Airbags


#1

I have a 99 venture and on friday last week my wife t-boned another van due to the fact that the other van ran a red light. none of the airbags deployed she was doing approx. 30-35mph at impact. she didnt get hurt but plenty sore from the seatbelt. no warning’s light on dash, any input what should i do?


#2

She should thank someone for her health and life.

Airbags only deploy if the front end is damage not the side in a 99. New vehicles now have side air bags that deploy in these situations and are much safer in these types of collisions.


#3

yes she t-boned the other van my front of the 99 is wiped out


#4

i was trying to post a pic but it wont upload, but yes it is the front of the van


#5

Yes, the airbags definitely should have deployed. This assumes you actually have airbags. If you bought this vehicle as used, it is possible the airbags and the warning light had been removed before your purchase. So are you certain your vehicle is properly equipped?


#6

SteveF makes an excellent point. Unscrupulous used car dealers have been known to remove the air bags and warning lights. Also, if it was purchased used, it is possible that it was in an accident and the air bags were not replaced after the accident. Removal of the bulb in the warning light allows a seller to cover up this type of situation.

So, if you can verify that the air bags are present, you should notify NHTSA of the fact that they did not deploy in a front-end collision. This type of information could result in an investigation and a recall, so you should definitely report to NHTSA if the bags are present but did not deploy.

On the other hand, if the bags are not present, you might want to consult with an attorney regarding fraud on the part of the person or agency that sold the vehicle to you.


#7

First, glad to hear your wife is okay. This just proves the point I often make, that frontal airbags aren’t all that great. Remember, an airbag is most effective when a seatbelt is worn, so the seatbelt-related soreness would happen anyway. Case in point, your wife got into a fairly serious collision, no airbag deployment, and yet she escaped unscathed, due to vehicle construction and the fact she wore her seatbelt.

You’ve also discovered another thing I dislike about airbags - they don’t always work properly. I would have a mechanic check to see if there is an airbad present. If so, I would suggest perhaps replacing it and the sensors if you plan on having the van repaired. I would worry that the airbag that’s in there now, if any, could deploy at any time, and an inadvertent airbag deployment is much worse than an airbag that doesn’t deploy when it should.


#8

Thank you for the replies. The van was a one owner never in an accident and no previous air bag deployment, also the warning light is working for sure. Someone also told me that there has to be more than one factor involveed to deploy.


#9

After 8 years, in could be the airbags mis-fired and couldn’t deploy. My brother had a similar experience, but the air bags only dribbled out, never fully inflated.