Research shows that Airbags save countless lives. But airbags, particularly side airbags, have also caused injuries. Some vehicles with side impact airbags or side curtain airbags have proven to be unsafe and a number of cars with side airbags have been recalled. Airbags that deployed unexpectedly, causing harm to drivers or passengers, have led to defective airbag lawsuits.
FREE CASE EVALUATION
Send your Airbag Injuries claim to a Lawyer who will review your claim at NO COST or obligation.
Airbags are an integral part of car crashworthiness. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that airbags save thousands of lives each year, yet airbags that fail to deploy or do not open in accidents (and sometimes open without cause) also cause serious injuries, some of them fatal. Because airbags are designed for the average man, many women, children and the elderly are at risk.
A 2007 study (Craig Newgard, MD, of Oregon Health & Science University) found that for drivers taller than 6 foot 3 inches, air bags were associated with a 5 percent greater risk of serious injury and for drivers shorter than 4 foot 11 inches, air bags were associated with a 4 percent increase in the risk of serious injury.
Side Airbags and Curtain Airbags
Side airbags are designed to protect occupants in side impact crashes such as at intersections or when a vehicle veers off the road and crashes side-on into an object such as a tree or pole. They also protect passengers in rollover crashes or when two vehicles have an adjacent angle crash.
Curtain airbags are designed to protect the head for front-seat occupants (and back seat occupants in some vehicles) during a side crash. When deployed, curtain airbags form a cushion between the occupant's head and the window and they may protect in a rollover.
A significant number of airbag accidents result in eye, neck, head and brain injuries as well as spinal and torso injuries. Generally, there are three ways that an airbag can cause an injury:
The manufacturer fails to install air bags in the vehicle;
The air bags fail to deploy (open);
The airbags deploy in a low-impact crash and cause death or injury.
The third category is the most common and constitutes most airbag liability lawsuits. The airbag was either incorrectly installed, the manufacturer neglected to include proper safety instructions, or the airbag was defective. If the airbag is defective in design or manufacture, a claim can be made under strict liability laws where the injured plaintiff does not need to prove negligence.
In 2004 more than 1.4 million recalls were related to airbag safety problems, up from about 350,000 recalls the previous year. Many of these airbag recalls were due to wiring problems that could result in the air bags being deployed for no reason.
Honda issued a recall in 2008 because its airbags opened with so much force that metal parts of the airbag assembly could blast through the airbag, injuring a passenger in contact with the airbag. In May 2011 the Honda airbag recall expanded to 833,000 vehicles that may have been equipped with a faulty airbag. Meanwhile Hyundai issued a recall for 2007-2009 Elantra sedans for an airbag system sensor that could cause the airbags to open incorrectly, increasing the risk of injury to smaller passengers (i.e., women, children and the elderly) in the event of an accident.
Airbags Deploying Without Cause
After receiving several complaints of the airbags opening without proper cause in the 2002 and 2003 Jeep Liberty models, the NHTSA opened an investigation that affects almost 400,000 vehicles. Ford Motor Company recalled around 1.2 million 2005 and 2006 Ford F150 pickups trucks for the same reason, although the problem was found to be a wiring issue inside the steering wheel. In August 2011, Chrysler posted a recall of almost 300,000 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan minivans over a similar problem.
The NHTSA conducts ongoing investigation and research on a variety of crashworthiness issues including potentially defective airbags. In 1997 it held a public forum regarding the safety of airbags and concluded (among other things) the following:
Passenger-side air bags, as they are currently designed, are not acceptable as a protective device for children positioned in front of them and can kill or critically injure these children in accidents that would have been survivable had the air bag not deployed.
The number of children killed and critically injured in accidents similar to those
investigated for the Board’s study will continue to increase unless immediate action
is first taken to determine the benefits of passenger-side air bags, as currently
Air bags are being designed, because of certification testing requirements, primarily to protect unbelted rather than belted vehicle occupants even though the air bags are promoted as supplemental restraint systems and the majority of motor vehicle occupants now use seatbelts.
