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Help!! Airbags pop at 3mph!!


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30 replies to this topic

#1 rweddy

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 11:30 PM

So on my way to the airport this afternoon, I have a 3 mile per hour collision with another car. I stopped at a stop sign she went then stopped I was looking left at hit the back of her car. There was no damage to either car but both of my airbags deployed, destroyed my windshield and took off my rear view mirror.

The police came and said they had never seen this before, they did not issue me a ticket since there was no damage their was not an accident in the eyes of the law. They said air bags should not deploy at speeds under 20mph.

The told me I need to contact Subaru.

Anybody ever have this happen? Any idea who I should talk to? I would like to keep my insurance company out of this since they will probably jack my rates.

Thanks

#2 markmangicaro

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 07:49 AM

They said air bags should not deploy at speeds under 20mph.

The told me I need to contact Subaru.

Anybody ever have this happen? Any idea who I should talk to? I would like to keep my insurance company out of this since they will probably jack my rates.

Thanks


Sounds like you should retain council on this one. Since the car is at least 9 years old, it is hard to say if Subaru is at fault. Then again, a safety device should not potentially cause an accident. If the unnecessarily inflated airbag obstructed your view and hindered your ability to avoid a pedestrian, your situation would be MUCH worse. I’m not suggesting a premature lawsuit against SOA, but perhaps an attorney could give you advice on the insurance end as well. Airbags and windshields are not inexpensive to replace, you are no doubt looking at a 4-figue repair bill.

#3 rweddy

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 10:42 AM

Sounds like you should retain council on this one. Since the car is at least 9 years old, it is hard to say if Subaru is at fault. Then again, a safety device should not potentially cause an accident. If the unnecessarily inflated airbag obstructed your view and hindered your ability to avoid a pedestrian, your situation would be MUCH worse. I’m not suggesting a premature lawsuit against SOA, but perhaps an attorney could give you advice on the insurance end as well. Airbags and windshields are not inexpensive to replace, you are no doubt looking at a 4-figue repair bill.

That is what I was thinking, I called subaru and they told me to involve my insurance company but I want to keep them out of it.
I guess I will need to get lawyer.

#4 BillAileo

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 11:14 AM

Have you owned the car since it was new? Is there a possibility it was previously involved in an accident that may have somehow affected the control device that sets off the air bags? Have you ever had any dashboard warning lights come on regarding the SRS system? Knowing the answers to such questions would be helpful to you in determining the reasonableness of your various options.


Bill

#5 Tiny Clark

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 01:08 PM

Maybe everything was perfect. The bumber you hit compressed your own bumber and it touched off the airbags...

Hard to say. Is the lawyer more expensive than having the airbags refilled?

#6 Sweet82

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 01:26 PM

Air bags are pricey....

Two are twice as expensive...

Windshields ain't cheap either...

That's a problem.....Figuring out what to do...?

#7 rweddy

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 01:39 PM

Have you owned the car since it was new? Is there a possibility it was previously involved in an accident that may have somehow affected the control device that sets off the air bags? Have you ever had any dashboard warning lights come on regarding the SRS system? Knowing the answers to such questions would be helpful to you in determining the reasonableness of your various options.


Bill

2nd owner
No carfax or other reported accident.
No Airbag warning lights.

#8 mtsmiths

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 02:00 PM

I hate to say it, but if you contact your insurance company they'll probably total the car. Then cancel you.

#9 BulletRide

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 02:15 PM

id say its subaru's fault, airbags are not your problem if under 10 years old


contact the original owner and make sure the airbags were never tampered with



also make sure youre airbag warning lights work when you start the car...i know my dash is missing a few lights after 10 years

#10 Dr. RX

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 02:18 PM

As the owner of the vehicle, you can disable the air bags, but you can not have someone do it for you, like a repair shop. Mtsmith is probably correct up to the point of canceling you. When airbags deploy, the damage that they themsleves create is often enough to put you over the limit of the value where the insurance company will total the car. I'm wondering, did the passenger air bag take out the whole rear view mirror or just half of it, most that I have seen will only take out half the mirror. I'll have to look and see what I paid for the set that I have, and no longer need, I got them off Ebay, and they were pretty resonable since no one else bid on them. I would pursue Subaru, it's probably a dead end though. You might want to take good clear photos of any damage or signs of the impact on your cars as evidence.

