Can I install after-market air bags?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 01, 1990

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a Mercedes 240 Diesel with over 100,000 miles on it. It's a great car, and I'd like to keep it. The only problem is it doesn't have air bags. I am completely convinced that air bags increase safety. Mercedes tells me that there is no possibility of a retrofit. Do you know of any way I could put air bags into my Mercedes?

TOM: No, we don't. The problem is not so much the air bag itself, the hard part is installing the sensors. There are sensors around the car that trigger the airbag's inflation when you hit something. Those are nearly impossible to retrofit.

RAY: We suggest you look at this as a blessing in disguise, Norm. You're absolutely right about air bags. If you're concerned about safety, they're a must! So use this as an excuse to dump this noisy, smelly diesel, and get yourself a brand new gasoline powered Mercedes. How about a nice 300E? Who knows, with a gasoline engine, you might even get going fast enough to need the air bag!

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