In 9 of the 13 accidents investigated for this study in which there were collisions with other vehicles and passenger-side air bag deployment, the change in velocity was less than 20 mph, yet 5 of the 9 children in the right front passenger seats in these accidents sustained serious, critical, or fatal injuries from contact with the passenger-side air bag (2 of the 5 children were in rear-facing child restraint systems).
The number of fatalities to children from deploying air bags will continue to increase because the NHTSA’s proposed rulemaking of August 6, 1996, does not include the nearly 22 million vehicles that will be on the road by the end of 1996 with passenger-side air bags and the estimated 13 million additional vehicles that will be sold each year until the new standards are in effect.
The NHTSA estimates that about 300 people, including 180 children, have been killed because of air bags. Countless others have sustained injuries.
The NHTSA gave automobile manufacturers until 2012 to provide advanced air bags.
Side Airbag Safety Study
Both frontal and side-impact air bags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe crashes. According to SmartMotorist.com, as of December 1999, more than 95 million, or 47 percent of all cars and light trucks on Americas' roads have driver-side air bags. Almost 68 million of these also have passenger-side air bags.
In 1997 Public Citizen and the Center for Auto Safety released a study that showed significant differences in the safety records of passenger-side airbag designs and some airbags were “poorly designed”, adding that some cars fitted with airbags were much more dangerous than others.
In vehicles with side airbags, it is dangerous for occupants to lean against the windows, doors, and pillars, or to place objects between themselves and the side of the vehicle. For instance, if you are sideswiped and your side curtain airbag fails to deploy, you could suffer a serious concussion and even brain injury. Say you are driving in a storm and your vehicle is blown off the road; your side curtain airbags inflate and cause excessive force to children riding in the backseats.
Or your front passenger side airbag suddenly deploys without warning. A lawsuit was filed against Ford Motor Co. when a child was injured (August, 2008) after a Ford Expedition's airbags suddenly deployed when the vehicle was not in use. The complaint stated that, “Such unnecessary and unexpected deployment of the airbag caused serious injuries and damages." The plaintiff claims the Expedition is defective and unsafe due to the unnecessary and unexpected deployment of the airbag while the vehicle was not in use.
Side Airbag Recalls
Feb 2010: Honda Motor Co. adds more than 378,000 cars to an existing safety recall for air bag inflation problems. Honda will replace the driver's side air bag inflator on the cars because they can deploy with too much pressure, causing the inflator casing to rupture and injure or kill the driver. Honda says it is aware of 12 incidents linked to the problem, with 11 injuries and one death.
December 2010: Chrysler Group recalls 65,000 Dodge Journey 2009 SUVs because side air bags might not deploy.
June 10, 2011: More than 47,000 2011 Cadillac SRX cross-over vehicles are recalled due to passenger-side side airbags that “might not deploy during a collision”.
September 2011: 10,631 Kia Sorento SUVs built between June 15th, 2006 and November 27th, 2007 are recalled due to a faulty airbag issue where the passenger-side air bag may be turned off even when an adult is occupying the seat.
If an airbag fails and causes injury, a claim based on strict liability law, negligence and contract law can feasibly be made against the manufacturer of the air bag, the car and others. However, airbag lawsuits can be complicated and typically require expert testimony that the injury would not have occurred but for a defective airbag. An experienced attorney can help with expert witness testimonies, determine whether the airbag is defective, analyze automotive data and more.
