Toyota Fortuner hits truck at high speed but airbags do not open

This high-speed accident between a Toyota Fortuner and a truck happened at a high speed of 140 km/h. However, the airbags of the Fortuner did not deploy and the owner of the car was not very happy. Even without the airbag deployment, the Fortuner saved the passengers in the car. Here is how it happened.

The accident was reported by the owner and happened in Telangana. According to the details, the Toyota Fortuner was doing 140 km/h when a truck suddenly applied the brakes in front of the vehicle. This caused the Toyota Fortuner to crash into the rear of the truck. While the structure of the Toyota Fortuner saved the passengers, the owner complained that the airbags in his vehicle did not open even after the high-speed impact.

The passengers of the Fortuner were wearing seatbelts and the impact did not cause any fatal injuries to them. However, one of the passengers was admitted to the hospital and is currently undergoing treatment.

Why did the airbags not open?

Toyota Fortuner hits truck at high speed but airbags do not open

There is no picture of the rear of the truck. A picture of the rear could have shown us the first point of impact, which has a major role to play in the deployment of the airbags in any car. Airbags use several sensors to detect the crash and any impact that happens outside the expected area may not deploy the airbags. It is possible that the truck did not have a crash bar and the first impact happened much higher than the bumper or the bonnet of the Fortuner, which failed to trigger the airbags.

Airbags are designed to deploy in specific situations to ensure passenger safety within a vehicle. However, there are several reasons why airbags may fail to deploy after an accident, even if seatbelts are being used:

Malfunctioning Accelerometer: Airbags rely on the vehicle’s accelerometer to detect sudden changes in acceleration that indicate an accident. If the change in acceleration is not significant enough, the airbags may not deploy. This is often the case in low-speed accidents where the threshold for airbag deployment is not met.

Secondary Impact: If there are secondary impacts to the vehicle after an initial crash, the airbags may not deploy. This can happen when the initial impact does not meet the criteria for airbag deployment, but subsequent impacts occur.

Unnecessary Airbag Deployment: Minor, low-impact collisions may not require airbag deployment, as seatbelts alone can provide sufficient protection. In such cases, the airbags remain inactive. However, this does not seem to be a low-impact collision.

Non-Use of Seatbelts: If occupants fail to wear seatbelts, the airbags may not deploy. This is because the deployment angle and timing may not align correctly without the use of seatbelts. Airbag deployment without seatbelts can potentially harm passengers due to their proximity to the airbags.

Aftermarket Accessories: The installation of aftermarket accessories like bullbars is now illegal in India. These accessories can interfere with airbag sensors, preventing them from detecting a collision. Seat covers on vehicles equipped with side airbags can also have a similar effect. Additionally, these accessories may compromise passenger safety if the timing of airbag deployment does not align correctly with the passenger’s body.

Airbag Malfunction: Like any electronic device, airbags can experience malfunctions. Instances of airbag failures have been reported in the past, even in high-end vehicles.

Hydroplaning or Aquaplaning: In situations where the vehicle loses traction due to hydroplaning or aquaplaning, the accelerometer may become confused during the initial impact. This is because the loss of traction renders the vehicle’s sensors inoperative, as they rely on wheel traction for proper functioning.

Shantonil Nag

Shantonil Nag, senior feature writer at, channels his expertise and enthusiasm into insightful car reviews and test drives. (Full bio)