Airbags didn't deploy since driver didn't collide properly:Toyota India dealer

Airbags didn
Highlights

Among all the car buyers in India, few go for a car with airbags as an option because of the high-cost associated with it. However, what if you did buy a car with airbags which didn\'t work during a collision? Anil Nair found out recently when he met with an accident at the Ernakulam-Alleppey highway in Kerala

Among all the car buyers in India, few go for a car with airbags as an option because of the high-cost associated with it. However, what if you did buy a car with airbags which didn't work during a collision? Anil Nair found out recently when he met with an accident at the Ernakulam-Alleppey highway in Kerala. His Toyota Etios was involved in frontal collision on the highway, and yet the airbags failed to deploy. While he faced some serious injuries, the co-passenger was hospitalised for two weeks.

When Nair contacted his Toyota dealer and informed them about the case, the dealer replied "It's because you did not collide properly." Out of frustration Nair then asked, "Then how must I collide for the airbags to function properly? How can I trust this vehicle again? I hope they will train people to bang their cars right in order to ensure that the airbags are deployed." The Toyota dealer continues to defend his statement by saying that the sensors didn't work because the collision wasn't direct or 'proper'.

One must know that an airbag deploys automatically in case of a head-on collision above a certain speed, no matter if the brakes are applied or not. The probable reason why the airbags did not deploy could be because the driver and co-passenger were not wearing seat belts, but both the victims claim that they were indeed wearing seat belts since they were driving on a highway. Also, Kochi Police is considered to be very strict about traffic laws.

N Raja, Sr Vice President and Director, Sales & Marketing made an official statement towards this matter which reads as below: The Supplement Restrain System (SRS) Driver and Passenger Airbags are technically tuned for the deployment under certain conditions only. For example, SRS Driver and Passenger Airbags will deploy, if a car with a minimum speed of 20 - 30 km / hr crashes against a stable wall from front or an angle of 30 degree from left or right side. In case of side and rear collisions, the front driver and passenger SRS Airbags do not deploy.

Further, sensors are attached to the car body, which measures the impact responses and transmit them as signals to a central control unit. This unit compares the gathered data to pre-programmed information and decides whether deployment is required. If deployment criteria is met, an electrical signal is sent to the inflator unit which ignites the propellants. However, if the criteria is not met, the airbags do not deploy.

In the subject case the vehicle LH side hit another SUV [a movable object]. A large part of the impact was absorbed by the SUV. The collision did not meet the prerequisite to warrant an airbag deployment.

Our dealer tried to explain the above to the customer as well. TKM is in constant touch with the customer and are working towards addressing his grievances.

You may also be aware that for the safety of our customers, we have standardised driver and passenger airbags for Etios, Liva and Etios Cross across all grades from last month. This further ensures the enhanced safety of our customers and their families in Toyota product."

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