CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Side Curtain airbags didnt deploy on rollover

You can read the posts and the links in this thread and there is not much to add. Basically who knows what forces were in play at the time. Just be glad of the result of no serious injuries. My question would be the condition of the tires. The manufacture is not going to make any kind of a reply just because of liability issues.

1 Like

“all walked away”

That means that the safety devices in the car worked as designed to minimize the injury to the occupants. All the air bags did not need to deploy to protect the occupants. The sensors and algorithms behind the air bags are pretty elegant these days. Write a nice letter to the car manufacturer thanking them for making a car that protected your daughter. Go to your house of worship and give thanks.

From a Toyota owners manual “The SRS side and curtain shield airbags do not generally inflate if the vehicle is involved in a rear collision, if it rolls over, …” Check the owners manual of the car for air bag information, if the car is new enough you will have pages of discussions of when the bags deploy and when they do not.

Only an expert can determine why all the air bags did not deploy, but my guess would be the first impact during the roll was strong enough to trip the bag, the car was slowing down with each roll and the force of the next rolls was less than the threshold to trip the other bags.

Bottom line is the folks walked away.

3 Likes

They were good, they maybe had 25k miles on them and had plenty of tread, min 2/3 remaining… the downburst was just a wall of water like a waterfall as it was explained to me.
I bet they won’t either, but worth the asking. I have filed a report with NHTSA to see what they say, if anything. Thx

LOL, the manual is with the car… now with the insurance company in california, so I will never see that '09 manual again… and living in texas, I have no access to them. I am just curious as to why one side curtain deploys and the other doesn’t as I don’t know the science.
I was also quite amazed that the roof did not cave in …and apparently the side glass did not break until hauled out of the ravine/median by the HD wrecker. The altima in this case was extremely ‘roll worthy’, putting up with all those ‘forces’ contrary to normal use. Yes the construction in this case should be congratulated.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/ratings-info/roof-strength-test


check out page 1-54 1-55

The only thing I’ll add is that roads become very greasy after a while and the first rain after a dry period produces a very slick surface. Its we’re all careful of in the spring in Minnesota. So it may not have been hydro planing but could have been a very slick greasy surface until the water washes it away.

+1 and then some. I was driving back to the hotel on a flat, straight road in LA several years ago. The light went red in front of me, I touched the brakes, and started skidding. That was crazy. A quick sun shower and the roads are covered with grease.