Alternate overlay for Airbag Message Panel

air bag warning overlay

airbag message panel lit

abarth airbag panel1

Ever since he bought his Miata MX-5, Sergey (aka ssh16) has been busy developing modification kits based on ideas and improvements he wanted to incorporate into his own vehicle.  The cubby shelf he designed, was in fact one of my first projects as well.

The first project I took on in my 124 Spider was removing the airbag warning labels off of the sun visors, since they are ugly and unnecessary.  I feel that these warnings should be placed along with all of the other warnings posted in the Owner’s manual, rather than being glued to such a prominent spot.

While he was exploring the airbag message module (located above the USB ports) looking for a convenient spot to locate some switches, he came up with an idea to obscure the amber-lit message regarding the status of the passenger seat airbag deployment readiness that is there to satisfy some federal requirement, even though the function is controlled automatically based on the weight of whatever is in that seat.  The red-lit message regarding an unfastened passenger seat belt is also contained in this message panel.  His modification instructions do not include any steps to disable the lamps, so knowing what the intended messages are, they will partially illuminate the chosen logo instead, while still performing their function.

airbag desc1

Although the owner’s manual erroneously states that the passenger airbag lamp should turn itself off (and that you should go to the dealer if it doesn’t), it in fact should remain on, unless an adult is occupying that seat. 

airbag desc

The passenger airbag lamp remains illuminated all the time unless an “adult” passenger is occupying the seat.  This is an indication that the dashboard airbag will not activate in an accident that could potentially cause more harm than good to an infant or child occupying that seat.

I never paid much attention to the backlit messages (does anyone?) and thanks to Sergey’s new overlay kit available here, the 124 Spider logo can instead be displayed there.  Make sure you choose the correct trim level, since there are two different designs, depending on whether you have seat-heater switches as part of your module or not.

As of 1/12/2018, he’s redesigned the overlay to be universal, and on a side note, for those of you with an Abarth, Sergey will produce this one for you, if requested.


airbag message panel

5 thoughts on “Alternate overlay for Airbag Message Panel

  1. Hi, I stumbled upon the third image while researching the possibility to put a wireless charging pad for my phone under that rubber. Seems like you have some sort of card reader under there. I’d be interested to know what you put there, how much space there is, how to access this area, …


  2. Hi ssh16
    Interested in your passenger airbag indicator panel…..would you be able to do a custom made one for me?
    I’m working on a little project of my own and want the display to read ‘alfa romeo’.
    Could you do that???


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