Airbag Injury Legal Help
If you or a loved one has suffered damages in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
Detroit, MI: Despite numerous airbag recalls linked to defective airbags, and lawsuits alleging the airbags caused numerous deaths, reports indicate that people are still dying in minor accidents because of airbag failures. Carmakers have faced increased scrutiny over their handling of airbag recalls in recent years, but according to reports, that scrutiny may still not be enough as millions of cars with allegedly defective airbags have not been repaired [READ MORE]
Washington, DC Japanese car maker Honda is recalling 4.89 million vehicles equipped with potentially faulty Takata air bags. This recall is in addition to earlier recalls issued by Honda, Toyota and Nissan over defective airbags. [READ MORE]
Washington, DC Following a year in which airbag recalls and defective airbags have been in the news repeatedly comes an announcement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it is opening an investigation into a Nissan airbag recall. Meanwhile, more airbag lawsuits have been filed concerning the Takata airbag recall, which affected millions of vehicles worldwide [READ MORE]
My daughter got into accident on January 16 and roll over several time but the airbags no airbags were deployed; and the passager was hurt very badly.The car was a Chrysler 300 year 2006
Posted by Steven butts
I was in a serious rollover accident and the side curtain airbags did not diploy i banged up my head pretty bad in a cadillac cts , is that grounds for a lawsuit
Posted by laquawn hyman
My 11yr old and I were in a car accident on 1/27/16 and my car was totaled..i was rear ended and it pushed me into a car infront of me.. Every thing inside the car fell off and none of the air bags came out...my daughter and i have miner injuries...can i sue the manufacturing company due to air bags no deploying..even the radio came out...help please.
Posted by Shelly
I have a 2015 GMC Terrain. I rear-ended someone while alone in my vehicle and all 6 airbags deployed. I had no passenger with me and that airbag deployed. There was no side impact, yet all four side impact airbags deployed. My car may be totaled solely on the fact that 5 airbags deployed when they shouldn't have.
Posted by Helen
I had a multiple car accident Saturday and my car is going to be total as per adjuster. The airbags didn't deploy. The damages in car are severe even the radiator broke on impact and lost all its antifreeze.
Posted by Tampa Florida
Luckily I didn't sustain any injuries but while driving my 06 accord the driver airbag deployed for no reason. I had dashcam video and it recorded the sounds. it was a double pop of the bag. This happened Sunday morning. It was very scary and the road was dark. Per the dashcam video, the speed was below the limit and there was no accident. MALFUNCTION. I let the NHTSA know and tried to reach out to Honda America. I also contacted my insurance company who reached out to the dealership. The dealership took my car and said a Honda engineer has to look at it. I followed all the recall notices and took my car in twice to the dealership. Now I am wondering what is going to happen next. How can I sell a car that is damaged? I need a new car. How long will this process take to possible fix the airbag?
Posted by Nebraska
My son died in January 2012 from an accident where the airbags did not deploy in his 2001 Elantra, he was ejected. I believe had the airbags deployed he would be here today. I also know that his vehicle was taken in and serviced on an airbag recall prior to his accident.
Posted by Debby
I was rear-ended (actually 4 times by same van) in our 2005 Ford Focus. The first impact was at approximately 45 mph, and each consecutive impact at a lessor speed (am guessing the driver stepped on the gas, instead of the brakes). In our situation, the air bags did not deploy, nor either of the front seatbelts engage, and also both front seats twisted inward. Luckily - no major injuries (but we are receiving medical care). Have been told that the seatbelts should have engaged, as well as the airbags should have deployed. Any help? Where to go to get answers/help?????
Posted by Cindy New Jersey
To Arun post July 19th, file complaint with NSHTA.gov. I am sorry of your loss.
I also was in a minor accident, air bags deployed, no shrapnel but deployed at excessive force, multiple injuries requiring surgeries, neck, back, loss of use both arms now.
My car was also not on the recall list, odd since all other NSHTA complaints with Takata air bags were in the range of my VIN# and manufactured at the same plant.
Being told it is another issue with excessive force deployment.
Please try to track down the erupted air bag now before it is too late to find. There is a "black box" data recorder that could help you an your family in a compensation case.
Posted by Robert Thomasson
On Sept 12 2013, I was traveling on
I 35 near Salado Texas in my 1999
GMC Pickup when I hit the end of a
concrete construction barrier, head
on. The entire front of my truck was caved
in. My Air Bag did not deploy .
