The purpose of an airbag is to protect you and your passengers in an automobile accident. While their deployment may cause superficial burns or bruises, they work with your seatbelt to provide a buffer between you and the steering wheel, dashboard and windshield.
However, there are several cases in which an airbag can do more harm than good. Defective airbags have been the basis for many personal injury lawsuits filed against manufacturers because of design flaws, insufficient testing or the use of unsafe materials.
If an airbag fails to deploy, does not deploy quickly enough, or only partially deploys, the injuries you sustain are likely to be more serious than if the product had worked properly. A defective airbag may also deploy unexpectedly, which could end up causing you to have an accident.
Airbags should deploy when a vehicle experiences a calculated amount of impact. If the accident does not meet that threshold, it may not deploy. Another cause for failure is when the previous owner of a used car did not replace the airbag after an accident, and the new owner may not be aware of it.
If your airbag fails, it is important to keep as much of the product as possible, particularly the sensor. Even if your insurance company declares your car is a total loss, it is best to maintain possession of the vehicle and avoid having its’s computer data destroyed. The physical and digital information may provide valuable evidence in a product liability claim.