It is amazing how one little question can get so many inquiries. Since I am dealing with an older 124, I do not have an air bag on the passenger. I could see where that might pose a problem. Getting to the motor/fan is easy if the glove box is removed.
At any rate, I have stopped, probably just temporarily, the noise the motor makes by applying some synthetic oil at the point where the shaft enters the bearings at each end. I removed the motor from the housing to do this. The bearings appear to be the oil impregnated type. It has made it run smoother and does not make the noise anymore.