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Posted: 11/20/2008 6:06:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 6:23:34 AM EDT by GBinSC]
My wife plowed into a 1995 F-150 that was stopped at a light. (Women and cell phones sigh).  Witnesses said the rear end of her car, a 2000 Civic (which we bought new and has been serviced by Honda) came off the ground, as she was going between 20-30 miles per hour when she hit him.  She was wearing her seat belt.  The police officer held her head steady until EMS came, and took her to the hospital on a spine board.  Luckily, no severe damage was done to her, other than being black and blue and having whiplash.  She missed a week of work, and most of the medical costs were covered by insurance.  The other driver was fine, thank God.
When I went to the accident scene, I noticed that although the car was totaled, and suffered severe damage to the front end, the airbags did not deploy.  I spoke to the insurance adjuster and my agent and both agreed the airbags should have deployed.  They suggested that I call Honda.
Now the bull$hit begins.  I called twice thinking that I got a wrong answer the first time.  They had no interest in seeing the car, getting the police report, or my wife's health.  Both said have the insurance contact us with the particulars.  I had the adjuster and agent write letter saying that the car was totaled, in a moderate accident, and the airbags did not go off.  Yesterday during dinner, I get a phone call from Honda.  The man I spoke to said we contacted them about questions about the air bags.  He then asked if the car was totaled.  I asked if he even read the letters I had the insurance company write.  After he replied that he didn't work for the insurance company, he said the following:
The airbags should not have deployed
They would not deploy if the car was decelerating
I would not have wanted them to deploy.
I replied:
Why does Honda even have airbags then?
I hit a deer that was standing in the road as I rounded a turn. I hit the brakes, hit the deer and the air bags went off.
I suppose that all the videos that show a car being tested by being driven into a wall with crash test dummies are bogus then.
When I asked if he was an engineer, it turned nasty.  I then said that I wanted Honda to pay for the week of work my wife missed and medical costs not covered by insurance.  He said "NO" and I ended the call by saying I would get an attorney.
Am I wrong about this?  I can post pics if necessary.
Thanks in advance for your replies.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:09:32 AM EDT
If you wants to get paid then get a lawyer.

IMO airbags should have deployed.

Won't your insurance cover your wife's lost time?
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:10:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:11:38 AM EDT
She could be black and blue and have whiplash even if the airbags did deploy.  Therefore, you're going to have a hard time showing any damages.  I wouldn't waste your time suing Honda.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:13:25 AM EDT
airbags should deploy in a collision of at least 15-17 {?} mph.

Might want to find a Honda tech familiar with  their SRS systems...and a good lawyer.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:14:26 AM EDT
Disclaimer: I am not a PE but will be in a few years, I'm on an engineering safety team for a racing program and am working towards an ME degree.


The ENTIRE POINT of an airbag is for it to deploy in a sudden deceleration, such as a wreck. Given there are pressure thresholds on the sensors, but from what you say it should have blown the bags.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:16:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By eswanson:
She could be black and blue and have whiplash even if the airbags did deploy.  Therefore, you're going to have a hard time showing any damages.  I wouldn't waste your time suing Honda.


You work for Honda or something?........those bags should have deployed...and she could have been injured to a far greater extent....but got lucky.

Now..if Honda has a safety system that doesn't work..don't you think it should be brought to the attention of Honda and Honda owners?
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:19:46 AM EDT
Bags should have blown, especially in a frontal total. I'd bet the sensor connections at the front are corroded, it was quite common for the late 90s and early 00 years to have issues in several makes of vehicles.

Honda will not admit anything because of both liability issues and a possible safety recall mandate if they acknowledge a defect or problem.

At 20 to 30 MPH deployment should have happened, period.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:19:59 AM EDT
Unpossible!!!  There is no higher quality standard than a Japanese automobile!





















Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:21:56 AM EDT
Why does it matter if the air bags did or did not deploy? It's not Honda's fault your wife was not paying attention.

You are just lucky she didn't hurt anyone but herself. Then you would be the one getting sued.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:22:11 AM EDT
The airbags deploy in specific and carefully chosen circumstances.  If they just blew every time there was a front impact, people would die.  A lot.  