I was admitted to a Hospital in Temple,
Texas in Serious condition . I had
Broken ribs, jaws, teeth and internal
bleeding in addition to other injuries,
I would like to join into a Class Action
Law Suit against GMC and the Manufacture
of my Airbag
Posted by Jamila Sutton
HI I was in a car accident on 11/5/l4 I was Defected By my airbag on my wrist. I have been looking for a lawyer for the Longest My car was taking By co-parts and they sold it in February I do have pictures of the car after the accident I do have pictures of my Wrist after the accident. I also have been going to my orthopedic therapy from January Tell now, still is going just found out in August That the airbag Burnt me and hit a spot that cause it to put a Cyis in my wrist. The cyis was on top of my Vain and nerve + under my vain and nerve so I have to have surgery on my right wrist it put my in a life or death Situation Now if I try to move it, it can pop cause I just had my surgery on September 25 2015 it will take 6 weeks to hell. They say if I move it now it will pop and kill me. I can not even cook for myself, wash myself This got life hard for me cause I'm right handed. I'm trying to get a personal injury Attorney specialist in South Carolina. Can someone please help me? I had A Nissan Altima 2006. Please help me thank u.
Posted by Maxine Johnson
I was driving 25 mph when a car stopped suddenly in front of me and I tapped the bumper, and my airbag exploded. Luckily I have both hands 10 and two on the steering wheel, so the metal from the airbag hit me in my wrist. However, I was bleeding so bad it look like someone had been shot in my car. The airbag blew out my windshield, and the whole car was covered with a white steam. My grandson was in the backseat and was shaken-up. He was screaming "are you alright grandma". The ambulance drivers were across the street having lunch, so they came over and stopped the bleeding. I could have been hit by the metal from the airbag in another part of my body and died. The ammonia smell that came out of the airbag was horrible.
That was an awful day...I will never forget it.
Posted by Tim
In Dec 2009 all of the airbags (side & front) deployed in my 1999 VW Bora whilst driving alone at 50mph. Broken neck, broken rib and fractured hand resulted. I was instantly rendered unconscious and remember nothing of the subsequent collision with an oncoming car a few seconds later. All damage to my vehicle was at the rear sides. The front half of the car was untouched. I was unable to prove what happened in court and was disqualified from driving for two years despite lifetime clean licence (never even a parking ticket!) convicted of driving without due care and attention. Yes this stuff really happens and I have not driven since. If I ever own a car again the first thing I will do is disable the airbag system.
Posted by HEIDY
I was driving my 2003 Dodge Neon with a passenger in front. While traveling 40 mph was hit by 2006 Ford Taurus going 35 mph and accelerating. Front and drivers left side impact. My airbag did not deploy and seatbelt did not engage. Passenger seatbelt did engage. I was forced to the dashboard between the door and the steering wheel. Did not hit head. Did not loose consciousness. Previous to accident had multiple preexisting herniated discs. This accident caused more damage and ruptured a disc necessitating surgery with a poor outcome. I am totally crippled and disabled now. My passenger sustained numerous bruises. Neon totaled. Taurus repaired. I was 100% not at fault.
Posted by Arun
My brother passed away in a MINOR accident , no vehicle collision,
just he hit on the road divider at once AIR BAG deployed with too much of pressure causing air bag inflator to burst and a sharpnel hits on his Neck and he lost due to Blood loss,
HONDA CIVIC 2007 MODEL INDIAN MODEL
NOT IN A RECALL LIST
HONDA KILLING HUMANS
Posted by nicholas parker
hello my name is Nicholas Parker I was in a serious car accident on January 1,2014. I have an 2013 Chevrolet Malibu it was supposed to be the safest car that year and during the accident NONE of the airbags deployed I was driving at an constant speed and was hit. it was an head to head collision.
im currently in the army soon had to deploy to Afghanistan later on that week ,so I was forced to place my car in storage. I refused to take any action to fix my vehicle due to the fact some one told me I would definitely have an lawsuit on my hands. I can provide pictures of the vehicle ASAP.
