Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Automobiles | 1 comment

Cars today are chock full of improvements that Henry Ford probably never even imagined back in the day. Chief among these improvements are safety features such as airbags. And yet airbags are frequently the cause of product recalls because they have been found to be defective. A defective airbag can cause serious injury when it goes off prematurely, fails to deploy, or deploys with excessive force. This is ironic considering that it was designed to prevent injury, not cause them, leading to a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

This type of auto defect is a serious problem for both manufacturers (because of potential civil litigation) and motorists, and there is no real way to detect them until an accident happens. By then, it is usually too late.

The airbag is a cushion or envelop made of a synthetic fabric that is rapidly inflated using sodium azide, a compound that expands into nitrogen gas when it is ignited. The airbag unit is attached to an electrical circuit which is triggered by a sensor when conditions for its activation are met. The time it takes to activate and inflate an airbag is about 1/20th of a second.

In the US, the airbag sensors are configured to activate when a vehicle decelerates at a rate of 23 km/h or more. The sensor is also generally set to activate when a vehicle is on fire and reaches a temperature between 150 and 200 degrees centigrade to prevent the airbag unit from exploding.

Airbags are to be found in most vehicles today, and some cars have as many as four units in various areas. While its effectiveness as a safety feature is high, when an airbag is defective, it can have dire consequences, especially for young children. It seems prophetic that seven fatalities in the first vehicles in the US that were equipped with airbags were attributed to its presence. If you were injured due to a defective airbag, consult an auto defect lawyer to redress your personal injury. Recovering some damages would cushion the effects of serious injuries.

One Comment

  1. 11-19-2014

    Law is always so puzzling to me, thanks for making sense of it.

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