#11 mattocs

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 02:36 PM

Did you have the tow hooks cut off? Were they not recalled because they made air bags go off in low speed crashes?

I might be crazy...so don't quote me on this.

#12 NOMAD327

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 02:47 PM

This may be an urban legend, but I always heard if the airbags on a car deployed, and the windshield cracked showing the body structure had deformed, at least for a moment, the insurance company would total the car. Two years ago, I had a 2000 Mercury Cougar set off it’s airbags. It was at about 5 MPH, I got caught in a winter white out and was stopped in the travel lane of a major two lane road. I didn’t feel comfortable being on the highway, and I basically just idled the car off the road onto the berm. I made contact with a telephone pole, it turns out I couldn’t see beyond the front of the hood, hit the pole right where the sensor was located behind the bumper. The windshield cracked and the bags went off and they totaled a car barely more than two years old with fairly low miles. There was no damage under the hood and not much visible externally. I can tell you that airbags are only experienced as a memory, I remember them going off, but when it was happening, it was too fast up and back down to really register as happening at the time. They will not block your view while driving if they go off, it happens too fast. The estimated repair of the car at the time was around 7,000 dollars, it was 3,000 just for the two airbags. Replacement of the car was around 14,000 dollars. The insurance company wouldn’t even discuss fixing the car, we loved that car and wanted to keep it. I suspect they were concerned it could be involved in another accident in the future with injuries and lawsuits, etc. and just didn’t that hanging over their head. (Ford would be the one sued if the original ones hadn’t gone off!) Airbags must have a hair trigger to work when needed, and what you and I experienced is just a result of that design. If airbags are important to you, I would start thinking of a replacement vehicle. If you always wear your belts, you can install dummy covers in the car and drive it for the rest of it’s natural life. You can also buy used bags for a better price if you can find them, you will be safe if your wear your belts all the time more than likely. I seem to remember the tow hook recall story too.



#13 frag

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 02:56 PM

Did you have the tow hooks cut off? Were they not recalled because they made air bags go off in low speed crashes?

I might be crazy...so don't quote me on this.


I think the airbags deployed if you hit or snagged the hooks on something hard.

#14 mattocs

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 03:03 PM

I think the airbags deployed if you hit or snagged the hooks on something hard.


Yeah...like a curb or something...

#15 rweddy

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 05:30 PM

I'm wondering, did the passenger air bag take out the whole rear view mirror or just half of it, most that I have seen will only take out half the mirror. I'll have to look and see what I paid for the set that I have, and no longer need, I got them off Ebay, and they were pretty resonable since no one else bid on them. I would pursue Subaru, it's probably a dead end though. You might want to take good clear photos of any damage or signs of the impact on your cars as evidence.

It took the entire mirror off, one whole peice.

#16 rweddy

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 05:37 PM

id say its subaru's fault, airbags are not your problem if under 10 years old


contact the original owner and make sure the airbags were never tampered with



also make sure youre airbag warning lights work when you start the car...i know my dash is missing a few lights after 10 years


Well found out a few things on this.
1st only seat belts are covered for 10 years not srs systems.
Subaru has said call your insurance company, not our issue after 3 years.

This situation blows!

#17 kevinsUBARU

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 06:36 PM

My insurance company, USAA, covers airbag deployment for any reason whatsoever. There is no fine print in the policy regarding this situation.