I saw a guy rear-end an econoline in some sort of american sedan some years back.  He couldn't have been doing 10mph.  Airbags deployed.  Knocked the driver out and broke his nose.  Turned a minor fender bender into a major medical incident, and likely a totaled car.  I'm no expert on the sensors and forces involved, but my inexpert guess is that they shouldn't have deployed in that incident.

Best wishes for your wife, I hope she heals up fast.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:22:18 AM EDT
Photos

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:22:46 AM EDT
I would be thankful that your wife is alive, that your wife didn't kill anyone, and life continues as normal.  Insurance should cover all losses.  You are wasting your time with Honda.  You won't win.

I would make my wife take public transportation if she caused an accident because of her damn cell phone.  I wonder how she would feel if she had killed someone.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:22:48 AM EDT
Get a lawyer NOW!

I was in a similar situation last March. A 90 year old man (yes, born in 1918!) flew out of the parking lot at Sam's Wholesale Club directly into my lane of travel, causing me to broadside his car while I was going 40 MPH. The wreck (notice that I did not use the word "accident"?) TOTALLED BOTH VEHICLES and my airbag did NOT deploy either...That idiot had no business WALKING to the car unassisted, much less DRIVING a vehicle in public traffic. He was cited for "Failure to Stop From A Private Drive". I was listed on the accident report as "No Improper Action".

...Long story short: Now, the other guy's insurance is trying to stiff me on my medical bills. They are saying, "...but your airbag didn't deploy, so it must not have been THAT bad of an accident..." EXCUSE ME? Your insured totalled my FORD F-150 PICKUP!!! Your driver bent the BOX-FRAME to an "L" shape like a HOCKEY STICK!!!

I had to get a lawyer too, and I should have done it sooner!
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:25:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 6:32:40 AM EDT by Green_Canoe]
On a more serious note.  I had an accident Jan. 2 2008.  I had never hit the brakes as hard as I did prior to impact.  The airbags on my Chrysler deployed as did the side impact bags of the lady that turned in front of me.  I'd estimate my impact was at about 25 mph +/- and I didn't come to a complete stop after impact but continued at about 5 mph after I punted her off the road.  I'm suprised yours didn't deploy based on what you say.

ETA:  Now looking at the pics I'm very suprised.  Here's the pics of my totaled car with airbags deployed:



Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:26:37 AM EDT
I always thought that the sensors were behind the bumper and it sounds like the Honda bumper went below the truck bumper.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:29:02 AM EDT
There are typically 3-axis accelerometers that trigger bag deployment. What looks like what happened in this case is your wife was on the brakes, the car nosedived and went under the rear of the truck. Not as many G's as if she had hit bumper to bumper plus a vertical component that can tell the sensor something else is going on. The accident looks worse than it probably was due to the hood being peeled back and lack of frame involvement in her car. No windshield impact either.

Nobody can say for certain without a detailed analysis, but non-deployment in this particular case does not surprise me. YMMV
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:29:22 AM EDT
You can see the sensor "box" in the pics and with that much damage, they should have deployed.

By any chance was the F150 she hit lifted?
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:30:54 AM EDT
Airbags deploy when the sensors receive a direct hit ( more or less) and they get whatever signal they get to deploy. They don't just automatically go off in every impact. As others have said, be happy she is OK.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:30:58 AM EDT
Nope, not lifted.  Just a nice old guy driving an old truck.   Thank God he was ok.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:31:52 AM EDT


Originally Posted By gwitness:



Originally Posted By eswanson:

She could be black and blue and have whiplash even if the airbags did deploy.  Therefore, you're going to have a hard time showing any damages.  I wouldn't waste your time suing Honda.




You work for Honda or something?........those bags should have deployed...and she could have been injured to a far greater extent....but got lucky.



Could have been doesn't matter.  If you want to win in court you have to show damages.  Yes the airbags should have deployed but no system is perfect.  Sure, bring it to Honda's attention, but suing for damages when there was are little or no damages to show is a little tricky.



When I worked for Honda/Acura (and it's been over 10 years since I left) airbags deployed using a mechanical system, a sensor that was like a New Years Eve noisemaker.  A thin, rolled up sheet of spring metal with a weight in the center.  When sudden decel happened, it unrolled and hit a contact on the other end.  That signaled the computer of sudden decel and if other conditions were met, the bags deployed.  I've seen the bags deploy for sometehing as simple as hitting a curb or driving into a deep pothole.  So yes, assuming the system was working properly, they should have deployed.  If any part of the system was ever worked on by a non factory tech, chances are good they didn't reassemble it correctly.  Of course the SRS light should have come on, but I've seen more than one broken SRS system with the wire to the light cut because an unscrupulous tech didn't want to pay for what he'd damaged.





