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Old 11-09-2011, 10:30 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by BCDave

I would agree with everything you said - BUT

Before I retired I was in a job where I had a secretary. Her sister was in a very minor crunch-up in New Westminster (for those who do not know New West - think streets with steep hills - like San Fran!) She was in her car on one of those hills when the vehicle ahead rolled back and tagged her bumper, setting off her airbags. The "Blamo" resulted her getting both eardrums burst and her sunglasses shattered costing her the sight in one eye. (her thumbs were OK) Her car was still completely drivable. Would they have saved her life in a hi-speed cruncher - maybe, but when a 10 mph cruncher can leave you deaf and blind - I'll just wear my belts, thank you very much! (And I really wish they were 5-point belts, not just the "shoulder and lap belts" system.)
If this is the case, I would hesitate to ever buy a car from that company. There is no reason the airbags should have gone off. All airbags should not be judged based on a poorly made car. Not all airbags, ABS, traction control, crumple zones, etc. are created equal.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:33 PM   #72
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There are several methods of triggering the airbag deployment. One is the "contactor" which goes off when a compression of the switch occurs. On some vehicles, this is built into the front bumper. (THAT is what I deactivated on mine, by simply clipping a wire). On all vehicles made since 1998 an accelerometer is also used. (Mandatory on all) It is (mandatory) set to blow in a 10 mph collision. So, no matter what you buy, if the bags will blow in a collision at 10 mph, you risk sight & hearing by being "protected" in the event of an otherwise very minor "bonk".

In her case, the vehicle that rolled back into her car was an old (converted for other use) school bus, which resulted in a "heavy" impact at only a few mph.

Her car was considered to be a write-off - even though it was still perfectly driveable (not even headlights broken!) but it was the cost of repairs to the interior due to airbag deployment (plus the cost of replacing the bags themselves, and associated mechanisms) that drove the vehicle repair cost into the "not economically repairable" zone.

If airbags had accelerometers that trigger the big bang at - oh say - 30 mph instead of 10 mph, I'd never mess with 'em, but risking my health in a parking lot bump is just not worth it . (at least for me - your views may differ) Having said that, I can't do much about the accelerometer built into mine, so it may very well deploy the baggies in a parking lot anyway! In a perfect world, I'd replace the steering wheel with a non-bag-equipped one, esp since the NHTSB rated my '97 4Runner as being quite safe for all persons on board EXCEPT the DRIVER, who would likely be killed or seriously injured in the event of a 'severe" frontal crash. So - I'm gonna get killed in a bad wreck anyway, and the bags increase my odds of getting severely injured in a minor one! So, if I want to cut down my chances of injury, lets get those bags outta there if possible!

The real lesson is "don't get into an accident!". However, in her case, she had NO say in the matter. She suffered her injuries entirely due to another driver's inability to get a heavy (manual trans) vehicle going from a stop on an uphill grade without rolling backwards. The immediate cause of injury was the "safety features" on her car, and the "law of unintended consequences" and she paid a very heavy price for the mandated "safety features".

I read (somewhere - a few years ago) that in the event of an impending collision, your best bet is to cross your arms in front of your face to protect yourself FROM the bags - however, this is just SO counter-intuitive that I very much doubt anyone has actually remembered to do that when they are heading into something.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:28 PM   #73
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It is NOT mandatory that airbags go off in a collision over 10 MPH. The accelerometer is there to prevent the airbags from going off in cases like you mentioned. Newer style airbags have different stages... Basically a low and high powered deployment, depending on the severity of the accident.
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:52 PM   #74
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Some good information about air bags is available on the NHTSA website, including allowable deactivation situations.
What You Need to Know About Air Bags, DOT HS 809 575
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:08 PM   #75
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I suspect it depends a lot on the age & make of the car as to when and how airbags go off. I only just realized today while I had a small dog in the front passenger seat of my 07 Subaru that it senced something sitting in the seat that weighs less than x so many pounds and a little red light came on telling me that the front passanger air bag system had been deactivated. Suspect this is for the protection of children should they be in the front seat, as most serious injurys from airbags involve children. I know that my 01 Subaru did not have that feature.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:15 PM   #76
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Attachment 41154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar1 View Post
Some good information about air bags is available on the NHTSA website, including allowable deactivation situations.
What You Need to Know About Air Bags, DOT HS 809 575
Even if you accept that airbags are the best thing since sliced bread,it still leaves one question unanswered.
Why is this guy smiling?....
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:01 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by floyd

Even if you accept that airbags are the best thing since sliced bread,it still leaves one question unanswered.
Why is this guy smiling?....
Because that's not an airbag... It's a giant powdered donut.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:12 PM   #78
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Because that's not an airbag... It's a giant powdered donut.
That's gonna take a drum of coffee!
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