Find a mechanic with a scanner that can access the air bag computer to read the codes directly. That will direct you to the circuit or system with the problem, not necessarily the defective part. You might have to go to the dealer as their test equipment is much too expensive for most independent shops to invest in.
Given the history, the likely suspects are the clock spring under the steering wheel and the wires going to the front crash sensors. The clock spring has the connector for the air bag assembly and usually melts when the bag fires. Wires to the front sensors can be cut. The diagnostic fault codes are sophisticated enough to differentiate between cut wires, one wire that's grounded, and the two wires shorted together.
Don't overlook a blown fuse. There are always two for an air bag and an anti-lock brake computer. That's so when one blows, there is a second circuit to run the warning light.
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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 AT 5:31 PM