How to remove the airbag warning labels from the sun visors
Compliments of PanEuropean @ http://forums.vwvortex.com
Here is some information for those of you who want to remove the airbag warning labels from the sunvisors of your VW products.
The stickers are designed to be 'non-removable' - they are applied to the sunvisor using either heat or a chemical. So, to remove them, you need to apply either heat or a chemical.
If the sunvisor is made from fabric - as are the sun visors in a Phaeton - then you can soften the warning label using a heat gun, and peel it off using an art knife or similar type of toll. If the sun visor is made from plastic, as it is in many other VW products such as a Golf or Jetta, then it is best to use a solvent to soften the label, then to peel it off, again, using an art knife.
Be aware that the fabric behind the sticker will not fade as a result of exposure to sunlight (UV) or atmospheric pollution, but the the fabric on the exposed portion of the sunvisor fabric will fade over time. For this reason, it is best to remove the sticker as soon as possible following purchase of the new car. You may want to "think twice" about removing a sticker from a car that has been in service for a year or so, because you might then have a noticeable difference in fabric colour where the sticker used to be. I suppose this difference might be minimized if you carefully washed the rest of the sunvisor with Woolite or similar - but, if you have any doubts, experiment on the upper surface of the sun visor (the surface with the mirror) and see what the results are before you take the stickers off the normally exposed lower surface.
Here's how I removed the stickers from my Phaeton:
1) I took the sun visors out of the car, so I could work on them at my desk. It's not difficult to take them out of the car. To remove them, gently pry off the little cover that surrounds the post that goes into the roof (the round arm that supports the sunroof). You will find two screws behind that trim cover - remove these screws. The sun visor can then be removed from the roof by tilting the inboard end of the sunvisor down, such that the sunvisor is now vertical. Once it is vertical, it will drop out. Gently pull out the electrical wire until the connector comes out of the roof - it is about 3 inches down the wire. Unplug the electrical connector, and bring the sun visor inside.
2) Lay it on a desk. Using a heat gun at the low heat setting, warm up one corner of the sticker. Once the sticker is warm to the touch, start digging under it with the art knife. Continue to warm up the remainder of the sticker and peel it off. If you are lucky, it will come off in big pieces. If you are unlucky, it will rip up into about 100 different little pieces.
3) Once the sticker has been removed, saturate a clean terrycloth facecloth with 3M Adhesive Remover, and then scrub away at the area where the sticker was to remove any leftover adhesive. This is important - if you fail to do this, dust will collect where the sticker used to be.
4) Let the sunvisor dry out overnight - in other words, let all the 3M Adhesive Remover evaporate. Now, using a different clean terrycloth facecloth, gently wash the surface of the sunvisor using warm water mixed with a bit of Woolite or GM Fabric Cleaner detergent. Do not soak the sunvisor, because there are some components inside that you don't want to get wet. Just dab at the fabric on the surface.
5) Re-install the sunvisor.
Obviously, it makes sense to practice on the top side of the sunvisor first, before you do the work on the bottom side, which is the side that is normally visible. I chose to leave the warning sticker on the top side of the passenger sun visor in place, in case the next owner of my car is not aware of the hazards of putting children in front of the airbag. But, I removed the other three stickers - both lower stickers, and the upper sticker on the driver side.
Do not overheat the warning label when you are using the heat gun, otherwise, you will melt it right into the fabric. "Less is better" so far as heat is concerned.
Electrical Connecter - note that it fits through the same hole as the bracket that holds the sunvisor in place
Tools needed for the job
A small flat screwdriver for removing the cover over the two screws, a Torx screwdriver, an art knife, and a heat gun.
Peeling the sticker away
Sometimes it is not so co-operative about coming off all in one piece.
One thing I forgot to mention: After you remove the sticker, you will see a rectangular outline where the sticker used to be. This will fade away and become much less evident after about a month. It is now 6 months since I took the stickers off my car, and I have to look very carefully with a strong light to identify where the sticker used to go.