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Old 26th May 2012, 22:47   #1
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Default Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

We had an incident on our 2009 Honda City which had an impact with a truck. The impact was on the driver side. Front bumper and right fender were damaged. No one was injured and the car was towed to the service center. SRS light came on and it was confirmed that SRS unit failed and had to be replaced with 50% payment from our side. Service center version was that the sensor got damaged due to frontal impact and this short circuited the wiring which in turn caused the SRS unit to fail.

Insurance surveyor argued that this is a design fault and if an impact can damage the sensor and in turn fail SRS unit then it will not activate airbag in an accident. Finally insurance and service center guys came to some understanding and insurance paid the money with depreciation for electronic parts.

We took this issue with Honda customer care but they always directed us back to the same service center.

Experts please comment whether such a scenario is possible in an accident.

Mods: I am new to this forum, so please correct/modify if anything required.

Thanks
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Old 26th May 2012, 23:16   #2
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

How can they ask you to pay for replacing a unit that failed because of the unit design and not because of you altering the design.

Being in India is your only mistake. If the same thing happened in US this is a case that would have brought Honda to its knees. Atleast that is what i feel because the reason given for non deployment of Air bag is just not acceptable and you paying to fix a faulty design is another thing that i cannot accept.
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Old 26th May 2012, 23:59   #3
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

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Being in India is your only mistake.
100% i agree with you. Our laws are ridiculous. First of all this accident happened due to truck fellows mistake. He was on the wrong side of a four lane road. He didnt even pay a single pie and asked us to go the legal way to get a claim from his insurance.
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Old 27th May 2012, 07:49   #4
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

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Originally Posted by ameaa View Post
We had an incident on our 2009 Honda City which had an impact with a truck. The impact was on the driver side. Front bumper and right fender were damaged. No one was injured and the car was towed to the service center. SRS light came on and it was confirmed that SRS unit failed and had to be replaced with 50% payment from our side. Service center version was that the sensor got damaged due to frontal impact and this short circuited the wiring which in turn caused the SRS unit to fail.
There are many types of crashes where the deployment does not qualify. Basically the two airbag configuration that is common in India is a very low end version of the technology called passive safety. Here there would be two frontal crash sensors only most of the time. Frontal impacts are qualified and airbags deployed.

In your case it was not a frontal impact or atleast it did not qualify to be one.

Secondly the impact might have destroyed/disconnected the front right crash sensor. Which the SRS ECU promptly logged as a fault/DTC and displayed via your SRS warning lamp. This means the SRS ECU was perfectly working fine.


Now, instead of just changing your sensor why the entire unit was changed? May be SRS units have to be calibrated together and it is easy for the Aftermarket to just replace everything together? In that case what all did they replace? Did they replace your airbags as well?

Seems some information missing.
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Old 27th May 2012, 08:17   #5
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

I smell something fishy. What transpired in between the Insurance and the service center is something that needs to be looked into. If the Insurance folks raised alarm in terms of design fault why did they later agreed to the replace theory.

I think your next step should be to seek answers to these questions before jumping the gun. Which Honda Service center is this? Try to get to someone in this center and get this information out. Then armed with such information go to Honda.

Alternatively call Honda Customer assistance and log a complaint, also send an email to customer_relations@hondacarindia.com. The other email IDs i have PM'd you as i am not sure how many of them are valid.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 27th May 2012 at 08:20.
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Old 27th May 2012, 08:29   #6
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
There are many types of crashes where the deployment does not qualify. Basically the two airbag configuration that is common in India is a very low end version of the technology called passive safety. Here there would be two frontal crash sensors only most of the time. Frontal impacts are qualified and airbags deployed.

In your case it was not a frontal impact or atleast it did not qualify to be one.

Secondly the impact might have destroyed/disconnected the front right crash sensor. Which the SRS ECU promptly logged as a fault/DTC and displayed via your SRS warning lamp. This means the SRS ECU was perfectly working fine.


Now, instead of just changing your sensor why the entire unit was changed? May be SRS units have to be calibrated together and it is easy for the Aftermarket to just replace everything together? In that case what all did they replace? Did they replace your airbags as well?

Seems some information missing.
Airbag was not replaced. They replaced only the SRS unit and i dont remember whether they replaced sensor. I will check the invoice and revert. Both the front seat belts were replaced as it had locked and was not moving at all. The crash was almost frontal though the car was moved to the left lane to avoid it. So it impacted at the right corner of the bumper and on to the fender. I will post a photo.
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Old 27th May 2012, 08:35   #7
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

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Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
I smell something fishy. What transpired in between the Insurance and the service center is something that needs to be looked into. If the Insurance folks raised alarm in terms of design fault why did they later agreed to the replace theory.