Posted by Tammy Schrader
I had my underarm ripped open from airbag when t-boned in a car accident in Bradenton FL. I have permanent scarring. The bag exploded causing mild chemical burns to my face and ripped my arm upon the airbag deploying in my Mercury Grand Marquis.
Posted by Pete
2005 Nissan Murano, we were T-boned by an '04 Nissan Maxima that blew a red light.
NO airbag deployment in my car - the door and footbox caved in - damage to the entire left side of my vehicle. I have fortunately only minor injuries to my shoulder, elbow, neck, and head, from impacting the door/roof.
The other car had full front and side bag deployment - WHY NOT MINE?
Posted by Florida
I contacted Toyota regarding my airbags in my ’07 Scion TC and they are refusing to help. The light came on, and when I brought it to Toyota to get it checked, they want me to pay $149 just to hook up the computer to my car. They also said that the airbags could go off at any time or that they may not work in an accident. This has made me afraid to put anyone in my car and I am also scared for my life to even drive it. If they do go off while I am driving, I could be responsible for hurting someone or even killing someone. What can I do?
Posted by Iowa
Air bags deployed with extreme force, low speed accident where no injuries would have been sustained, but because of air bag deploying, it caused a torn ligament and carpel tunnel in right arm/wrist.
Posted by Florida
The front end of the car was totally damaged and no airbags were deployed; also the mirror was knocked off from the impact.
Posted by Oregon
My hand and wrist were severely damage by the airbag. I had emergency surgery. I now have a pin in my hand and screws in my wrist. My index finger was so severely dislocated it had to be surgically put back in place. We were in a head-on collision but we drove to the hospital for treatment in the car.
Posted by Connecticut
My son and his friend died on Oct. 9, 2009 in an accident in a 2001 Honda Civic. The airbags deployed but were useless do to projectiles hitting my son in the passenger seat. His friend was driving. I am looking for an independent suit against Honda and Tanaka airbags. A guardrail went through the car as well. I don't believe they hit the end cap for a possible claim against trinity guardrails.
Posted by Ohio
WAS JUST IN AN ACCIDENT WHERE THE AIRBAG DID NOT DEPLOY. HIT BLACK ICE, RAN INTO A DITCH AND HIT A CULVERT HEAD-ON. LUCKILY, I WAS ALONE.
Posted by Ohio
My wife was in an accident today. She is 27 weeks pregnant. She suffered a head injury, a knee injury and has trouble now with the pregnancy. The airbags never deployed. She hit the steering wheel with her head. We have a 2006 Ford Expedition.
Posted by New Mexico
I was involved in a low-impact fender bender on 9/5/14. My BMW suffered a penny-sized dent. Initially, I thought the steering wheel had hit me and the car was on fire from all the white "smoke." Airbag had exploded. Although Chest CT with contrast is negative, I still suffer from costochondritis. My left hand had a "1" laceration.
Posted by North Carolina
In October 2012, I suffered a traumatic brain injury from an airbag not being deployed in my 2000 Mitsubishi Galant. I passed out while driving due to high blood sugar and my car went under an 18-wheel tractor trailor. I have been left with permanent brain damage and nerve damage, which affects my entire left side. I have difficulty with my memory. I cannot work due my disability. The brain swelling was extremely severe and would have been decreased had the airbag deployed and my head not forcefully hit the front of my car.
Posted by Connecticut
On October 4, 2009, my son was in a fatal accident in which the airbags malfunctioned in his 2002 Honda Civic. He was a passenger and owned the car. The driver was his friend; he passed away as well. I know the airbags malfunctioned. The driver’s hands are molded into the steering wheel. If an airbag worked without being punctured or just plain did not inflate, the driver’s hands would have been pried from the steering wheel. I have some unfortunate pictures of the complete wreck.
