SAN MATEO, CA - Airbags Deployed in 3-Vehicle Crash on Highway 101 at Hillsdale Boulevard

Airbag Malfunction: 3 Reasons Why Airbags Fail to Deploy

After an airbag malfunction during a car accident, you may be experiencing a variety of thoughts and emotions. Confusion, anger, and physical pain to name a few. Yet, in spite of how safe airbags are suppose to be, when one fails to deploy, the consequences could be catastrophic.
In 1998, the federal legislation required that all vehicles sold in the US be equipped with a supplemental restraint system. The law required that driver and front passenger seats require airbags for safety. Usually, airbags are build to inflate in moderate to severe frontal crashes.
Therefore, airbags help prevent serious injuries during a car crash. In particular, crashes involving coming in contact with the steering wheel, dashboard, window, or other parts in the vehicle.
According to the NHTSA, frontal airbags have saved about 44,869 lives from 1987 – 2015. In front-end crashes, airbags reduce driver fatalities by 29 percent. Furthermore, airbags lessen casualties of front-seat passengers age 13 and older by 30 percent.
However, injuries relating to airbags not deploying after a car crash have resulted in serious injuries and deaths. As a result of the malfunction, victims may consider filing a lawsuit over the defective airbag.

How Do Airbags Work

If the impact is hard enough, the airbag sensors signal the bags to inflate with gas. Generally, the inflation speed for airbag expansion can reach up to 200 mph. In fact, airbags work effectively when drivers or passengers wear safety belts and sit properly in their seat.
The airbag is made of nylon fabric material which is folded into the steering wheel, dashboard, or side panels. Once the sensor receives a strong front impact of speeds of 8 to 4 mph or higher, the bag will inflate.
For instance, the impact is similar to striking a stationary object at about 16 to 28 mph. Once deflation occurs, a harmless powdery substance is released. The substance is used to keep the bags lubricated while they are unused.

Top 3 Reasons Why Airbags Fail to Deploy

Although airbags are a great safety feature, manufacturer defects in the design and deployment can cause serious injuries. Thus, may even result in death.
To explain, here are the top 3 reasons why an airbag malfunction can occur after a car crash:

Area of Impact

Depending the area of impact, it will trigger a signal to the sensor. In order for most airbags to deploy, the impact has to be to the front of car, driver, and passenger doors. Generally, if an impact occurs in other areas, the sensors may not activate. For example, a rear-end collision, will not cause the airbags to deploy. Because, sensors are usually not placed in the rear bumper of cars.

Speed of Impact

In other words, bags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe frontal crashes of speeds between 8 – 14 mph or higher. If the speed of impact is less than the minimum required speed, airbags will likely not engage.

Manufacturer Defects

Car manufacturers can improperly inspect for electrical malfunctions. Including, inadequate tests and calibrations of the sensors in the vehicle’s software. Consequently, the inaccurate analysis of software or wiring may fail to signal deflation and cause malfunction.

Airbag Malfunction Lawsuits

The manufacturer may be held responsible for injuries resulting after airbags fail to deploy. With help from a skilled lawyer, you can prove in your lawsuit that the airbag was defective, and may be entitled to receive compensation.
A lawsuit for damages resulting in airbags not inflating may compensate the following:

  • Medical bills;
  • Economic losses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Ongoing and future medical costs;
  • Emotional damages such as pain and suffering;
  • Punitive damages;
  • Attorney fees.

Product liability lawsuits are costly and lengthy. In addition, attorneys who represent manufacturers will not make this case an easy one. With this purpose, it is your burden to prove that the airbags failed to deploy when they should have. As a result, lawsuits like these are costly and lengthy.
In order to have a successful lawsuit, your attorney may hire qualified experts. These experts have licenses or certifications in the area of accident reconstruction and mechanical engineering.

Hire a Skilled Lawyer for your Defective Airbag Lawsuit

Working with our skilled personal injury lawyers at Sweet Law Group can give you an advantage in the courtroom. With over 40 years of experience, we will provide services tailored to your specific needs and achieve the justice and compensation deserved.
Call our office for a free-consultation at (800)674-7854 and let your story be heard today!