Additionally, the SRS system needs to be inspected every 10 years as per SOA (I believe it's in the owners manual), but who does that, lol :)

#18 The Dude

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 07:08 PM

Most insurance companies REQUIRE you to report an accident within a given period of time. If you fail to report the accident within the time requirement, the insurance will REFUSE to cover any aspect of the claim.

Right now the person you hit says, "No problem". But the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years in many states. So you don't contact your insurance company within the required 48 hour period, six months from now the person you hit sues for whiplash. Sorry, but you are so totally screwed. You're on your own for attorney fees, court costs, everything, including the amount awarded to the plantiff, if any. The really ironic thing that will kill you is that you actually had insurance during your accident but you waived your rights to coverage.

It depends on the insurance company, but many will not increase your rates UNLESS a claim is filed by the other driver. So you may be able to preserve your coverage without increasing your rates. At least check it out with your agent.

BTW, if there's a police report, your accident is a public record. I would report it.

#19 rweddy

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 07:16 PM

Most insurance companies REQUIRE you to report an accident within a given period of time. If you fail to report the accident within the time requirement, the insurance will REFUSE to cover any aspect of the claim.

Right now the person you hit says, "No problem". But the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years in many states. So you don't contact your insurance company within the required 48 hour period, six months from now the person you hit sues for whiplash. Sorry, but you are so totally screwed. You're on your own for attorney fees, court costs, everything, including the amount awarded to the plantiff, if any. The really ironic thing that will kill you is that you actually had insurance during your accident but you waived your rights to coverage.

It depends on the insurance company, but many will not increase your rates UNLESS a claim is filed by the other driver. So you may be able to preserve your coverage without increasing your rates. At least check it out with your agent.

BTW, if there's a police report, your accident is a public record. I would report it.

WOW!
Thanks for the heads up, rather pay a small monthly increase for insurance then huge lawsuit in the future!!

#20 Dr. RX

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 09:32 PM

I paid $102.50 for both air bags (steering wheel and dash) plus $25 shipping for a total of $127.50, if you are willing to pay that, I will sell these to you, here is a link to the Ebay bid I won, http://cgi.ebay.com/...item=7951365991 , these are the same as in a 1996 Legacy.

#21 rweddy

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 10:02 PM

I paid $102.50 for both air bags (steering wheel and dash) plus $25 shipping for a total of $127.50, if you are willing to pay that, I will sell these to you, here is a link to the Ebay bid I won, http://cgi.ebay.com/...item=7951365991 , these are the same as in a 1996 Legacy.

GREAT. Let me see what insurance/subaru is going to do.
I will let you know for sure.

#22 sasquatch

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 12:28 AM

just curious but don't those bags come out damn fast? I've never been in a wreck with air bags but I thought they could bust you up pretty good if they hit you in the face

#23 rweddy

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 06:13 AM

I paid $102.50 for both air bags (steering wheel and dash) plus $25 shipping for a total of $127.50, if you are willing to pay that, I will sell these to you, here is a link to the Ebay bid I won, http://cgi.ebay.com/...item=7951365991 , these are the same as in a 1996 Legacy.

BTW are the bags the only thing I will need to repalce?
Are they sensors in the bumper that need replaced also?
I also heard the entire dash needs to be replaced? Anyone know if this is true?

Thanks

#24 Dr. RX

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 09:10 AM

BTW are the bags the only thing I will need to repalce?
Are they sensors in the bumper that need replaced also?
I also heard the entire dash needs to be replaced? Anyone know if this is true?

Thanks

I replaced the air bags in my Impreza and didn't have to replace the whole dash, but you will have to pull the dash to get at it. I don't know about the sensors, I'm not sure what kind Subaru uses. Send me a PM and I'll tell you what I did with my Impreza.

#25 rweddy

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 10:57 AM

I replaced the air bags in my Impreza and didn't have to replace the whole dash, but you will have to pull the dash to get at it. I don't know about the sensors, I'm not sure what kind Subaru uses. Send me a PM and I'll tell you what I did with my Impreza.


Thanks




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