Posted by Washington
I purchased a new 2004 Honda Accord (4cl) in Tallahassee, FL. At the time I was living in Orlando, FL. Four months after buying the car, I was in an accident. Another car pulled out in front of me and I ran into the side of their car; it was deemed their fault. My airbag inflated and cut my face open, between my eye and nose. On the day of the accident, I went to an optometrist because my eye was burning and I couldn't see well. The doctor said a fragment from the airbag cut my retina. He also said the cut on my face, near my eye, was unusually deep and referred me to a plastic surgeon to have my cut sewed together so that the scarring would be less noticeable. Neither doctor that I saw could explain how I could have such a deep cut on my face from an airbag.
Posted by New York
Crash hitting the front left side of wall and airbags did not deploy on the highway as I was doing about 60 mph! Injuries include 3 skull fractures, tbi, coma, partial amputation of my ear that had to be sewed back on and hundreds of stitches.
Posted by Kentucky
Airbag failed in 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee, resulting in brain and spinal damage.
Posted by Virginia
Injured in a car accident Oct. 8, 2013. Airbag in Chevy Tahoe didn't deploy. Sustained a spinal injury.
Posted by Maine
Involved in collision recently. Rear-ended a truck in white-out conditions – high impact, rollover. Truck and my Toyota FJ were totaled. Why did the airbags not deploy? Whiplash and cuts sustained. No other injuries, except for my dog.
Posted by Anonymous
I was driving when all of a sudden my airbag deployed and caused my accident. I don't remember after it deployed, but I remember it clearlydeploying bbeforehand. I ended up possibly rolling car and broke electrical pole. I just suffer pain everywhere but no scratches. A couple bruises. I was knocked out for awhile though.
Posted by Tennessee
I was in a serious auto accident in Oct. 2007. The airbag in my 2006 Solstice didn't deploy. I suffered a vertebral artery dissection and couldn't talk. I was in the neuro intensive care unit for almost 2 weeks. I suffered 3 or 4 tia's from it. They told my family to think about planning my funeral. Now, they have finally recalled the car.
Posted by Mississippi
My daughter had an accident on April 22 this year, in which her car hit a sign, another fixed object, then flipped multiple times. Her car was a 2001 Pontiac Bonneville SSE. At no time did any of the airbags deploy. As a result she suffered bilateral pneumothoraces, multiple rib fractures, right pulmonary contusion, plueral effusion, bilateral thoracostomy tube placement and a left clavicle fracture, the later of which required emergency surgery this week placing a rod and 7 screws to the left clavicle. I believe that the airbags, at least one, should have deployed due to the violent nature of the accident.
Posted by Arkansas
Airbags didn't deploy and caused injury to me. I have major whiplash, my knee hit dash, and I even hit my head. My passenger hit windshield and caused him to get multiple stitches, almost broke his arm.
Posted by South Carolina
2011 Kia Sorento airbags did not deploy in total loss accident.I suffered a broken collar bone, and broken sterum.I also hit my head on the windshield.
Posted by Arkansas
My wife and her mother was recently involved in a 18 wheeler head on collision where the air bags did not deploy. I contacted Toyota about the problem with pictures of the 2012 Toyota Venza will less than 2k miles and they told me there was not enough damage. I am ready to sue on this issue. The state police who investigated the accident told me he had seen 100's of accidents and that the air bags most certainly should have deployed.
Posted by Minnesota
broken arm - concusion with head injuries (laserations). Torn hip labrum - both rotator cuffs needing surgery. Airbag deployed after second collision impact to hood area of car, but not at T-bone impact.
Posted by Arizona
See above. Eye glass nose pad went into center of eye. Caused immediate white blindness. Took 8 doctors to figure out what was causing 4moons, couldn't read or watch TV or work, reflectors on ground at night were a foot tall, etc. surgery 7/2011 in Utah, a year of recovery.
Posted by Alabama
Broken arm, glass in eyes, spinal bruising, pelvic fractures, deep tissue bruising from waist to neck
Posted by California
sprained neck, contussion to hip, shoulder, son broke his nose and concussion tothe head.
Posted by Washington
no severe injuries just bruising at the time. but my whole damn car practically fell apart, safety restraints ripped out while driving 3mph.