The knowledge that your car has an air bag may give you some peace of mind while driving. Like many drivers, you probably count on your air bag to deploy and spare you from a devastating injury in case of an auto collision. Still, air bags themselves can harm drivers and passengers if the bags do not work as they should.
There are certain steps drivers should follow to lessen the risk of injury, such as not placing a small child in a front seat where an air bag could deploy. However, there are some air bag injuries that are not your fault, but instead result from poor manufacturing or design.
Defective air bags
According to the NHTSA, when air bags fail to work, they can do great harm or even kill a driver or passenger. Sometimes an air bag will not deploy at all during a collision. Instead of protecting someone, the failed bag will allow someone to hit a dashboard or windshield at a dangerous speed.
Air bags that do deploy but malfunction still have the potential to inflict serious injury or death. Some bags explode upon release. Air bags depend on the ignition of a chemical reaction to rapidly inflate the bag. These chemicals, if they explode, can inflict burns or abrasions.
Counterfeit air bags
Some drivers get into an auto collision and need an auto repair shop to replace their air bags. The problem is that a repair shop may, without intending to do so, order new bags that are actually counterfeit bags. Counterfeit bags are dangerous. They are prone to malfunctioning and may eject metal pieces when deployed, or they may not deploy at all. If you believe a shop may have placed a counterfeit bag in your vehicle, you might need the manufacturer of your vehicle to come out and inspect your vehicle and help you arrange a replacement bag if necessary.