Defective Airbag and Airbag Sensor Design, Unnecessary Deployment of Airbag

  • Date: Fall 2004
  • FIRM
  • Settlement: Confidential
  • Practice Areas: Automotive Product Liability, Defective Airbag Sensor Design, Defective Airbag Design, Unnecessary Deployment of Airbag

The firm represented a woman who was driving a 1990 luxury car which lost control in a large pool of water on the roadway. During the accident the vehicle impacted a guard rail. The firm's expert accident reconstructionist discovered that the vehicle impacted the guardrail at less than 8mph. As a consequence of that low speed impact with the guardrail, the driver’s side airbag deployed causing the plaintiff to sustain a right eye orbital fracture, and tissue damage to the right eye resulting in partial blindness.

Many airbag systems are not properly designed for shorter drivers or passengers. As a result, shorter drivers and passengers can be injured by the forces of the inflating airbag. Automobile manufacturers have known for more than 30 years that when a person is in the path of an inflating airbag they are likely to sustain serious eye, face, neck and brain injuries. Airbags that are too large, too powerful or are folded improperly can all cause injury to a person of smaller stature.

Also, some airbag systems have not been calibrated properly or use inferior sensors causing them to deploy in low speed accidents, or fail to deploy in high speed accidents when they are needed. Despite these facts, car manufacturers have been very slow in addressing air bag related injury problems, even though the technology to avoid these injuries has been both available and economical for many years. These failures, to do what could easily be done, has resulted in many unnecessary injuries. The firm retains the best experts in the country to convincingly explain to juries that motor vehicle manufacturers cut corners in airbag design and testing at the expense of safety.

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