Audi A4 Owners & Service Manuals

Audi A4: Airbag system

General information


  • If you have not fastened your safety belt, you are in an incorrect seating position, or you are too close to the airbag system, the airbag system will not be able to protect you. This increases the risk of serious or fatal injuries. Make sure that every vehicle passenger has their safety belt correctly fastened and is sitting in a correct seating position. This is necessary regardless of whether the seat is equipped with an airbag or not.
  • Never place your feet on the instrument panel, out of the window, or on the seat surfaces.

    To help ensure that the airbag system can deploy correctly, never bend forward or lean on the door or the side window. Otherwise, serious and possibly fatal injuries can occur if the airbags deploy.

  • People, animals, or objects between the passengers and the airbag system can interfere with the correct deployment of the airbag or can be thrown through the vehicle interior, increasing the risk of serious or fatal injuries. Make sure that nothing is located between the vehicle occupants and the airbag system. Do not secure or transport any objects within the deployment zone of the airbag systems, especially on the steering wheel, on the instrument panel, on the doors, on the windows, or in the footwell.
  • Never put stickers on the airbag system covers or cover them with any objects.
  • Only lightweight clothing should be hung from the garment hooks in the vehicle. Do not use clothes hangers to hang clothing.

    The pockets of the clothing must not contain any heavy, breakable, or sharp-edged objects. This could impair the effectiveness of the side curtain airbags.

  • You must not use seat or protective covers that are not specifically approved for use on Audi seats with side airbags. Since the side airbags deploy from the seat backrest, such covers could impair the protective function of the side airbags.
  • Damage to the original seat covers in the airbag deployment area must always be repaired by an authorized Audi dealer or authorized Audi Service Facility.
  • Airbag system components are installed at various locations in your vehicle. Incorrect work or repairs on the vehicle could damage the airbag system components or impair their functionality. This may prevent the airbags from deploying or cause them to deploy incorrectly in the event of an accident, which increases the risk of serious or fatal injuries. Only have an authorized Audi dealer or authorized Audi Service Facility make repairs or modifications to a vehicle.
  • The airbag system can only provide protection during one collision. If there is another collision, the airbag system will not deploy again. If the airbag system has deployed, have it replaced immediately by an authorized Audi dealer or authorized Audi Service Facility.
  • Fine dust may appear if the airbags deploy.

    This is completely normal and does not indicate a fire in the vehicle. The fine dust can irritate the skin and mucous membranes in the eyes and can cause difficulty breathing, particularly for individuals who have or have had asthma or other health issues that affect breathing. Exit the vehicle or open the windows or doors to get access to fresh air.


If you are transporting children in the vehicle, read the information and follow the safety precautions.

Safety system monitoring

The indicator light in the instrument cluster monitors the safety systems such as the airbags (including the control modules, sensor, and wiring) and the belt tensioners. It turns on when you switch the ignition on and turns off after several seconds.

If the indicator light does not turn on when the ignition is switched on, does not turn off after several seconds, or turns on or flashes while driving, there may be a malfunction in one of the safety systems. Drive to an authorized Audi dealer or authorized Audi Service Facility immediately to have the malfunction corrected.


Have the malfunction in the safety systems inspected immediately. Otherwise, there is a risk that the systems may not activate during an accident, which increases the risk of serious or fatal injury.


Sitting correctly and safely
Fig. 69 Airbag overview image (enlarged section: deployed airbags)

The locations of the airbags are labeled with "AIRBAG". The following airbags are installed in your vehicle:

  1. Driver's airbag
  2. Front passenger's airbag
  3. Front side airbags and rear, if applicable
  4. Head curtain airbag with ejection mitigation
  5. Knee airbags

Airbags offer the best possible protection in your vehicle during an accident when they are used together with safety belts that are fastened correctly, and when passengers are sitting in the correct seating position. Airbags are a supplementary restraint system and do not replace safety belts.

Airbags may deploy during front-impact, side-impact, or rollover accidents.

The deployment area for the airbag system cannot be defined for every situation, since the circumstances surrounding accidents can vary widely.

Factors that play an important role include the Fig. 69 Airbag overview image (enlarged section: deployed airbags) condition of the object that the vehicle hits (hard or soft), the angle of impact, vehicle speed, etc.

The deciding factor for the deployment of the airbag system is the deceleration that occurs during an accident. Sensors in the vehicle are designed to detect the severity of an accident in conjunction with the control module, and to provide a targeted and timely deployment of the restraint system. If the vehicle deceleration that is measured during an accident is below the specified reference values in the control module, then the airbags will not deploy, even though the vehicle may be severely damaged from the accident. In these cases, the vehicle occupants will be protected by the safety belts if they are fastened and worn correctly.

The deployment of the front passenger's airbag will depend on the occupancy of the seat.

Each deployed airbag is filled with gas. When this occurs, the airbag covers open and the airbags unfold with great force into the deployment zone within milliseconds. Inflated airbags reduce the movement of passengers wearing safety belts in the direction of the impact and thus help to reduce the risk of injury. They can help to protect the head, upper body, and lap, for example. However, there is the possibility that airbag deployment can cause injuries.

The airbag system only works when the ignition is turned on.

If you or other vehicle passengers have physical limitations that prevent sitting in a correct position, modifications to the vehicle may be necessary.

For more information, contact an authorized Audi dealer or authorized Audi Service Facility, or call Audi customer support at 1-800-822-2834.


The side curtain airbags in your vehicle have ejection mitigation functions. This reduces the risk of being ejected from the vehicle interior during an accident, especially in the event of a vehicle rollover.


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