 
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:34:29 AM EDT
Did you buy the car used? If so the Airbags may have been deployed or taken out by the previous owner.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:36:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Matt_The_Hokie:
Did you buy the car used? If so the Airbags may have been deployed or taken out by the previous owner.


Nope, bought new, serviced by Honda.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:38:00 AM EDT
Based on the pics, should of definitely deployed.  I'll bet if you emailed the pics and a letter to someone in Honda corporate, you will be getting some asskissing.  Your request would be alot cheaper than going to court.  Of course, you'd probably have to sign some disclaimers saying you won't sue them, case closed, no mention of it after the fact, etc etc.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:38:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Matt_The_Hokie:
Did you buy the car used? If so the Airbags may have been deployed or taken out by the previous owner.


This is what I'm wondering. Check to see if the bags were replaced with 2x4s. It's happened. One even had nails in it.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:39:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Green_Canoe:
On a more serious note.  I had an accident Jan. 2 2008.  I had never hit the brakes as hard as I did prior to impact.  The airbags on my Chrysler deployed as did the side impact bags of the lady that turned in front of me.  I'd estimate my impact was at about 25 mph +/- and I didn't come to a complete stop after impact but continued at about 5 mph after I punted her off the road.  I'm suprised yours didn't deploy based on what you say.

ETA:  Now looking at the pics I'm very suprised.  Here's the pics of my totaled car with airbags deployed:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v723/green_c/IMG_0245.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v723/green_c/IMG_0251.jpg


Your car hit something with the bumper - less room for defoprmation = higher G's

The car that OP's wife was driving dissipated energy by pushing everything back above the bumper. That means lower G's and less chance of deploying the bags. Also note no star on the windshield from hitting it (assuming driver was belted) - another sign of less severe impact.

Figure this way - driver sees truck, slams on brakes and begins to decelerate. Grille and hood of car impact rear of (higher) bumper on F150, slowing the car further. Bumper of Honda finally impacts rear tires of truck, and tires are compliant, dissipating further energy in a controlled manner and finally bringing the car to a stop. All conjecture of course, but could keep the deceleration below the trigger threshold for deployment.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:40:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 6:42:42 AM EDT by Another-Bill]
Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
The airbags deploy in specific and carefully chosen circumstances.  If they just blew every time there was a front impact, people would die.  A lot.  

I saw a guy rear-end an econoline in some sort of american sedan some years back.  He couldn't have been doing 10mph.  Airbags deployed.  Knocked the driver out and broke his nose.  Turned a minor fender bender into a major medical incident, and likely a totaled car.  I'm no expert on the sensors and forces involved, but my inexpert guess is that they shouldn't have deployed in that incident.

Best wishes for your wife, I hope she heals up fast.


That happened to my father years back in some Chrysler 5th Ave (not a candy bar).
Rear ended someone at a stop sign, hardly any damage to either cars but the air bag knocked the shit out of him.

Fear the bag.



Bill
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:42:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By gunham:
I always thought that the sensors were behind the bumper and it sounds like the Honda bumper went below the truck bumper.


This right here.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:47:48 AM EDT
Is there a chance that there is data in the car's computer showing the deceleration forces at impact?  

Glad your wife and the other driver are OK, that's all that really matters.  The rest of this is just an inconvenience.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:49:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 6:50:44 AM EDT by ARLady]
Originally Posted By Merrell:
Originally Posted By Green_Canoe:
On a more serious note.  I had an accident Jan. 2 2008.  I had never hit the brakes as hard as I did prior to impact.  The airbags on my Chrysler deployed as did the side impact bags of the lady that turned in front of me.  I'd estimate my impact was at about 25 mph +/- and I didn't come to a complete stop after impact but continued at about 5 mph after I punted her off the road.  I'm suprised yours didn't deploy based on what you say.

ETA:  Now looking at the pics I'm very suprised.  Here's the pics of my totaled car with airbags deployed:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v723/green_c/IMG_0245.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v723/green_c/IMG_0251.jpg


Your car hit something with the bumper - less room for defoprmation = higher G's

The car that OP's wife was driving dissipated energy by pushing everything back above the bumper. That means lower G's and less chance of deploying the bags. Also note no star on the windshield from hitting it (assuming driver was belted) - another sign of less severe impact.

