Air Bag Deployment Issues

One of the open questions regarding car accidents involving GM’s faulty ignition switches (various posts concerning this issue can be seen in the “auto defects” category) is why the cars’ air bags failed to deploy in the 13 fatal accidents that are believed to have stemmed from the faulty ignition switches.

Newly released information may provide the answer to why the air bags failed to deploy, even in instances in which one would certainly have expected them to.

The May 13, 2014 article titled “GM recall reveals gaps in air bag knowledge” discusses various aspects of this air bag deployment issue.


Here’s an unsettling fact about cars equipped with air bags: they don’t always deploy when drivers — or regulators — expect them to.

Thirteen people have died in crashes involving older GM cars with defective ignition switches. In each of those crashes, and in others in which occupants were injured, the air bags failed to deploy even after striking trees, guard rails or other objects.

Puzzled by these failures, federal safety regulators told Congress last month they believed the cars’ air bags should have worked for up to 60 seconds after the engine stalled. But GM has since told The Associated Press that regulators were mistaken: the cars only had enough reserve power to sense a crash and deploy the air bags for 150 milliseconds after the switch malfunctioned and cut off the car’s power.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this air bag issue can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the article mentioned above, as well as the May 13 Washington Post article titled “Facts about air bags involved in GM recalls.”

Should you be involved in a vehicle accident, there are certain actions you should take in order to protect your rights. Elman Law Group has compiled a reference document titled “10 Steps You Should Follow After an Auto Accident.”
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Should you be involved in a car accident, there are certain actions you should take in order to protect your rights. You should not assume – especially without proper legal representation – that you will receive appropriate compensation for your injuries, hardships and/or losses. To speak directly with a trial lawyer from Elman Law Group immediately, call (773) 392-8182 at any time. There is no fee for this consultation.