So my Mom drives a 2002 Ford Taurus that I believe has one of the Takata airbags that have been killing people. So far her car hasn't been recalled for the airbag, but I know this recall is being done piece meal as they can't do them all at once, and since the recall applies to the year right close to hers I suspect hers eventually will be recalled as well. Either way I don't want to take the chance, and here's why...

The explanation for why these things are going off is there's some defect in the manufacturing that when the air bag is exposed to humid conditions and lots of temp fluctuations, something in them weakens and there they go. Mom's Taurus has a windshield leak so, even though it's never smelled, there's always been a virtual puddle of water in driver's side floor board. So the inside of the car has always been humid, just like in the airbag explosion scenarios.

So, for the time being, until she gets into another car, I'd like to disconnect her airbag to be on the safe side. She is an amazingly vigilant driver, never even a speeding ticket, and the risk of her rear ending someone is virtually non-existent.

How would I go about disabling an airbag on a 2002 Ford Taurus?

Or, alternatively, how do I open the steering wheel column, or front of the steering wheel, which might be part of the disabling process itself, and identify if Mom's airbag is indeed one of the defective types?