A while ago, we did a story about airbags not deploying in a Mahindra XUV500. Back then, we also listed out the reasons on why an airbag may not deploy in a car despite a collision that seems life threatening. Here’s one more example.
In this case, a 4th generation Honda City sedan slams into a Tata Sumo’s rear. The front end of the Honda City suffers quite some damage, leaving the driver of the sedan with a shoulder injury. However, the driver airbag doesn’t deploy, leaving the owner fuming. So, what gives? We explain.
As we’ve already enumerated in the XUV500’s airbag non-deployment story, there can be multiple reasons as to why airbags fail to deploy in a car.
1. If the occupants of the car don’t wear seat belts, the airbags will not deploy as a precautionary measure.
In this case, the Honda City sedan owner claims that the was belted up and yet, the airbags didn’t deploy. This brings us to another angle.
2. The airbags will not deploy is there isn’t sufficient deceleration/impact on the part of the car involved in the accident.
Gauging from the impact, it seems pretty high, with the bonnet crumpling and the front bumper getting sheared off. But the airbags didn’t deploy despite high impact. This brings us to the third angle.
3. Airbags can fail, and this is something that happens more frequently than most people think it does.
This is one possible reason why the airbags on this particular Honda City did not deploy despite the frontal collision. The other possible reason relates to the sensors.
4. From the images of the damaged Honda city, it’s clear that the front apron of the car remains intact, with only the bonnet and bumper taking the impact. These images also seem to suggest that the airbag triggering circuit might not have gotten triggered at all due to the angle of the impact.
This is perhaps why this Honda City involved in the frontal collision did not have its airbags deployed.
For Honda’s part, the automaker’s call center executives have maintained that the failure of airbag deployment could have to do with “the sensors not being triggered”. While this seems plausible, it’s imperative that Honda investigates this incident and analyzes the findings, for airbags are critical components that simply mustn’t fail.
Also, writing off this incident as “sensor related” does not augur well for a brand such as Honda, which has been at the forefront of automotive safety in India. Like Mahindra, Honda must come out with an analysis of this event. This will reassure buyers and encourage them to patronize cars equipped with safety features.