Airbags Fail To Deploy During Car Accident Causing Critical Injuries


Failure Analysis ExpertThis case involves a couple that suffered traumatic brain injuries during a car accident. The couple was traveling across the country on an extended road trip in a compact car. While in Colorado, the couple was involved in a head-on collision with a highway guard-rail. Upon impact, the airbags in their car did not deploy. The passenger was thrown from the car and both the driver and the passenger were left in critical condition. An expert in airbag failure analysis was sought to inspect the vehicle and opine on what might have caused the airbags not to deploy.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please briefly describe your experience examining and opining on airbag failure.

Expert Witness Response E-029609

I have been in the automotive industry testing and evaluating airbags for 23+ years. My in-depth knowledge of the design, construction, and function of airbags makes me uniquely qualified to examine airbags for failure. During any vehicle and airbag system inspection, the most important factors to consider are collision details (i.e. what was struck), the event data recorder, “black box” data, and the airbag system specifications. I have also been reviewing airbag failures as an expert witness for 4 years. I have seen several similar cases of airbag deployment and failure to deploy. As a common part of collision reconstruction, I have determined if airbag deployment was warranted.

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