Toyota Highlander Airbags Didn't Deploy

Thanks barky.

Who are you? LOL… kidding

Changes all the time, but no matter where I go, there I am!


This is the danger of hatchback vehicles for anyone sitting in the rear seats. It’s actually much worse since hatch backs aren’t higher riding SUVs so getting rear ended at 40 MPH by a slightly above normal height vehicle can mean the end for the people in the back. If a hatchback gets rear ended by a truck or SUV I’d imagine it can be fatal as low as 30 MPH or even less if hit at once side. Almost all vehicles are operated without people in the back which is why this issue isn’t addressed much.

I was responding to the original thread creator who said he was hit at 70 MPH and his airbag light came on but no airbags deployed. He’s the one who is potentially driving a vehicle with non working airbags now. More likely you were hit at 70 MPH and he was hit at 40.

Frdgrl829_178890 ,
Was the vehicle you were pushed in to moving to the right or left? If to the left then you may have been pushed away from your seat belt which then allowed you to go too far forward. It would appear that the second collision was at least initially more of a side impact crash than forward.

Oh I’m discussing it with them too I just wanted some other opinions. I also have an appt with a lawyer thursday where I will bring it up. And yes I was wearing my seat belt

Well I’m under the assumption that he must have been under the influence and cops said he didn’t have a license but the car was actually his. Surprising because I immediately thought it was likely stolen too

The car I hit was moving from the left to the right. And it was the front corner that hit

It probably under rode your rear end and pushed your back bumper up rather than just smashing it in. The front of his car then hit your axle and pushed that in. Is your back a lot higher up now?

The tailgate is above the bumper.

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And 5 pennies can give you a nickel. What the point?

Since you obviously know what happened, please clarify the airbag situation, oh great one.


That’s the point. Your explanation ignores the facts, @TheWonderful90s


The 2021 Highlander crash seems like a more of a side impact crash and the side airbags functioned properly. The seat belt would have prevented the driver from contacting the area in front without the front airbags deploying, unless the seat was moved almost all the way forward. It’s important to keep the seat moved as far back as practical for safety reasons. I suspect that the driver was dislodged from the severe rear end crash and had moved forward close to the steering wheel, possibly partially coming out of the seat belt, or moving forward with the seat belt still in position slowly enough to not cause it to latch. It may actually be a good thing that the airbag didn’t deploy if the driver was already up against the steering wheel.

No that is consistent with the facts. If the top of the tailgate stays in position, but the bottom moves 2 feet forward, it’s going to be quite a bit higher up than properly closed position.

The problem here is not just that the rear structure of the Highlander is weak, but the bumper height mismatch. It may only smash in 1 foot before it gets pushed up and out of the way by the lower riding vehicle in back and that vehicle then smashes in to the rear axle. The rear pillar of a station wagon like vehicle tends to pull the bumper area up a little in a rear end crash too.

It’s bad because instead of having the intrusion low down in the bottom of the seat area, the rear passengers in the middle row seats end up getting hit by rear intruding structure mid way up the seats and close to their heads, especially if their seats backs collapse backward. The rear most seats may get pushed up and smashed in to the roof or the vehicle.

@TheWonderful90s Has it ever occurred to you to stop guessing ? You have posted so much Malarky that I doubt if anyone will ever take you seriously.


Which has nothing to do with your prior explanation, that the bumper moved ‘up rather than just smashing it in.’


I for one will never take him seriously.


You have no air bags between you and the rear of the car so any airbags that deployed in the rear end crash would only have added to your injuries. Airbags are a violent explosive device, if they had gone off in the frontal collision, your injuries would have likely been worse.

They are intended to save lives, not prevent bumps and bruises.

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This discussion raises an interesting question.

Front airbags are triggered to deploy at a certain rate of deceleration, which is what happens in a crash.

However, when a vehicle is hit from the rear, then it’s subject to a high rate of acceleration.

Are front airbags also designed to deploy when the vehicle is subjected to a high rate of acceleration?

Air bags are not designed to deploy on acceleration. When hit squarely from the rear the car goes forward and your head/body stays still. The effect is your head snaps back and hits the head rest / restraint. The restraint is soft enough, your head does not have time to move and get a lot of momentum before it makes contact. Your body is already in contact with the seat. It can still hurt like the dickens.

If your car is sitting still and gets hit head on, the air bags will deploy, the car is accelerating but in a negative direction to the sensors.

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Thanks Steve.
That was my understanding.

If that is true, then it should address why Frdgrl829_178890’s front airbags didn’t deploy when their car was rear ended.