Figure this way - driver sees truck, slams on brakes and begins to decelerate. Grille and hood of car impact rear of (higher) bumper on F150, slowing the car further. Bumper of Honda finally impacts rear tires of truck, and tires are compliant, dissipating further energy in a controlled manner and finally bringing the car to a stop. All conjecture of course, but could keep the deceleration below the trigger threshold for deployment.



If that's the case, and I'm not making comment on the OP's situation here, then isn't that necessarily a design flaw in the SRS of any/all cars that would fail to deploy under this circumstance?

A higher speed collision? Some dumbass not wearing a belt?

Lots of vehicles on the road that sit higher than the majority of the road pucks' bumpers.  What's the point of SRS if they aren't gonna work in a collision unless the bumper gets whacked.


I'm just saying.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:50:14 AM EDT
Oh boy, lots of info in this post. I will add my two cents worth. Having wrecked vehicles with airbags in which they did not go off and having witnessed dozens of accidents (former EMT), it is plausible that your airbag sensor was not hit hard enough to trigger the bags. Some sensors (not sure about Honda) are in the front bumper area. Since your wife hit a full size truck it is possible that her bumper slid under the bumper of the truck, the result would be horrific damage to the hood and engine compartment without triggering the airbags. Pics for Arfcom would help confirm this. I have seen this happen before.

If the bumper of both vehicles hit squarely than I would expect the airbag to be defective.

I can not imagine suing over this, the seat belts worked, the crumple zones worked, and your wife is going to be OK (unless you are suing because you wanted a different outcome). Count your blessings and confiscate your wife’s cell phone. Those things cause more accidents than you would believe!
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:50:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 6:52:09 AM EDT by Silence]
We should remove airbags and add a spike to the middle of the steering wheel...

 
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:51:08 AM EDT
Glad to hear that she is OK..

Now, I'd say the crumple zones worked as they should have, and I'm a bit surprised that the bags didn't deploy...  I'm even more sureprised that the Honda folks aren't more interested in finding out about it....  Liability  or no liability...


Call the regional Mgr and let him know...  Local dealership could care less, unless they think your coming over to buy...


73

Semper Fi
Ed
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:52:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By vaughn4380:
Oh boy, lots of info in this post. I will add my two cents worth. Having wrecked vehicles with airbags in which they did not go off and having witnessed dozens of accidents (former EMT), it is plausible that your airbag sensor was not hit hard enough to trigger the bags. Some sensors (not sure about Honda) are in the front bumper area. Since your wife hit a full size truck it is possible that her bumper slid under the bumper of the truck, the result would be horrific damage to the hood and engine compartment without triggering the airbags. Pics for Arfcom would help confirm this. I have seen this happen before.

If the bumper of both vehicles hit squarely than I would expect the airbag to be defective.

I can not imagine suing over this, the seat belts worked, the crumple zones worked, and your wife is going to be OK (unless you are suing because you wanted a different outcome). Count your blessings and confiscate your wife’s cell phone. Those things cause more accidents than you would believe!



Didn't read through the entire thread, did ya?  
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:52:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 6:58:48 AM EDT by Kharn]
First generator airbags would deploy whenever a metal ball detached from an electromagnet, supposed to measure deceleration in a crash but could be triggered by a bad pothole, etc.  Current generation ones will only deploy if a very specific set of circumstances occur and they would benefit the occupant's chances of survival.

Kharn
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:54:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By gunham:
I always thought that the sensors were behind the bumper and it sounds like the Honda bumper went below the truck bumper.


That was my first thought after seeing the photos. The POI was well above the bumper or any frame material, so the deceleration would have been somewhat "buffered" compared to a direct bumper-to-bumper collision.

Should they have been calibrated to deploy in such an accident? Maybe, but airbags are just an additional safety measure that can't possibly deploy properly in every single situation. There's no way to instantaneously and accurately determine the nature of a crash, only a heuristic to go by that tells the computer there *probably* is reason to deploy.

Get a lawyer and see what they say, but I'm of the opinion that the combination of low car/high truck was what caused the airbags to not deploy. Make the insurance pay for the medical-related problems and expenses - that's what you pay them all those years for.

