Aside from seatbelts, airbags are largely considered to be one of the most important and effective safety innovations added to modern cars. During a collision, a properly deployed airbag can save a vehicle’s occupants from potentially life-threatening impacts, greatly minimizing their resulting injuries and greatly increasing the likelihood that they will be able to walk away from a car accident unscathed. Unfortunately, these devices can be equally harmful in the event of a malfunction. Whether it be the result of a manufacturing error or poor design, airbags which deploy under inappropriate circumstances or fail to deploy at all can cause motorists to suffer severe injuries. But what exactly causes an airbag to malfunction?
Airbags can fail under any of the following circumstances:
- The sensors were not activated: The nature of a collision itself will largely determine whether or not airbags will deploy. For example, most frontal airbags will only deploy when the front of a car is impacted, while crashes in other areas will not trigger these sensors.
- The sensors were faulty: If the impact did occur in the right spot, an airbag may fail to deploy if the sensors did not activate as designed. A majority of airbag defect lawsuits fall into this classification and stem from the failure of auto manufacturers to properly test, calibrate, or include enough sensors in their vehicles.
- Electrical failure: In some cases, an airbag’s sensors may work fine and fire as required – only to have the signal fail to reach the air bag module. This is usually seen in cases where one a driver-side airbag deploys but a passenger airbag doesn’t, or vice versa.
- Malfunctioning airbag modules: The last scenario involves an airbag deployment signal being transmitted smoothly to the airbag module itself, only for the module to fail to deploy. This is usually caused by poor quality control or a defect in the airbag’s design, as is the case with recent Takata airbag scandal that has affected millions of vehicles worldwide.
Get Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A. on Your Side
If you have been injured by a malfunctioning airbag or some other form of vehicle defect, contact the Toledo product liability attorneys at Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A. today. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to pursue monetary compensation for losses such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.