Bam! Camaro ZL1’s Super Loud Exhausts Set Off Airbag

When you install a modified exhaust system in your Camaro ZL1, or any car for that matter, the last thing you’d think about is how it might affect the airbags. But in extreme cases, it can, as the video below shows.

The owner of the bright red Camaro ZL1 in question had the car fitted with a diverter exhaust system. What this entails is the installation of a small element to the exhaust that either allows for all the exhaust flow to be dumped out of a short pipe just after the headers or for this dump to be closed, allowing exhaust gases to flow out of the muffler as usual.

When the flap for the diverter is open, it makes the supercharged 6.2-liter rumble like the craziest drag car imaginable and beyond the possible consequence of permanent hearing damage, the diverter makes so much noise and vibrates the car so much that during a high-speed pull, the side airbags deployed.

Upon further investigation, the owner and his mechanics discovered that the sensor for the side airbags is located almost directly above where the diverter is, hence why they deployed under heavy acceleration.

If there’s anything to be learned from this video it’s that you should disable your airbags before thinking about making a car as loud as this ZL1. Either that or just stick with a regular exhaust.


  • psiqtas

    Well, there’s definitely a problem with 5gen Camaro and its airbags, because there was a guy autocrossing an SS (not crashing it) and his sidecurtains were deployed too…

  • Puddingpopper

    Why keep the airbags when there is a roll cage?

    • Robert

      Although side curtain airbags will aid in a rollover situation, the sole purpose is side impact (T-bone).

      • Puddingpopper

        they worked really well

  • Ilbirs

    Another reason for you to prefer a quieter exhaust instead of a louder one.

    • john coleman

      No shit Sherlock!!

  • cargeniuass

    I think it was actually his haircut that set it off.

  • Karma

    I hate owners like this that take loud vehicles onto public roadways. The good thing is that they are slowly damaging their hearing in the process.

    • Joff

      Me too

  • Axel Cortez

    roll cage and no helmet….

  • Eric

    Not the first time a Camaro has its side airbags go off during “aggressive driving” or “situation”.

  • Ron

    I just watched a pick of idiots ruin what was a perfectly good, no, great car to begin with.

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    I think if he watches this back and really cares for his girl, he’ll see how much he put her safety at risk. This was obviously on a public road. He is lucky the bag didn’t fly out and hit her or worse, could have been a Takata airbag and sprayed her with shrapnel. They are designed to be impacted at about the same time it comes out. With her head obviously back she could have been seriously injured.

    I say, what a freakin’ douche bag. Grow up!

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