I think your next step should be to seek answers to these questions before jumping the gun. Which Honda Service center is this? Try to get to someone in this center and get this information out. Then armed with such information go to Honda.

Alternatively call Honda Customer assistance and log a complaint, also send an email to customer_relations@hondacarindia.com. The other email IDs i have PM'd you as i am not sure how many of them are valid.
Thank you Mayankjha. It was white field honda near K R puram. They have a body repair center further ahead of their service center. Honda customer care always reverts back to white field honda as they say its technical and they only can advice. White field guys never gave us a clear answer about the failure and they were not ready to give us in writing the theory what they explained. I will post the photo of the accident and their invoice.
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Old 27th May 2012, 15:12   #8
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

Quote:
Originally Posted by ameaa View Post
We had an incident on our 2009 Honda City which had an impact with a truck. The impact was on the driver side. Front bumper and right fender were damaged. No one was injured and the car was towed to the service center. SRS light came on and it was confirmed that SRS unit failed and had to be replaced with 50% payment from our side. Service center version was that the sensor got damaged due to frontal impact and this short circuited the wiring which in turn caused the SRS unit to fail.
If the SRS light stays ON, there will always be an error code, and it will pin point the exactly location of failure in the system. What was the error code pointing to?

Also regarding the sensor damaged: I really don't think that is a probability. (1). That is against the whole concept of the airbags deplyment, whist accidents. (2) Airbag sensors register deceleration, and activate airbags in less than 1/20th of a second. This time is not enough for the vehicle body to deform and short-circuit or damage the sensor. The damage in sensor or wiring will or must happen AFTER the airbags have been deployed.
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Old 27th May 2012, 18:14   #9
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

From what I understand:
  1. Airbags did not deploy because it was not qualified (due to the nature of collision)
  2. Sensor got damaged in the collision which triggered the airbag warning/failure sign. but this would be only applicable for the future (hope it is not required!) functioning and doesnt point to why the airbag did not deploy
  3. Workshop guys have mixed 2 things and did not communicate properly

Last edited by Guna : 27th May 2012 at 18:15.
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Old 28th May 2012, 11:16   #10
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Now, instead of just changing your sensor why the entire unit was changed? May be SRS units have to be calibrated together and it is easy for the Aftermarket to just replace everything together?
Invoice states replacement of one sensor only which means there shouldn't be any calibration issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Guna View Post
From what I understand:[list=1][*]Airbags did not deploy because it was not qualified (due to the nature of collision)[*]Sensor got damaged in the collision which triggered the airbag warning/failure sign. but this would be only applicable for the future (hope it is not required!) functioning and doesnt point to why the airbag did not deploy
Guna, we were also not worried why the airbags didn't deploy as nobody was hurt. But if a similar situation happens with much higher impact and causes similar damages, will airbags ever deploy? Can a faulty SRS unit trigger an airbag. The service guys never gave an answer to this question. In our case the seat belts locked so the impact had some G forces to activate safety mechanism.

Snaps and invoice attached. Advice required.
Attached Thumbnails
Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors-invoice-page-1.jpg  

Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors-snap.jpg  

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Old 28th May 2012, 11:18   #11
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

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Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
If the SRS light stays ON, there will always be an error code, and it will pin point the exactly location of failure in the system. What was the error code pointing to?
Sorry dhanush, we never asked for the error code, neither they ever told us also..
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Old 28th May 2012, 11:22   #12
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

From the pictures its visible that its a side impact (i.e. not exactly head on). In such a scenario would a 2 airbag system which probable has sensors up front get deployed?

Would a six airbags system with probably more sensors all around had deployed airbags in such an accident?
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Old 28th May 2012, 11:37   #13
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

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Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
From the pictures its visible that its a side impact (i.e. not exactly head on). In such a scenario would a 2 airbag system which probable has sensors up front get deployed?
Mayankji, we only asked one query to service center. If its a frontal impact with high G and the same sensors damage and short circuit the SRS unit, will the airbag ever deploy. They never came with a answer for that.
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Old 28th May 2012, 12:05   #14
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

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Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
Also regarding the sensor damaged: I really don't think that is a probability. (1). That is against the whole concept of the airbags deplyment, whist accidents. (2) Airbag sensors register deceleration, and activate airbags in less than 1/20th of a second. This time is not enough for the vehicle body to deform and short-circuit or damage the sensor. The damage in sensor or wiring will or must happen AFTER the airbags have been deployed.
Dhanush, your theory could be correct but if the sensors register deceleration, what would happen to an impact on a car which is parked?
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Old 28th May 2012, 14:24   #15
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Default Re: Can Airbag deployment fail due to damaged sensors

Agree that a side impact will not normally trigger the airbags. On a parked car, there is no passenger in the seat so the bags will not trigger.
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