If the air bag lamp comes on, then your car’s computer sees a problem with the air bag system. This safety concern should be addressed promptly.
The creation and evolution of air bags have saved countless lives. Older models were single stage; they would deploy violently and could cause damage to the occupant. Current airbags have multi-stages; they have a small burst of deployment before a full engagement to lessen the force.
This happens in milliseconds. Although the deployment is very loud, you will not likely hear it in an accident.