Defective Airbag Deployment and Nondeployment Cases

When is an airbag supposed to go off?

Cars, trucks and SUVs equipped with airbags have sensors installed on various parts of the vehicle. These sensors are designed to only deploy airbags when the Delta V, or force, is great enough to trigger the sensor. Vehicles are designed to withstand a small amount of force without deployment. This is normal as airbags can present more danger to an occupant than they help in these types of impacts. However, once the force of the impact reaches a predetermined force level, airbag sensors in the vehicle are designed to trigger the mechanism that sets off the airbag. In many instances, airbags do not deploy for one reason or another when a force of sufficient magnitude is applied to the sensor. In these cases, we hire mechanical engineers to investigate the crash, determine if the force load was strong enough to trigger the sensor and then determine why the airbag did not deploy. Many times, the non-deployment is due to a defect in the sensor or even a design defect in the vehicle’s sensor.

Defective Airbag Claims

A  product liability lawyer may file an airbag defect lawsuit against an automobile manufacturer if it was negligent in designing the airbag system or if there was a manufacture of the airbag system. In addition, a lawsuit may be filed against the manufacturer for failure to warn of dangers airbags pose to small children and other occupants. Airbags were never designed for small children, yet many manufacturers failed to tell mothers and fathers of this fact. Unfortunately, sometimes sensors are defective and can cause unintentional airbag deployment. If you have never experienced an airbag deploy, it is much like getting hit in the face by Mike Tyson. Considering this, you can readily imagine trying to control a vehicle after such an event. If an airbag goes off when it is not supposed to, a car crash is imminent.

Do I have a product defect case if my car’s airbag went off when it shouldn’t have?

Maybe. Depending upon the severity of your injuries, the vehicle should be evaluated for a faulty sensor.

Do I have a case if the airbag didn’t go off and it should have? 

Same answer as above. This will need to be addressed during the investigation of your case.

How do I know if my airbag sensor was defective?

You won’t. That is for your lawyer to figure out, through his or her investigation. Often, an expert will need to be retained to determine this.

We handle unintentional airbag deployment cases

E. Ryan Bradley has investigated and worked on product liability cases where an airbag defect caused the vehicle’s airbags to not deploy when they should have. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured where the airbag did not deploy or deployed when it should not have, you may have a case against the car manufacturer for an airbag defect. Please call our injury lawyers at and speak to a product liability lawyer today about your case for free.

February 20th, 2014 by Ryan E. Bradley

Ryan Bradley is a trial lawyer and owner of The Bradley Law Firm. He specializes in catastrophic personal injury ad wrongful death cases.

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St. Louis Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information offered herein by The Bradley Law Firm, is not formal legal advice, nor is it the formation of an attorney client relationship. In order for our firm to be considered your attorney there must be a signed agreement between the client and the firm. Any results set forth herein are based solely upon the circumstances of that particular case and offer no promise or guarantee upon the outcome of any other case. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation. This site is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Missouri or Illinois. The Bradley Law Firm may co-counsel or associate with other law firms around the country at its discretion from initial intake through litigation when it deems appropriate.

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