Can You Sue a Car Manufacturer if Airbag Doesn’t Deploy?

It’s a valid question and one we get a lot. No mater whether you are a victim or a cause of an auto accident, you expect a vehicle’s safety features to work and keep you safe. Unfortunately, airbags do not always work properly. If yours failed to deploy in a car accident, you or a loved one could have suffered more catastrophic injuries, such as skull fractures, spinal injuries and in worst case scenarios, death. In some rarer situations, you could have a claim against the manufacturer, in addition to the negligent driver who caused the wreck.

When Are Airbags Supposed to Deploy?

Frontal airbags have been standard on all passenger vehicles since the model year 1998 and on SUV’s, pickup trucks and vans since 1999, which is a little surprising! Some vehicles are also equipped with side airbags. Airbags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe crashes to reduce the risk that occupants will hit the dashboard, windshield or each other when in a car accident. However, just because the airbags do not deploy does not mean you have a case. In other words, airbags are not supposed to deploy in many situations, such as minor accidents, accidents involving wildlife, single car collisions with a traffic sign or curb, or an impact with a pothole in the road. These situations do not warrant an airbag deployment as there is not much front to back deceleration which would cause a passenger to move dangerously in the event of an accident.

What Happens if Airbag Failed to Deploy?

If your airbag failed to deploy in a moderate to severe crash, it may be due to manufacturer defect. These defects fall into three categories:

  1. Design defects;
  2. Manufacturing defects;
  3. Marketing defects;

These types of defects are best handled through product liability lawsuits which can be very complicated and complex. Contact our offices today if you were involved in an auto accident and have questions regarding your legal situation.

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