/twocents
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:55:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ARLady:



If that's the case, and I'm not making comment on the OP's situation here, then isn't that necessarily a design flaw in the SRS of any/all cars that would fail to deploy under this circumstance?

A higher speed collision? Some dumbass not wearing a belt?

Lots of vehicles on the road that sit higher than the majority of the road pucks' bumpers.  What's the point of SRS if they aren't gonna work in a collision unless the bumper gets whacked.


I'm just saying.


Because cars are not and can not be designed as 100% safe, they can reduce risks in an accident but not eliminate them. They can not compensate for a poor or distracted driver.

The engineers put the airbag sensors where they believe they will do the most good. They won't be right 100% of the time.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:56:02 AM EDT
You're completely in the wrong.  Honda didn't cause your wife to wreck her car.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:56:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By eswanson:
She could be black and blue and have whiplash even if the airbags did deploy.  Therefore, you're going to have a hard time showing any damages.  I wouldn't waste your time suing Honda.


I have looked at these cases before and while some attorneys might take them we won't for several reasons.

1.)  The decision to fire or not to fire the airbag is complex and takes into account many variables.  Just because the airbag didn't fire doesn't mean that the system was defective.  The determination if the car was defective can usually be made from the vehicles event data recorder.  If you are curious enough to put some money up I can put you in touch with an engineer who can download the data and evaluate it in about a day.  However, you are looking at about $1,500 before you even know if you "might" have a case.  

2.)  Causation is usually a huge pain in the ass.  It would have to be proven that the defect was the proximate cause of the injuries.   In your wife's case it would have to be proven that if the airbags had gone off she would not have sustained the injuries that she did.  What you get is this messy question of fact that a jury would have to decide what injuries she would have sustained in a 30 mph collision with and without an airbag.  That is if you even survive the motion for summary judgment.

3.)  Unless their is serious disability or death there is not enough money involved for most attorneys to litigate a case against an automotive manufacturer.  Auto manufacturers are in a great position to kill us with discovery and litigation related expenses.  Honda seems to be even more obstinate then most.  Also these cases require some specialized experts and they are never cheap.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:57:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EdN:
Glad to hear that she is OK..

Now, I'd say the crumple zones worked as they should have, and I'm a bit surprised that the bags didn't deploy...  I'm even more sureprised that the Honda folks aren't more interested in finding out about it....  Liability  or no liability...


Call the regional Mgr and let him know...  Local dealership could care less, unless they think your coming over to buy...


73

Semper Fi
Ed


The dealings that I had were with Honda USA in California.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:57:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 6:58:28 AM EDT by vaughn4380]
Originally Posted By ARLady:
Originally Posted By vaughn4380:
Oh boy, lots of info in this post. I will add my two cents worth. Having wrecked vehicles with airbags in which they did not go off and having witnessed dozens of accidents (former EMT), it is plausible that your airbag sensor was not hit hard enough to trigger the bags. Some sensors (not sure about Honda) are in the front bumper area. Since your wife hit a full size truck it is possible that her bumper slid under the bumper of the truck, the result would be horrific damage to the hood and engine compartment without triggering the airbags. Pics for Arfcom would help confirm this. I have seen this happen before.

If the bumper of both vehicles hit squarely than I would expect the airbag to be defective.

I can not imagine suing over this, the seat belts worked, the crumple zones worked, and your wife is going to be OK (unless you are suing because you wanted a different outcome). Count your blessings and confiscate your wife’s cell phone. Those things cause more accidents than you would believe!



Didn't read through the entire thread, did ya?  


Nope, started typing before they were posted, then got distracted at work, then hit post

After looking at the pics, I stand by what I said, the sensor was probably not hit and went under the rear bumper of the truck.

ETA: I have seen this exact same thing in other accidents with various manufacturers.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:58:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By gwitness:
Originally Posted By eswanson:
She could be black and blue and have whiplash even if the airbags did deploy.  Therefore, you're going to have a hard time showing any damages.  I wouldn't waste your time suing Honda.


You work for Honda or something?........those bags should have deployed...and she could have been injured to a far greater extent....but got lucky.

Now..if Honda has a safety system that doesn't work..don't you think it should be brought to the attention of Honda and Honda owners?


No, I don't work for Honda, I'm a lawyer.  Are you?

