A Mahindra XUV700 customer has lodged a complaint regarding the airbags failing to deploy in his car after a recent accident, which has now gained widespread attention. The owner asserts that his family sustained injuries due to the airbags not deploying following an accident in Himachal Pradesh. Below are the details of the incident.
The car owner has shared a video of the vehicle following the accident, revealing significant front-end damage and the car resting on its side, indicating substantial side damage as well. The owner further states that despite the family wearing seatbelts, the airbags did not activate.
While the passengers in the vehicle sustained minor injuries, fortunately, no major injuries were reported. They were promptly admitted to the hospital and are currently receiving treatment.
The owner claims that the initial impact occurred at the front of the car, yet the airbags failed to deploy. Presently, the vehicle is at a Mahindra service station, and the owner is awaiting an official response from the service center regarding the reason for the airbags not deploying. Nevertheless, there could be multiple reasons for the airbags not deploying.
Why Did the Airbags Fail to Deploy?
Airbags constitute a complex system that relies on a multitude of sensors to trigger deployment. Since airbags employ a small quantity of explosives, it is crucial that they deploy at the appropriate moment to ensure passenger safety within the vehicle.
Here are several reasons why airbags might not deploy after an accident, even if the occupants are wearing seatbelts:
Malfunctioning Accelerometer: Airbags operate based on information from the accelerometer. The vehicle’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) sends a signal when a sudden change in acceleration is detected, signifying an accident. This signal is generated only when a specific threshold of acceleration change is reached. If the change is not substantial enough, the airbags will not deploy. This is why airbags may not activate in low-speed accidents. It is plausible that the Mahindra XUV700 did not experience a significant acceleration change to trigger airbag deployment.
Secondary Impact: In cases where there are secondary impacts to a car after an initial crash, airbags may not deploy.
Unnecessary Airbag Deployment: In some cases, minor, low-impact collisions do not necessitate airbag deployment, as seatbelts alone are sufficient to protect passengers. In such situations, airbags remain inactive. However, this accident does not appear to be a low-impact collision.
Non-Use of Seatbelts: Failure to wear seatbelts can deactivate airbags, as it can pose a danger to passengers. The XUV700 is equipped with curtain airbags that may not deploy if seatbelts are not fastened, as this position does not offer the optimal deployment angle for airbag protection. In fact, airbag deployment without fastened seatbelts can potentially harm passengers due to their proximity to the airbags.
Aftermarket Accessories: The installation of aftermarket accessories such as bullbars is now illegal in India. Bullbars can interfere with airbag sensors, preventing them from detecting a collision. Similarly, seat covers on vehicles equipped with side airbags can have the same effect. These accessories may also compromise passenger safety, as airbag deployment timing may not align correctly with the passenger’s body.
Airbag Malfunction: Airbags, being electronic devices, can experience failures. Instances of airbag failures have been reported in the past, even in high-end vehicles.
Hydroplaning or Aquaplaning: In cases of hydroplaning or aquaplaning, the vehicle’s accelerometer may become confused during the initial impact. This is due to the loss of traction caused by hydroplaning, which renders the vehicle’s sensors inoperative as they rely on wheel traction for proper functioning.