As a collision repair professional, you probably know that when a seatbelt is damaged, it must be replaced — it cannot be repaired. But, did you know that Toyota also recommends replacing any wire harnesses or connectors of the Supplemental Restraint Systems (SRS) that are damaged during a collision? During a collision repair, it is important to focus on safety when handling these components.
What Is an SRS?
An SRS (Supplement Restraint System) is a restraint system in a vehicle that acts in addition to a seatbelt. Airbags are the most common example of an SRS. The systems are often highly sophisticated, with electrical components that help them function properly. For the airbags to deploy properly, precision timing during a collision is vital. All of the SRS components cannot be damaged. They must be in good working order at all times for the communication from the collision sensors to the airbags to provide that “just in time” deployment.
The wire harnesses and connectors of the SRS cannot be damaged and unfortunately, they cannot be repaired.* They must be replaced to ensure the electrical circuit’s continuity and performance and most of all, provide the safety our owners expect.
Part numbers for SRS connectors and pins to repair them can be found in parts systems and wiring diagrams. However, just because part numbers are available, if damage is evident, these components should be replaced and not repaired.
*Unless the repair procedure is specified and published by Toyota, such as in T-SB-0069-12.
Look for Clues
SRS components should be inspected thoroughly to determine if they have sustained any damage. Often, the damage will be visible. It is still very important to perform a comprehensive inspection to ensure the system is intact. Visual damage is not the only determining factor that SRS components need to be replaced. When you perform the Techstream vehicle health check (also commonly known as a diagnostic scan) diagnostic trouble codes may appear and those need to be addressed.
For additional information, reference Collision Repair Information Bulletin (CRIB) #156, SRS & HV Wiring Repairs. The Collision Repair & Refinish training website (crrtraining.com) also offers more information and resources about performing these repairs.