Will a car fail the UK MOT if the airbag light is on


Pro Tuner
Staff member
2002 Clio 172
What is the position on MOT tests and cars with illuminated air bag lights?

Will the car fail if this light is on?
If the light indicates a system fault then YES it will fail.

If the light is just warning that an airbag has been disabled, such as for a baby seat in the front passenger seat this is not a fail as it is not indicating a system fault.

If there is no Airbag fault light then it can't be grounds for a fail as there is no warning light.
I feel that warning lights should form a part of the test. If the ABS warning light is on despite the fact that the ABS itself is functioning then that should be a test fail. Firstly, because the light is an integral part of the ABS system. Secondly, if the light is permanently on how can the driver be alerted to an ABS fault?
Yes my understanding has always been a permanant airbag warning light is a fail on the m.o.t but I know a fair few who have passed with it like that.I think a lot of places may if the car is otherwise in good,solid condition write it up as an advisory rather than fail you on it but if the car has a number of problems then it'll be flagged up as a fail too.

I know it's not something many would not like to believe,admit or even imagine but I do feel there's a certain degree of psychology at play when dealing with m.o.t testers.Ok I'm sure everybody will say there should definitely not be,that it has to be clear cut,wholly objective.Black and white.Until robots or algorithms test our cars it will be done by humans and humans are,well human afterall lol
Copied from MOT tester's manual:

Reasons for rejection:
An airbag obviously missing or defective.

Note: A passenger airbag that has been switched off is not a Reason for Rejection.

A Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) malfunction indicator lamp:

. inoperative

. indicating a system malfunction.
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