Air bag technology has been around since the 1960’s. For years, the manufacturers lobbied Congress and President Nixon not to require air bags in vehicles. Eventually, the device was put into many vehicles. Often, the device saves lives; unfortunately, the manufacturers often design the air bags in critically defective ways.
The deployment of the air bag can be improper and defective in four main ways. One, air bags may have a tendency to deploy in a low speed, minor accident in which the protection afforded an air bag is not necessary. It is a common misconception by consumers that the air bag should deploy under all accident scenarios. This is incorrect and it is vitally important that the bag only deploy in crash scenarios where the added benefit of the air bag is necessary for occupant protection. The other side of that stone is that air bags must deploy with only enough force as necessary. If the force is too great, catastrophic injury could result. Also, the air bag must be designed so that it does not deploy to closely to the occupant. The air bag should fully inflate and allow the occupant to come to it. Serious injury, such as those to the eyes, and death can come about with this type of defect. The same effect comes when the air bag deploys too late in the accident event.
There is no doubt that air bags have saved lives and reduced injuries – when they are properly designed. However, in the presence of one of the defects outlined above, the injuries can be catastrophic and even deadly.