deployed airbag

Identifying Car Safety Risks: Airbag Deployment Malfunctions

When your car comes into collision with another vehicle or a hard surface, a series of different automatic inputs from your Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) will trigger. Your seat belt sash will automatically tighten, forcing you in place to prevent you from launching off your seat. Next, your car’s airbag module activates to cushion your body from hitting hard or sharp surfaces. Unfortunately, your airbag deployment could lead to malfunctions when it’s needed the most, putting your life at risk.

The risk of improper airbag deployment

If your car’s airbag doesn’t deploy properly, you can receive a series of injuries that can induce minor discomfort or require months of therapy. Strong, sudden impacts often lead to face or chest injuries that can involve broken bones or damaged tissue. The whiplash experienced can also lead to severe neck and back injuries that will be painful at best and permanent at worst.

In this article, we’ll share five potential causes of airbag deployment malfunctions.

Mistimed deployment

If your car’s pressure sensors aren’t working properly, your airbag module can deploy prematurely, leading to severe injuries upon impact. Although the fabric is generally soft and firm, the impact of an inflated airbag can lead to brain and head injuries.

Internal Tether failure

The fabric of your airbag module contains internal tethers that allow it to inflate, protecting your body from severe impact. If your airbag module has internal tether failure, the airbag can deploy but have low inflations to cushion your body. You may also feel suffocated if it inflates too far, making you immobile to leave after your car survives from the impact.

Manufacture defects

Car manufacturers that fail to conduct comprehensive crash tests to cut corners in the production line can lead to faulty products. These manufacturer defects put their buyers at risk of suffering severe injuries or fatalities during car collision accidents.

An infamous case of improper manufacturer practices is when airbag manufacturer Takata recalled their airbag inflators for containing ammonium nitrate. It’s a harmful chemical that can cause airbags to explode after inflation, sending flying metal shrapnel to injure the vehicle’s occupants.

Oversized airbags

Some vehicles can have airbags that are incompatible with their model. Oversized airbags can deploy appropriately when needed but become ineffective in protecting the car’s driver and passengers due to inadequate inflation. Although it can still offer protection from major physical damage, you can still suffer from facial, head, and chest injuries.

SRS malfunction

Computer malfunctions can lead to improper deployment of your car’s airbag module. Your car’s sensors may be overly sensitive, causing your airbags to deploy from sensing bumps from potholes or rough roads. On the other hand, your car can also have complete deployment failure, preventing your airbag module from deploying during car crashes.


Keeping yourself safe on the road isn’t just about observing the traffic rules and being a responsible driver. Sometimes, natural disasters, poor road conditions, and reckless drivers can lead to unavoidable accidents. Because it’s impossible to predict when a vehicular accident will occur, car owners need to double-check their SRS system’s functionality.

Checking your seat belt systems and airbag modules should be added to your priority list as a car owner. Being able to assess your car’s response to emergencies will prevent you from experiencing severe injuries. Thankfully, you don’t have to head straight to your car manufacturers’ customer helpdesk for SRS repairs and replacements.

At Safety Restore, we specialize in providing secure solutions for your car’s seat belts and airbag modules. We ensure our clients’ piece of mind that their SRS system is functioning its best to avoid the risk of severe injuries. If your vehicle needs an airbag module reset, contact us today.

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