Airbags Didn’t Deploy in Accident? Your Next Steps

Airbag Deployment Lawsuit - Isaacs and Isaacs

My Airbag Didn’t Deploy in My Car. Am I Eligible for Product Liability?

There’s no such thing as a “good” car accident, but there is always a best-case scenario. That scenario being, of course, the airbags deployed, and no one was injured. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 50,457 lives were saved due to frontal airbags, between the years of 1987 and 2017.1 While airbags have been associated with minor injuries, such as abrasions, contusions and lacerations, their ability to reduce morbidity in an accident is indisputable. But who is responsible if your airbag fails to deploy?

Step One: Identify If Your Injury Was A Direct Result Of The Air Bag

When an airbag doesn’t deploy, the driver or passenger of a vehicle is in serious danger. Airbags prevent injuries such as:
Airbag Deployment Lawyer - Isaacs and Isaacs

  • Whiplash
  • Skull fractures
  • Brain bleeding
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractured ribs

A licensed physician will tell you if you were injured as a result of the airbag malfunction. If your physician determines that your injuries were a result of your malfunctioning airbag, you may have cause to consult with an attorney.

Step Two: Identify Why The Airbag Didn’t Deploy

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), your vehicle’s frontal airbags should deploy in a moderate to severe crash. So, while some associate airbags with every accident, there are several reasons for an airbag not to deploy.

  • You Weren’t Driving Fast Enough: In order to reach airbag deployment speed for frontal airbags, you typically must be driving faster than 8-14 MPH.2
  • An Angled Impact: Some angled impacts, or rear impacts, do not set off an airbag.
  • Bumps and Potholes: Airbags are not designed to deploy for undercarriage impacts, such as potholes or other bumps in the road.

However, if your airbag is improperly manufactured, the reason your airbag did not deploy could have something to do with the sensors or electrical parts. The following are some mechanical reasons your airbag may have failed to deploy:

  • Air bag Sensors: An airbag sensor is usually placed at the known impact zone of a vehicle. If your car experienced a moderate to severe impact and the airbag did not deploy, it’s possible that your sensors are damaged or faulty.
  • Wiring: The airbag wiring communicates the impact to your airbag. However, your car experiences all sorts of damage during an accident. It’s possible that your airbag’s wiring was damaged or severed during the impact.
  • Electrical Parts: If an airbag’s electrical system is installed improperly, or consists of faulty parts, your airbag may not deploy.

Step Three: Keep Your Records

Like all accidents, it’s important to gather all of the available information in order to strengthen your case. The details of your accident, including the speed at which you were traveling, will contribute to your overall argument.

Step Four: Contact An Experienced Airbag Deployment Attorney

A car accident lawyer will be able to help you determine the best course of action regarding your collision. An auto accident law firm will investigate the circumstances behind your undeployed airbag and work with you to figure out your next steps.

Additional Airbag Safety Precautions

Airbags are most effective if you are completely prepared in the event of a car accident. The following tips will help ensure your airbag does its job.

  • Airbags can only deploy once. If your airbags did deploy during an accident, remember to replace them immediately and before you drive the vehicle again.
  • Buckle Up: Airbags and seat belts go hand in hand. If you are not wearing your seatbelt, you will not get the most benefit out of your airbag.
  • Keep Your Distance: Drivers should sit at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel for optimum airbag performance.
  • Kids Stay in the Backseat: When it comes to child safety, you can never plan too far ahead.

Takata Airbag Recall: Is Your Vehicle Affected?

Airbag Deployment Attorney - Isaacs and IsaacsDoes your car use a Takata airbag? In what the NHTSA calls “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history,” millions of vehicles with Takata airbags have been recalled. High heat and humidity can potentially cause the airbag’s metal cartridge inflator to explode upon deployment, possibly spraying your car with dangerous, metal propellant wafers.3

Click here for a comprehensive list of car brands affected by the recall. To check the recall status of your vehicle, visit www.safercar.gov.

Airbag Deployment Lawsuit – Get a Free Case Review

If you or someone you know has been affected by an undeployed airbag, you need a car accident attorney you can trust. Isaacs & Isaacs Law Firm has recovered over one billion dollars our clients. Our lawyers in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio have over 345 collective years of legal experience. Call 800-800-8888 for your free consultation.

Isaacs and Isaacs, Primary Office
1601 Business Center Ct
Louisville, KY 40299


1. [https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/air-bags]

2. [https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/air-bags]

3. [https://www.consumerreports.org/car-recalls-defects/takata-airbag-recall-everything-you-need-to-know/]