As someone else further down the thread mentioned, the fact that they should've gone off is irrelevant when it comes to a lawsuit - the issue is whether the guy's wife will be able to prove to a preponderance of the evidence that BUT FOR the fact that the airbags didn't deploy, her injuries wouldn't have been as serious.  As it is, she's got soft tissue injuries only, which one would expect whether the airbags deployed or not.  Therefore, she's going to have a real hard time proving that the lack of airbags caused any injuries above and beyond those caused by her own negligence.  

Should this be brought to Honda's attention?  Sure it should.  Sounds like it already has been.

Man, I love this place.  Everyone loves to trash lawyers, and when someone gets into an accident, it's "GET A LAWYER NOW!!!".

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:58:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By pale_pony:
Get a lawyer NOW!

I was in a similar situation last March. A 90 year old man (yes, born in 1918!) flew out of the parking lot at Sam's Wholesale Club directly into my lane of travel, causing me to broadside his car while I was going 40 MPH. The wreck (notice that I did not use the word "accident"?) TOTALLED BOTH VEHICLES and my airbag did NOT deploy either...That idiot had no business WALKING to the car unassisted, much less DRIVING a vehicle in public traffic. He was cited for "Failure to Stop From A Private Drive". I was listed on the accident report as "No Improper Action".

...Long story short: Now, the other guy's insurance is trying to stiff me on my medical bills. They are saying, "...but your airbag didn't deploy, so it must not have been THAT bad of an accident..." EXCUSE ME? Your insured totalled my FORD F-150 PICKUP!!! Your driver bent the BOX-FRAME to an "L" shape like a HOCKEY STICK!!!

I had to get a lawyer too, and I should have done it sooner!




You've got it completely backwards.  You didn't cause your accident.  This guy's wife caused HER accident.  

The airbags deploying or not is NOT the issue.  Her driving skills are the problem here.

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:59:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By eswanson:
Originally Posted By gwitness:
Originally Posted By eswanson:
She could be black and blue and have whiplash even if the airbags did deploy.  Therefore, you're going to have a hard time showing any damages.  I wouldn't waste your time suing Honda.


You work for Honda or something?........those bags should have deployed...and she could have been injured to a far greater extent....but got lucky.

Now..if Honda has a safety system that doesn't work..don't you think it should be brought to the attention of Honda and Honda owners?


No, I don't work for Honda, I'm a lawyer.  Are you?

As someone else further down the thread mentioned, the fact that they should've gone off is irrelevant when it comes to a lawsuit - the issue is whether the guy's wife will be able to prove to a preponderance of the evidence that BUT FOR the fact that the airbags didn't deploy, her injuries wouldn't have been as serious.  As it is, she's got soft tissue injuries only, which one would expect whether the airbags deployed or not.  Therefore, she's going to have a real hard time proving that the lack of airbags caused any injuries above and beyond those caused by her own negligence.  

Should this be brought to Honda's attention?  Sure it should.  Sounds like it already has been.

Man, I love this place.  Everyone loves to trash lawyers, and when someone gets into an accident, it's "GET A LAWYER NOW!!!".



Hell, I am the resident ambulance chaser and I agree 100% with you.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:00:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ARLady:
Originally Posted By Merrell:
Originally Posted By Green_Canoe:
On a more serious note.  I had an accident Jan. 2 2008.  I had never hit the brakes as hard as I did prior to impact.  The airbags on my Chrysler deployed as did the side impact bags of the lady that turned in front of me.  I'd estimate my impact was at about 25 mph +/- and I didn't come to a complete stop after impact but continued at about 5 mph after I punted her off the road.  I'm suprised yours didn't deploy based on what you say.

ETA:  Now looking at the pics I'm very suprised.  Here's the pics of my totaled car with airbags deployed:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v723/green_c/IMG_0245.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v723/green_c/IMG_0251.jpg


Your car hit something with the bumper - less room for defoprmation = higher G's

The car that OP's wife was driving dissipated energy by pushing everything back above the bumper. That means lower G's and less chance of deploying the bags. Also note no star on the windshield from hitting it (assuming driver was belted) - another sign of less severe impact.

