Drivers Side Airbag Deployment
I am in a considerable pickle and am looking for some information that I have found very difficult to obtain via telephone or the web.
On Monday, the drivers side airbag of my new (to me) vehicle deployed from a very minor parking collision involving no other vehicles or property damage. The bumper can easily be fixed (or left as is) and there is no mechanical damage as assessed by a mechanic (lights, hood, grill all fully functioning). I believe the fault could be a sensor error with the vehicle itself and I believe that the lurching motion that created the incident is due to a faulty recall repair on the transmission box. It was a very, very strange situation and shocking experience to say the least. I'm currently working with a representativel from the CVSE to explore all options related to this as I do not believe I can be held liable for the airbag deployment, but in the meantime I'm exploring alternative options as I need a vehicle for work.
My questions are simple:
Is it a legal requirement to have a drivers side airbag in order to operate that motor vehicle in British Columbia?
Am I still covered by my ICBC insurance policy while operating said vehicle in BC?
I know there are many older vehicles on the road without drivers side airbags installed. It is my understanding that it is also legal to turn your drivers side airbags off with a switch. I am also aware that many drivers of high end vehicles replace their stock steering wheel with driving wheels designed without airbags installed, and that this practice is legal.
Could someone please shed some light on the legality of operating a motor vehicle without a drivers side airbag?
I am aware that operating a vehicle without a safety feature designed for said vehicle is an unsound idea, to say the least. However, the replacement cost for an airbag is around $5000 which exceeds the value of the car. The car is in perfect shape other than the airbag depolyed and some minor fender damage. It recently passed an ICBC sanctioned exam in March and a 3rd party pre purchase inspection at a dealership just last week.
Thank you sincerely,