Can You Sue a Car Manufacturer for Airbags Not Deploying?

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Driving is an integral part of modern life, providing convenience and freedom. However, accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, leaving victims with severe injuries or even death. Airbags, designed to protect occupants during collisions, are essential safety features. But what happens when these life-saving devices fail to deploy?

Can You Sue the Airbag Manufacturer If the Airbag Did Not Deploy in a ...

Can You Sue A Car Manufacturer For Airbags Not Deploying

In such cases, victims may consider legal action against the car manufacturer. This article delves into the legal landscape surrounding airbag deployment and explores the circumstances under which you may sue a car manufacturer. We’ll provide a comprehensive overview of the topic, discuss the latest trends and developments, and offer tips and expert advice for those affected by airbag failures.

Airbag Deployment: A Matter of Life and Death

Airbags are inflatable cushions that rapidly deploy during a collision, providing a protective barrier between the occupant and the vehicle’s interior. They help to absorb impact forces, reducing the risk of serious injuries, such as head trauma, spinal cord damage, and broken bones.

However, airbag failures can have devastating consequences. If an airbag does not deploy properly or at all, occupants may sustain severe injuries or even die. In 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported over 200 deaths in crashes involving airbag failures. These incidents highlight the critical importance of reliable airbag deployment and the potential for legal recourse when they fail to function properly.

Grounds for Lawsuit: Negligence and Liability

To successfully sue a car manufacturer for airbag deployment failure, plaintiffs must demonstrate negligence on the manufacturer’s part. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care, which in this context means not meeting the industry standards for airbag performance and safety.

Evidence of negligence may include:

  • Design defects: If the manufacturer designed the airbag system in a way that makes deployment failure more likely.
  • Manufacturing defects: If the airbag system was manufactured incorrectly, leading to a malfunction.
  • Failure to warn: If the manufacturer failed to adequately warn consumers about the potential for airbag failures.
  • Breach of warranty: If the manufacturer provided a warranty that promised proper airbag deployment and failed to live up to that promise.

Defenses by Car Manufacturers

Car manufacturers may raise various defenses to avoid liability for airbag deployment failures. These defenses include:

  • The accident was not severe enough to trigger airbag deployment.
  • The occupant was not wearing a seat belt, which is necessary for proper airbag operation.
  • The occupant modified the vehicle in a way that interfered with airbag deployment.
  • The airbag malfunction was caused by an outside factor, such as a crash with another vehicle.

Settlement and Compensation

If you believe you have a valid lawsuit against a car manufacturer for airbag deployment failure, it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney. An attorney can assess your case, gather evidence, and represent you in court. Settlements and compensation can vary greatly depending on the severity of the injuries, the extent of the negligence, and the willingness of the manufacturer to settle the case out of court.

Steps to Take After an Airbag Failure

In the event of an accident involving an airbag deployment failure, it is crucial to take the following steps:

  • Seek medical attention: Get immediate medical attention for any injuries.
  • Contact the police: Report the accident to the police and obtain a copy of the accident report.
  • Document the scene: Take photographs of the damage to your vehicle and any injuries you sustained.
  • Preserve the vehicle: Do not repair your vehicle until it has been inspected by an expert.
  • Contact an attorney: Consult with an experienced attorney specializing in product liability to discuss your legal options.


Suing a car manufacturer for airbag deployment failure can be a complex but necessary step for victims of accidents. By understanding the legal grounds for liability, the defenses manufacturers may raise, and the steps to take after an airbag failure, you can protect your legal rights and seek compensation for your injuries. If you have been affected by an airbag deployment failure, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance and hold the responsible parties accountable.

Are you interested in learning more about the topic of airbag deployment failures? Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

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