Figure this way - driver sees truck, slams on brakes and begins to decelerate. Grille and hood of car impact rear of (higher) bumper on F150, slowing the car further. Bumper of Honda finally impacts rear tires of truck, and tires are compliant, dissipating further energy in a controlled manner and finally bringing the car to a stop. All conjecture of course, but could keep the deceleration below the trigger threshold for deployment.



If that's the case, and I'm not making comment on the OP's situation here, then isn't that necessarily a design flaw in the SRS of any/all cars that would fail to deploy under this circumstance?

A higher speed collision? Some dumbass not wearing a belt?

Lots of vehicles on the road that sit higher than the majority of the road pucks' bumpers.  What's the point of SRS if they aren't gonna work in a collision unless the bumper gets whacked.


I'm just saying.


If you design an SRS system to deploy under any possible impact scenario, I suspect they would be going off far more than needed. Unintended deployment can and has caused injuries in the past. Considering the litigious nature of this country, manufacturers need to balance factors that will trigger the system carefully.

I believe there are standards regarding bumper height, but people often modify vehicles without regard to safety considerations.

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:01:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Merrell:
There are typically 3-axis accelerometers that trigger bag deployment. What looks like what happened in this case is your wife was on the brakes, the car nosedived and went under the rear of the truck. Not as many G's as if she had hit bumper to bumper plus a vertical component that can tell the sensor something else is going on. The accident looks worse than it probably was due to the hood being peeled back and lack of frame involvement in her car. No windshield impact either.

Nobody can say for certain without a detailed analysis, but non-deployment in this particular case does not surprise me. YMMV


There's a lot a horseshit being strewn in this thread.  The above is the most accurate statement so far.  I see or am involved in over 150 wrecks per month.  It's not suprising that the bags did not go off.

Airbags do not deploy when the sensor is "damaged". The sensors measure sudden deceleration.  Most cars that have forward sensors have a back up sensor in the middle of the car.  Both have to "sense" deceleration for the bags to deploy.  Many new cars do not have sensors in the front and only employ the sensor in the middle of the car.

Airbag deployment is a nasty thing.  The best example I've heard is this from a I-CAR instructor.   "Airbag is made of kevlar and deploys at approx 200 mph.   Would you hold a bullet proof vest in front of your face and let me hit you with a baseball bat?"

OP.  Sorry your wife was in an accident.  I truly hope everything works out well for her.  That being said if I had a dollar for every time someone "thought" the airbag should have "gone off" I'd be a wealthy man.  

J  

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:08:03 AM EDT
Airbags are not fluffy pillows.

It's a fucking explosion that routinely breaks limbs and faces.

If your wife walked away with whiplash and bruises she's better off without the airbags deploying.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:08:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 7:12:39 AM EDT by Disintegr8or]
Instead of focusing on the real problem, you people are saying sue Honda?

Maybe if the guys wife wasn't yacking on the F'ing cell phone about nonsense, she would not have plowed her car into the ass end of a stopped full size truck.  Ever think of that?  

Whatever happened to personal responsibility in this Country?  Damn.

A certain chain of events have to happen for airbags to deploy, and obviously her Honda didn't didn't achieve that set of events, so they didn't go off.

Looks to me like the bumper bent downward, instead of being crushed rearward, that is why the sensors didn't act there.

Airbags shouldn't replace paying attention while driving.

OP, write this off as a lesson learned.  If your wife doesn't want to get injured, and miss a week of work, tell her to hang up the damn phone while driving.  It is people like you with frivolous BS lawsuits that are ruining this Country.  Man up!



Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:10:20 AM EDT
I work in the autobody industry. What little I've learned about airbags is in order to deploy the sensor has to be hit. The location on different makes of cars varies. If it is on the inside of the frame rail it more than likely didn't get hit. From the photos it looks like a high hit due to the size difference of the two vehicles. As far as I know decellration does not have any thing to do with it. Also we had a Subaru Outback come through our shop with much the same damage but no airbag deployment. The sensor was clocked pretty good. Upon inspection it was found at the moment of impact the hit was just off center enough that it ripped the wire out before actual impact on the sensor. That was on a first generation bag.
Bottom line don't trust them!
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:13:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By gunham:
I always thought that the sensors were behind the bumper and it sounds like the Honda bumper went below the truck bumper.


thats kinda what i figured too
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:14:20 AM EDT
Had a guy in my platoon get 500k from Honda for the same thing happening....I think it was a 95 or 96 accord.  Happend in 96.
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