This paper discusses a method to reduce the reliance on testing by using CAE to arrive at a stable instrument panel support structure which is capable of resisting the deployment of the passenger airbag. This technique has been used on various instrument panels, and has proven to be useful to the instrument panel design team.Tests have shown that deployment of the airbag results in large forces which act on an instrument panel. This paper describes a method to evaluate those forces and their impact on the surrounding instrument panel structure.The method uses loads from simple bench test data. Loads at the airbag mounting locations during an airbag deployment were measured. Those loads were used in the analysis to simulate the behavior of the airbag deployment on the instrument panel substrate.The analysis enabled the design engineering team to achieve an understanding of the event and to revise the surrounding instrument panel structure design in order to improve its performance. Testing of the final design confirmed the usefulness of the analysis.