  • B1346 high resistance in the first stage circuit of the driver airbag squib (steering wheel airbag). Most likely the problem is the clock spring. Most likely there is an open circuit in the ribbon cable inside the clock spring which connects to the driver airbag squib.


Kia Airbag Service Bulletin

Furthermore, in February 2016, Kia issued a service bulletin, which is given to all Kia dealerships? service departments, providing information on the replacement of a weight sensor mat, located in the front passenger seat. The purpose of the sensor mat is to detect child seats or other lightweight occupants who could be harmed by the deployment of the passenger side airbag in the event of an accident. If the sensor mat is not operating properly (meaning that the airbag would deploy if a lightweight occupant was present, which could potentially harm them), then the airbag light on the instrument cluster will be lit and a few diagnostic trouble codes could be stored: B1447, B1448, B1449, and/or B1550. 

Kia extended the warranty coverage for this repair upon the release of this bulletin to 15 years / unlimited mileage, starting from the date of first service. Coverage will be provided for its replacement provided that the condition is not caused by external damage to the sensor mat.


If the SRS system in your Kia is not working properly the airbag warning light will illuminate in your instrument cluster. When there is a problem with the passenger detection system the PASSENGER AIR BAG "OFF" light will not turn on  and the passenger airbag may deploy even if there are no passengers in the front seat. 

Kia SRS / Airbag Components

Kia recalls 146,000 US vehicles for airbag issue

Picture of side crash sensor, B-pillar 2016 Kia Optima

  • Driver's Airbag module

  • Passenger's front airbag module
  • Side crash sensor
  • Curtain airbag module
  • Retractor pre-tensioner
  • airbag warning light
  • SRS control module (SRSCM)
  • Front and Side impact sensors
  • Passenger Air bag "Off" switch / light
  • Occupant Detection System - Passenger Seat
  • Emergency Fastening Device - EFD

How to read Kia Airbag Light Flashes

In certain Kia models, you can decode the airbag light flashes. Pay attention and read the blinking sequence that corresponds to a code having to do with the electrical system. Kia airbag codes that pertain to the electrical system are expressed by the indicator light as a series of flashes and pauses. For example, one flash, followed by a pause, followed by four flashes, would be code #14. A more comprehensive list is below:

  • 12 - Low Battery Voltage
  • 13 - Airbag Circuit Grounded Out or Shorted
  • 14 - Short or Ground on Primary Crash Circuit
  • 21 - Improper Mounting of Airbag
  • 22 - Sensor (which is the sensor that determines if the collision is severe enough to deploy the airbag) Output Shorted to Battery Voltage
  • 23 - Sensor Return Circuit or Input Feed Open
  • 24 - Output Feed Open
  • 32-35 - All pertain to problems with driver and passenger side airbags
  • 41-45 - All pertain to problems with right and left primary crash sensors.

Kia Airbag Light Fault Codes List

B1448 - Pints to a defective mat. This is the occupant sensor on the passenger seat. Can be purchased used and replaced. May require a diagnostic scanner to clear the fault codes. Some owners install a front seat occupant sensor bypass which emulates the occupant sensor. Using a emulator to bypass the occupant sensor will cause that the airbag deploy even if a child is sitting on the front seat. 

B1111 Battery voltage too high
B1112 Battery voltage too low
B1329 Airbag Module
B1346 DAB resistance too high
B1347 DAB resistance too low
B1348 DAB Short ground
B1349 DAB Short battery
B1355 PAB Short to battery
B1352 PAB resistance too high
B1353 PAB resistance too low
B1354 PAB Short to ground
B1363 Driver BPT Short to ground
B1364 Driver BPT Short to battery
B1369 Passenger BPT Short to ground
B1370 Passenger BPT Short to battery
B1378 DSAB Resistance too high
B1380 Driver SAB Short to ground
B1381 Driver SAB Short to battery
B1382 PSAB Resistance too high
B1383 PSAB Resistance too low
B1397 DSAB Resistance too low
B1400 Satellite left side defect
B1401 Satellite right side short to ground
B1402 Satellite left side short to battery
B1403 Satellite right side defect
B1406 PPD front-Passenger defect
B1407 Passenger Presence Detection Front-Passenger Communication Error
B1408 Satellite left communication error
B1410 Satellite right communication error
B1511 Driver seat belt buckle switch short to battery
B1512 Driver seat belt buckle switch to ground or short
B1513 Passenger seat belt buckle switch short to battery
B1514 Passenger seat belt buckle switch to ground or short
B1620 Internal fault
B1650 Crash recorded front airbag
B1655 Crash recorded side airbag
B1657 Ignition recorded belt pretensioner
B1661 ECU mismatching
B2500 Warning Lamp Failure

Airbag Control Module 

The airbag light is controlled by the Supplemental Restrain System (SRS) control module monitors the airbag sensors and uses the input from these sensors to recognize when a crash happens. Under normal operation, the SRS airbag light on the dashboard will stay on for five seconds after you turn the key to ON position. After that, the air bag warning light should turn off. Your airbag or SRS light should not be on when you drive. If the system detects a problem with any of the airbag components, the light will stay on. 

The airbag system uses many sensors and connectors, and in many of these cases, the problem is caused by:

  • Malfunctioning occupancy sensor
  • Low Battery Voltage
  • Bad connector or a loose connection,
  • Short because of liquid being spilled in the seat area.
  • Defective seatbelt airbag sensors. They have a tendency to become loose or lose their existing connection because the wiring is too tight and it is too easy for the connecting pins to become dislodged or loose when the driver or passenger uses their seatbelt.

Common Kia Air Bag Light Problems

  • On a Kia Sedona airbag light illuminates as it should for a sec briefly shuts off and than turns back on
  • Kia Optima Airbag Light Stays on
  • Kia Sorento Airbag Light - How to reset
  • Kia Spectra Sorento Airbag Light
  • Kia Forte Airbag Light Intermittently Goes On

Kia Service Bulletin 

This bulletin issued to Kia dealerships involved troubleshooting DTC B1447/B1448/B1764/B1767 on Kia Sorento, Optima and Rio vehicles that are equipped with OCS (electric field occupant classification sensor).


B1447: OC Passenger ECU Defect

B1448: OC Passenger Sensor Mat Defect

B1764: BodySense MAT Defect

B1767: BodySense Algo Cut-Off

MODEL                MODEL YEARS                       PRODUCTION DATES

Sorento (XM)       2011 to current                        all 2011 MY to current

Optima (MG)       2009, 2010                               August 28, 2008, to current

Rio (JB)                2010 to current                        March 3, 2010, to current

Before attempting to diagnose or repair the occupant classification system:

  1. Verify that the seat cushion is completely dry.
  2. Verify that nearby electronic devices are turned off.
  3. Clear DTC(s).
  4. If DTC(s) do not re-code after this, review the above information with the customer. Do not attempt to make a repair.
  5. If DTC(s) do re-code after this, proceed with diagnosis according to Service Information