In the last few months, there have been several auto recalls involving
several manufacturers who had vehicles with air bag safety issues. Most
recently there was the recall by Chrysler of 1,400 2013 Dodge Durango
sport utility vehicles. The company is concerned that some of the rear
side air bags may not work during a collision.
It appears that the wrong air bag control module may have been used during manufacture. Dealers will repair the defect.
In another small recall, Mitsubishi is recalling its 261 of its 2011 and 2012 iMiEVs in the US because there are problems between the self-diagnostic software and air bag sensors that might cause the side and frontal airbags to not deploy during a collision.
Also recalling vehicles over air bag defects is Hyundai Motor Co. The automaker is worried that some of its 2007 and 2009 Santa Fe SUVs may have a problem with their occupant classification systems that could prevent the front passenger air bag from activating during a collision. About 200,000 sport utility vehicles are affected. Meantime, it is also recalling a number of 2013 and 2012 Sonatas because they have airbags that could deploy without proper reason. Hyundai believes the problem is due to an error occurred during manufacturing.
A couple of months ago, Kia recalled 73,000 2006-2008 model Rios because fatigue cracking could impair the front passenger seat’s occupant sensor mat. This could cause the OCS to fail to detect when a child is riding in that seat, which means the air bag might not deploy in the event of a collision.
In May, General Motors recalled 4,304 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Ecos because it says that in rare instances involving very aggressive turning, the air bags might deploy.
Air Bag Defects
Air bags exist to help cushion the impact during moderate to severe collisions. They are not supposed to deploy at any other time, and if one does, it could cause serious injuries.
However, injuries can still occur during deployment–especially if the air bag or its system is defective. Air bag defect injuries and deaths can because the safety device deployed too forcefully, too slowly, or at an incorrect angle. Failure to deploy during a severe collision can also be catastrophic for the passenger, who is left with minimal protection from impact. Air bag injuries can be as minor as a slight bruise or soreness to as severe as a ruptured eyeball, blindness, eye socket injuries, bleedings to the eye, eyesight complications, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, cervical spine fractures, joint injuries, decapitation, facial trauma, fractured ribs, heart valve injuries, heart rupture, lung injuries, aortic injuries, spinal injuries, lumbar injuries, torso injuries, shoulder injuries, arm injuries, and death.
Chrysler Recalls New Dodge Durangos for Faulty Airbags, The Wall Street
Journal, August 16, 2012
Mitsubishi i-MiEV recalled for air bag safety issue, Auto Blog, August 10, 2012
Hyundai Motor recalls cars over airbag problems in U.S., Reuters, July 29, 2012
Kia Recalls 73,000 Rio Models for Air-Bag Malfunction Hazard, The New York Times, June 5, 2012
GM recalls Chevrolet Malibu Eco for air bag problems, USA Today, May 24, 2012