A problematic center airbag sensor can cause the airbag malfunction light to illuminate.Google+
Car Problem Reports
Toyota Highlander Airbag Light Due to Problematic Center Airbag Sensor
Toyota Highlander Problem
Average Mileage: 102,130 mi (60,000 mi - 175,000 mi)
Visitor, 2002 Toyota Highlander, 80,449 mi
Airbag light stayss on when car starts after sitting outside overnight at 20 degrees.
Visitor, 2003 Toyota Highlander, 105,000 mi
air bag light goes on during very cold spells. when temperature rises, light turns off
Visitor, 2003 Toyota Highlander, 84,000 mi
Same problem. Under extremely cold (5 degrees F and below, the airbag light will come on and blink while the car is running. Drive for 15 or 20 minutes, turn the car off, restart it, and the light will go out.
Visitor, 2002 Toyota Highlander, 88,000 mi
Exact same problem. Happens when its cold. Never happened in summer.
I have the same problem air bag light flashes then goes off when it gets warm out.
Visitor, 2003 Toyota Highlander, 94,000 mi
Airbag light won't go off after the car warms up if it's extremely cold.
Still looking for a correction although the dealer admits it is a known problem. There claim at the time was that there was NO recorded "code" to tell them exactly what it was!? At the time, we had extended warranty coverage. It happens every cold spell--about 10 degrees F and lower. It lasts about 1/2 hour and then the light finally shuts off. They won't say definitively whether we are in danger, or not, while the light is flashing.
Visitor, 2003 Toyota Highlander, 175,000 mi
Woke up this morning to 19 degree weather and airbag light flashing. I've never seen this happen before.
Visitor, 2001 Toyota Highlander, 60,000 mi
Only happened during cold weather.
Visitor, 2002 Toyota Highlander, 165,000 mi
airbag light flashes when it sits outside and gets below 10.